Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.
Amazing how there can be so many attorneys working for Costa Mesa and a simple meeting notice gets screwed up. How many hours at $495 per hour were billed for this screw-up? Costa Mesa has spent millions in legal fees with the bill skyrocketing every day since this current crew has taken over. …
General law protects residents from rampaging rogue councils with specific noticing requirements. In a charter city, those noticing requirements could be eliminated, and residents would need to get the item on the ballot to fix the charter. That would require 15% of the registered voters to sign petitions. Then the city council can decide in which election — it doesn’t have to be the next election — the ballot measure will appear.
Residents would have to go through all of that just to get the protections they have now.
General law helps to protect residents from the whims of vindictive city councils with harsh political agendas.
— Reggie / April 10
Wow, spending more and more money while claiming to be broke. Then trusting a private company that you hired to count the ballots. What a joke.
— Pnator / April 10
The only [thing] becoming “transparent” about the city of Costa Mesa is how badly things are being run over there.
— Gericault / April 10
I know both [gay student Kearian ] Giertz and [Fullerton Union High School Assistant Principal Joe] Abell. I don’t think either one would be pleased with how things have turned out.
Giertz made a heartfelt comment at the competition. Abell made an admittedly bad judgment call. If he had time to think the situation through, I don’t think he would have done the same thing. I have never seen Abell say or do anything bigoted.
Abell did make a public apology after speaking privately with Giertz. His voice was filled with emotion. Giertz has been quoted as indicating he did not want Abell fired for his actions; he just wants people to be aware and, I might add, respectful of others.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this incident could help educate educators as well as the general public?
— Bc / April 10
Seems to me that this is more than bad judgement for a single incident. It implies out-and-out bigotry and discrimination for an entire group of people, and he deals with many students who are members of this group.
This whole incident is reprehensible.
— Shbrownsbr / April 7
Okay, does the district mean that the incident should have been handled in private so that the student could explain to the assistant principal what the assistant principal did wrong without embarrassing the assistant principal in front of everyone?
I’m not calling for the assistant principal’s head, but since it is completely clear to everyone, including the district, that he did wrong, what does the district really mean by “handled privately”? Handle what privately?
— Kburgoyne / April 6
Not sure that there was anything that needed to be “handled.” Sounds like the assistant principal meant no harm, even if he shouldn’t have done what he did.
I think there’s a lot of pressure on people in his position to make sure that things aren’t inappropriate, and he was reacting quickly and from his gut, but it sounds like there was nothing inappropriate here.
— KR / April 5
I’m not sure how poster KR can possibly state that the assistant principal meant no harm. How can the deliberate humiliation of a student in front of a good portion of the school body by an authority figure result in anything except harm?
How could anyone possibly have been threatened by a student saying he hopes to be able to marry the man of his dreams in 10 years? This was not threatening or inciting language in any way.
That’s sort of like saying, “I pulled the trigger, but I didn’t mean any harm, and I’m sorry if anyone got hurt.”
I agree that calls for his being fired are a little extreme, but he definitely meant harm.
— Footwork61 / April 5
Kimberly [Edds, spokeswoman for the deputy sheriffs union], nicely written article, if you are looking at this issue from strictly a union approach. If you are looking at it from a taxpayer or sheriff’s organization approach, the article is not so good. As a guy who used to run a law enforcement union, I have a better-than-layman’s understanding of both sides of the coin.
Even you acknowledge that the economic times dictate different approaches and there is only so much blood to be squeezed from the turnip. Meanwhile, it is long past the time where sworn people should be used in the jails. The simplest solution would be to contract out the entire operation to a private corporation who provides such services at a much lower cost.
Yes, there are arguments both pro and con about the qualitative aspects of using the private sector. There are many places currently using contractors and doing well.
Should the department have met and conferred [with the union] prior to implementing such a process? The answer is yes. However, you know very well that the union is in the business of protecting jobs and would likely have reached impasse rather than an agreement on replacing sworn deputies with civilians. Still the meet-and-confer process should have been attempted before imposing the changes.
Bottom line, Kimberly, is that sworn people should be on the streets performing the critical tasks that are part of their job description. The noncritical tasks within the law enforcement organizations should be handled by competent, civilian paraprofessionals. This is the future trend, and many police departments have already gone to the concept. With scarce resources, this becomes a high priority for both the county and the state.
— Ltpar1 / April 10
Privatizing jails is not the answer. Sure, it cuts costs, but at the expense of quality. Do you really want $10 security guards handling hardcore criminals?
[Sheriff Sandra] Hutchens is pandering to politicians while disrespecting her line staff and putting them in danger. [The deputy sheriffs union] is doing what unions have done for a hundred years: protecting their members.
— Keepdapeace / April 11
Imagine that Adam Elmahrek [author of the Voice of OC article in question] walked precincts and spoke at community meetings for a political candidate, and then the Voice of OC told him to either stop it or leave his job as a VOC reporter, and then Adam claimed he was being forced out because of his personal views. Would anyone think VOC was in the wrong?
That’s pretty much what is happening here. The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce has a policy for its ambassadors, who, as the name implies, represent the chamber, not themselves. Ambassadors need to take a leave from the post while they are candidates for office.
What is hard to understand about that? How is that unreasonable or unclear?
— Force Majeur / April 12
Force Majuer, why didn’t the chamber place him on leave when he ran for council in 2010? Not a good argument when dealing with “unwritten rules.”
It’s hard not to see this as retaliation.
— ShadyHU / April 12
Is [Santa Ana City Councilman Sal] Tinajero implying something by using terms like “all-Latino council”?
This particular council (regardless of any specific ethnicity) has given away as much, if not more, to developers over the last several years, and gave the unions enough rope that the city almost went bankrupt.
How does race or ethnicity figure into any of that?
— Al Simmons / April 12
This is a no-brainer idea. Anaheim is often involved with large, complicated deals that are in the millions of dollars. These deals have the ability to make some people very rich. We need to know who the council is dealing with on these types of transactions.
Look at the bed tax giveaway. We have a right to know who is lobbying these elected representatives and who is standing to benefit from their decisions.
— NotSorryForMe / April 9
This sounds simple and fair. If a deal is really a good deal for the city, its supporters shouldn’t have much of a problem convincing voters. I’d rather have voters approve these huge public investments in private developments instead of council members, who get contributions from the developers to run for office, contributions to stay in office, sweetheart deals, finders’ fees, commissions and all sorts of other financial windfalls once they’re out of office.
We’ve got to put a stop to this insider circle of greed.
— Lostinspace / April 6
Keep in mind that the entire state still has to pay for this boondoggle. So whether we benefit or not, Orange County will still either pony up higher taxes or see continued cuts to education and public safety.
It no longer matters where this thing is going. It needs to die.
— Cynthia Ward / April 9
Don’t hate the players, hate the game. You may not like it, but from Washington, D.C., to the OC, that’s the way things are done.
Looking at any individual, including Curt Pringle, and saying he’s doing wrong makes as much sense as blaming the TV weatherman for rain.
— Whatsupdoc / April 5