After reading Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer's commentary, "City is gaining on its most serious issues" (May 28), I had to comment on some omissions.

Righeimer likes to take credit for the improved city budget, but he fails to mention that an improved economy and resulting increase in sales tax factor into the budget surplus. Also not mentioned is how critical it is to have a surplus put away for a rainy day, perhaps another downturn in the economy like we had a few years ago.

Such stabilization funds may be used to ease temporary cash-flow shortages, other emergencies and one-time opportunities.

Why hasn't our mayor fully replenished the reserve fund during his nearly four years in office? The city has seen a surplus over the past couple of years, even though it appears that it arrived at the expense of the ranks of our public safety personnel.

Righeimer complains about reserves being spent by a previous council, and yet more than $1 million in taxpayer money has gone to lawyers dealing with an avoidable layoff-related lawsuit.

Perhaps the reserves could have been at least partially replenished if the city hadn't grossly overspent and lost money on the 60th anniversary celebration. How much could have gone into reserves rather than into having to repair the damage done to Fairview Park from an illegal path?

Perhaps more money could have been saved if our mayor had not had lawyers sitting in on lengthy charter committee meetings as well as pre-meeting conferences. This charter is costing taxpayers a bundle.

Does this sound like a fiscal conservative?

Terri Fuqua

Costa Mesa

*

Desalination project is good for economy

As an Orange County resident, and on behalf of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, I commend the Orange County Water District for its action June 4 in approving a financial consultant in relation to the Poseidon Huntington Beach desalination project.

The creation of new jobs and the growth of Orange County's economy depend on a reliable water supply. The Poseidon project, which has been universally championed for the past decade, would provide the region with thousands of new, good-paying jobs and a locally controlled, drought-proof water supply.

Jim Adams

The writer is a Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council representative