dailypilot.com/opinion/tn-dpt-1214-mailbag-20121213,0,302264.story

Daily Pilot

Mailbag: Change is never going to be 'low stress'

5:38 PM PST, December 13, 2012

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In his Dec. 8 letter to the Daily Pilot, Tom Egan wrote, "Do we really want to give [the Jim Righeimer-led council] more power [with a charter] to further tear up our low-stress city?" ("Mailbag: I disagree with commentary on C.M. charter").

"Tear up"? "Low-stress city"? If Costa Mesa was low-stress before Righeimer and company, it was because no one was bucking the status-quo folks who didn't want real improvement. And Costa Mesa can use some improvement to compete with other cities to our south for the most productive citizens.

Among other things, an improved Costa Mesa will see improved schools. Egan was on the school board for four years. The schools don't seem to have improved as a result of his time there.

You see, I bring all this stuff up about improvement, the schools and productive citizens because it's all connected. Ultimately, it's the citizens of a city that make a city what it is.

If a city attracts productive citizens, then everything gets better. Crime goes down, the schools get better and the quality of life goes up. And to attract such citizens, you have to start physically improving the city.

You see, a city doesn't just have to drift. It can attract people the way a business attracts customers. If you want to attract thrift-store customers, you open a thrift store. If you want to attract a different demographic, you open a different type of store. It really is a matter of build it and they will come.

Been over to Lions Park recently? We're not attracting productive citizens there. In fact, many of the citizens in Costa Mesa can't even use that park or the adjacent library. They're afraid to take their kids there. It's very low stress for the people who live in the park because it's near the charities where they can get many freebies, but it's very high stress for stable citizens who are the backbone of this city and who pay for the park.

Yes, change and going against the status quo can be stressful, but we need to change or Costa Mesa won't be the place where you'll want to live.

We don't need stress-adverse people on the City Council. We need people there who want to improve this city, who know how to do it, and who have the intestinal fortitude to make it happen. This will mean that they'll have to step on some toes.

M. H. Millard

Costa Mesa

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Save our parade

I am a 48-year resident of Newport Beach. I grew up watching the annual Christmas Boat Parade from the dock at the Balboa Bay Club. In my 20s, I worked for the Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the annual parade, where I learned the dedication and spirit behind this spectacular event. I am dismayed that our bright, dedicated City Council members seem short-sighted in their efforts to tax the residential dock owners. The city already benefits from the taxation of the value of each dock. It is unnecessary to financially burden the dock owner further. Please reconsider your decision and preserve the beautiful Christmas Boat Parade that we all enjoy.

Christin Foreman

Newport Coast

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Environmental columns

Too bad we're losing columnists Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray — and especially their fascinating accounts of cruelty-free egg farming. We need more such positive information on eco-friendly alternatives (rather than just nagging and laws telling us what not to do).

Therese Egrafed

Huntington Beach

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Bring them back

The column by Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray is a valuable one for news about local environmental events and things you can do to help conserve our resources locally, as well as relating our area to the greater world. It was fun, folksy and well-written always.

Charles Glenn

Huntington Beach