'Decking Costa Mesa City Hall'

'Twas the holiday season at Costa Mesa City Hall,

Closed sessions 'o plenty, council meetings to stall.

Council photos are hung, in the lobby; we stare —

With hopes that next year, new pics might be there.

When all of a sudden, very few were to chatter,

Public comments postponed — free speech doesn't matter.

Potholes, infrastructure in need of repair,

Alleged budget surplus may not really be there.

On Police, on Fire, on Miscellaneous — our unions,

On Pensions, on Liabilities — with funding disillusions.

With council compensated very well working part-time,

Cafeteria-style benefits, their own care is prime.

New vehicles and computers, and upgrades are selected;

Priorities vary greatly, by whom is elected.

Charters and parks — prevailing wages keep us guessing;

Commissions and committees, seem hardly the blessing;

Costa Mesans will prevail, over politicians' blight —

Happy holidays, Costa Mesans,

And hold wallets tight.

James Bridges

Costa Mesa

*

Try an unheralded restaurant

A restaurant at Park and Agate avenues on Balboa Island really deserves notice. It's the Park Avenue Cafe.

It has been under new management for about a year. A lady owns it, and she is doing a great job. The Christmas decorating is fabulous, and so is the food.

Peggy Marotta

Newport Beach

*

Beware of Orwellian doublespeak

When I read "Return to old comments policy in Costa Mesa" in the Dec. 14 Pilot by Jeffrey Harlan, I thought back to how the council majority had suspiciously promoted the last defeated city charter as a means to gain more "local control."

Now it seems that changing the public-comment period is an example of what the council majority really meant. The change is a means of controlling the time for public speech, which reduces resident participation.

As if this wasn't bad enough, I am rereading George Orwell's "1984," which describes doublespeak. It appears that the term "local control" is an example of doublespeak, which disguises the truth. Doublespeak is a way of saying one thing while meaning the opposite.

So based on the public comments change, the term "local control" doesn't mean more control by the residents of Costa Mesa, but it could very well mean more control over the residents by the council majority.

Charles Mooney

Costa Mesa