I attended the Jan. 7 meeting of the Costa Mesa City Council. This was the first meeting where the mayor's new plan to divide public comment on non-agenda items between the beginning and end of the meeting was officially in effect, though we had a chance to witness the process in action last year.
I would be lying if I said I spoke many different times and for more than 10 total minutes during the meeting only because I wanted answers to questions. I did this to protest the rule, which makes the people over the 10 chosen to speak at the start wait until the end of the meeting to comment.
Indeed, without this controversial rule change, I most likely would have spoken only once during the meeting, before 7 p.m., when most seats in council chambers were occupied. Perhaps I would have gone home to the Westside after public comments to my wife to have dinner, as I usually would do.
Instead, on Jan. 7 I lost the public comment lottery, and thus I spoke after 11:30 p.m. to a remaining public audience of fewer than 15 people.
In the interim, I spoke often. People are allowed under the rule to address items on the agenda.
I will leave it to others to determine if any council member used up more minutes talking than I did that night. I spent many more hours than usual preparing and studying specifics, and I was sincere regarding everything I addressed. I also sat through many hours of presentations and arguments.
I joined many residents and employers who spoke to the faults of The Excessive Use of Resources Ordinance, which issues fines for excessive police calls from city motels. Yet, the council voted 3 to 2 to establish the ordinance.
I said, "Scapegoating only certain types of businesses and excluding others from similar attack is horrible legal advice, and none of our attorneys should be paid for offering such. Indeed, to show malice and prejudice against specific ... businesses and pretend that other high-risk businesses are immune is very ill-advised."
The three who voted "aye" chose not to address my comments.
City Hall's concrete bunnies are fun
Upon opening a recent edition of the Daily Pilot, I smiled to see the cover picture of the Civic Center park bunnies ["Concrete cottontails invade park," Jan. 10].
My smile went away when I realized the article was just a rant complaining about the bunnies and their cost, artistic value and more.
Lighten up, people! These are just a clever, joyful, whimsical presence to enjoy. As a resident and taxpayer, I know a lot more money has been spent on other things I don't enjoy nearly as much. If people who come to Newport Beach to shop don't get it, well, too bad for them, I say.
Corona Del Mar