Are you under 35 with plenty of money to spend? Then Costa Mesa is putting out the welcome mat for you. But are you a senior citizen or a financially struggling family? Then Costa Mesa is pulling the rug out from under you.
The actions of the City Council majority form a pattern. They whip up a financial crisis, which they claim can only be resolved by getting rid of people they don't want around.
Soon after the 2010 election put the Tea Party in power in Costa Mesa, the new majority announced a financial crisis over pension obligations. On that pretext, the councilmen issued layoff notices, in violation of city contracts, to more than half of our city employees in order to try to turn over at least some of their jobs to private businesses.
A court order slowed things down, but the project is underway.
The council majority is now following the same pattern with regard to forcing out poor families. The councilmen have talked about buying certain motels that house poor families and selling the properties to developers. A city map shows targeted motels and mobile home parks, where many seniors live.
First the councilmen claimed that the city spends inordinate amounts of money for police services at certain motels that house poor families. They then directed a code enforcement campaign against those motels. Failing to drive them out of business through multiple fines, they next adopted an ordinance that would charge the targeted motels fees for police calls above a certain level. That effort is ongoing.
Recently the council majority ordered an audit of the senior center. Its harsh, unprecedented recommendations may create a financial crisis and force the center to close or curtail services for lack of money to implement the recommendations. This would make Costa Mesa less hospitable to our older population.
Meanwhile, the councilmen approved dense, new residential developments that they praise as appealing to young families with money to spend. One such development replaced a mobile home park, and another is on industrial land adjacent to a mobile home park.
The pattern is clear: If you wish you lived in Irvine, and you hate old folks and poor people, keep this council majority in power.
ELEANOR EGAN lives in Costa Mesa.