Who could oppose improving motels' standards? But Planning Commissioner Colin McCarthy and the Costa Mesa City Council majority are not going in that direction. McCarthy says, "These facilities are a haven for criminality and substandard living conditions.… No one should have to live in that environment."
The actions of the council and commission do not agree with their words. Instead of focusing resources on enforcing laws against prostitution and illicit drugs, they are wielding the power of office like a weapon against poor families who live in motels.
They have made it an ordinance violation to remain in a motel for more than 28 days. That will just make life more miserable for poor families who are unable to save enough money for the first month's rent and security deposit for an apartment. It will have little, if any, effect on prostitution and drug dealing.
Another new ordinance actually makes life easier for prostitutes and drug dealers by fining motel owners for excessive calls to police.
If the council and commission believe, as McCarthy says in his commentary, that "no one should have to live in that environment," wouldn't it make sense to try to improve the environment? So why have they not focused law enforcement resources on prostitution and drug dealing?
It concede it could be rather hard to do since the Costa Mesa Police Department is understaffed, and officers often can only respond after a crime has been committed, leaving crime prevention lacking.
Plan carefully, assess effects
Harold Weitzberg expressed in his commentary exactly what I brought up at the Costa Mesa City Council. Thoughtful building is the key. Waiting to see the impact of the projects that have been approved is critical.
Shelters should go vegetarian
I am writing to inform readers of the Daily Pilot about a nationwide effort to encourage animal shelters to adopt an animal-free menu for their events.
I believe that such a policy would be entirely consistent with an animal shelter's loving kindness toward the creatures in its care.
The policy would promote delicious, healthy and nutritious plant-based foods. Many other shelters and animal-protection organizations have adopted such policies, including the Humane Society of the United States.
This nationwide effort — called the Food for Thought program — is being led by Animal Place, a nonprofit of which I am a member.
Thanks to the people who support animal shelters, the staffs and volunteers. See http://www.foodforthoughtcampaign.org for additional information.