The voters of Costa Mesa have a clear choice to propel this great city forward.

Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy and City Councilmen Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan are improving this city in a fiscally responsible manner, seeking to prioritize spending on city projects, improvements and services for residents. Others continue to prioritize elsewhere, at the detriment of the city, artificially creating a conflict designed to challenge progressive change.

McCarthy, Mensinger and Monahan recognize the simple reality — the absolute need to shift spending priorities to the city itself, city parks, city infrastructure and city safety, and to curtail unsustainable public employee union salaries and pensions.

In doing this, they have gone against a formidable and well-funded enemy of change, one that few politicians dare challenge — the public employee unions of Sacramento and beyond. The unions have massive funding and an army of indentured volunteers, all seeking to keep the status quo, to keep the unsustainable salaries and pensions for themselves, to residents' detriment.

There is a simple truth that most voters realize and others must accept: Current public employee pensions and salaries are unsustainable, period. No politician can say the status quo is sustainable, but few, if any, will act.

Everyone recognizes the importance of our exemplary city employees; they are an asset to this community. But exposure of the pay structure and retirement schemes for public union employees has come about. There is a simple truth: We cannot afford to continue this costly status quo and subordinate our elected officials to union demands.

Employees should be compensated fairly and in recognition of the realities of the private sector. Success should be rewarded in pay increases and promotions. The city must be free to hire, promote and, when necessary, fire employees. The city must be free to make its own decisions, not adhere to union control.

To do this, we need the strong leadership of McCarthy, Mensinger and Monahan (the so-called "3Ms"), who will continue to act in favor of Costa Mesa and Costa Mesa's residents, even if that means continuing to enrage the well-funded enemy of change.

The residents, voters and tax-payers must similarly speak up and join them to help this city move forward with prosperous change, away from the stifling status quo, including improving parks and infrastructure and meaningful change toward public safety. They will champion the rights of the residents of Costa Mesa.

The residents have a clear choice. If you are like me and want city money spent fixing and improving our city, our city roads, our city parks, our city street lights and other city projects, then please join me in voting for McCarthy, Mensinger and Monahan to continue to propel this great city forward.

DEVIN LUCAS is a Costa Mesa real estate attorney and broker.