7:10 PM PST, December 7, 2012
The first thing I do when somebody says, "I know what 'the people' want," is check my wallet and make sure my family is safe. Byron De Arakal's Dec. 2 commentary
("Charter government suits Costa Mesa's personality") provoked that protective reaction.
To support his idea that Costa Mesans want a charter, he listed almost a dozen of his own arguments, many of which, on the surface, seemed reasonable. But he didn't tell the whole story by a long shot. He didn't mention any of the contrary reasons, some of which are real show-stoppers.
For example, do we really want to give more power to the Jim Righeimer-led council that, in less than two years, has wasted about $1 million on a frivolous lawsuit while crying poverty and reducing city services? Do we really want to give them power to further tear up what used to be our low-stress city? Do we really want this aggressive, developer-oriented council majority to continue with its pledge to run our city like a profit-driven business, heedless of the human dimensions?
Keep in mind they have caused all this damage while under the few restrictions the state imposes on a general law city. It's scary to imagine what they could do with even more power.
Newport dock fees
What has happened to representative democracy? When did Newport Beach become a dictatorship? Mayor Nancy Gardner said in the Nov. 28 council hearing on the egregious dock tax that public comments would not be taken at the Dec. 11 council meeting when the council intends to vote to accept the staff's recommendation on this money-grabbing tax. The council says it will be unable to read correspondence on the dock tax that is received after Dec. 4.
What? The public has not yet received all of the changes the staff intends to foist on the public, yet we are not allowed time to respond. You will receive more substantive comments when the staff provides details on their latest changes to the dock tax. We obviously can't provide comments until then.
Douglas M. Wood
Since I don't have a Facebook account, I'd like to respond to an online comment made on my recent commentary ("Council should have made Leece mayor pro tem Dec. 5, 2012). Tim Sesler erroneously stated, "Mr. Valantine supports the current corrupt system," where unions raised $500,000 and someone tried to "rig" the election by illegal tracking and blackmailing councilmen, etc.
I reject this slanderous accusation. Sesler apparently wasn't listening when I commented at a council meeting that I wish unions had not been so extensively involved in the campaign because their actions distracted attention from the real issues. By the way, the only organization to which I belong — Costa Mesans for Responsible Government — raised nowhere near $500,000.
Mr. Sesler wasn't listening again when I commented at a City Council meeting that the following of Jim Righeimer was deplorable, regardless of who was behind it – and that still hasn't been proven.
Mr. Sesler claims, "Mr. Valantine and his supporters … can't play by the rules." I challenge him to show how I, or Costa Mesans for Responsible Government, didn't play by the rules. Honesty, integrity and playing by the rules are the guiding principles of our organization, and ones that I have followed, personally, for my whole life.
I have no problem with someone disagreeing with my ideas, but I vehemently object to being falsely accused of corruption, rigging an election and not playing by the rules. Such slanderous statements have no place in civil discourse.