Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.
Click on each topic's headline to see the article in question.
Here's my two cents on the COIN ordinance: It has value in the same way that a single penny has monetary value.
Unless it discloses all of the backdoor deals, lobbyist contributions, special gifts, etc., the COIN ordinance fails to fully provide the transparency in government that the citizens of Costa Mesa deserve.
I mean, right now you can say that Costa Mesa has a transparent government ordinance in place, but it's deceitful to assume that the COIN ordinance is effective. It's like paying for a meal with a single penny. It comes up short.
Well, folks, let's be positive: If COIN is such a great idea, surely Mayor [Steve] Mensinger will be willing to extend it to private contractors and developers, right?
— Greg Diamond
If Mr. Mensinger was really concerned about transparency, then why did he vote against a transparency initiative requiring council members to disclose when they speak to lobbyists? And why doesn't COIN include the same provisions for when they are in negotiations with contractors and developers? Oh yeah, because that would limit the favors they give to their political supporters.
COIN isn't about being transparent. It's another attack on the city employees after [Mayor Jim] Righeimer and Mensinger have swung and missed on their previous attacks.
The next election can't come soon enough.
— UN EZ N OC
Huh? Menswinger is so not the poster boy for transparency. Like other commenters said, he voted against disclosure of council lobbyists.
Transparent? Hardly. Get your facts straight, Terry. Be Francke with us, please.
If anyone thinks the Costa Mesa City Council is transparent, they obviously cant see past the BS. Anything they do is anti-union.
We need to stop trying to build enough lanes for everyone to be on a "freeway." No more lanes.
Do some planning for future modes of transportation. If you have traveled to a foreign capitol, did you have to rent a car to get around? Probably not.
Money used for the ARC is coming from the transit component of Measure M. It cannot be used for freeway work.
To add the additional lane to the 405, another freeway project someplace else in the county would have to be cannibalized (great phrase). I am not sure what part of the county is going to step up and give up a needed freeway project.
Come on people, we need to think ahead. I still think rapid transit system is the way to go, especially with the baby boomers aging.
One hundred and eighty-four cities have built rapid transit systems. The capital cost may be high, and as most construction projects, there is the risk of cost overrun and benefit shortfall, and public financing is normally required.
But it would be an alternative to an extensive road transport system with many motorways. It would also allow higher capacity with less land use, less environmental impact and a lower cost.
Clearly the councilwoman [Michele Martinez] had to be aware that $10,000 was being given to her. If not, she is guilty of being the stupidest politician ever, which may not send her to prison, but should send her back to the returns department at Macy's.
— Luis Meza
Wow, yet another excellent piece of investigative journalism from the Voice of OC.
It sure looks like the Santa Ana mayor and council members want what the rest of us work hard for — and take our own risks to obtain and retain — handed to them as a free quid pro quo. Easy, sleazy, lazy and downright, stone-cold reprehensible.
I am getting really sick of the" I did not know," " I can't remember," "I'll hang up the phone on ya if you ask questions I don't like," "Someone else gave me money, and I had no idea they did that," "It was just a mistake" — the lame excuses go on and on. And, they are just that — excuses. And it will continue if there continues to be little to no accountability.
This corruption is sadly imbedded in the fabric of Orange County government both city and county. And it is going to be tough to combat due to the power and influence the citizens of the OC have given to elected officials.
And how did our elected officials acquire this power over us and how do they retain the power over us? Our own apathy.
This was the first time the city has undertaken to do a five-year strategic plan like this.
In the past, the city leaders would listen and respond to the residents and make sure required services were provided. As the budget failed, more and more special interests also added their demands into the mix, making it impossible for the city to do everything for everybody.
This strategic planning community outreach was a decent attempt to prioritize the real needs of the city and craft a plan that would assess those needs, review the budget and manage as many of the community issues as possible.
With Santa Ana not having done this before — most well-run cities don't use this type of process at all — this was a reasonable first attempt by the city to try and incorporate input from all sections of the community. Was it perfect? No. Did anyone who was willing to participate have the opportunity to do so? Yes.
What we have now is a group, SACReD, that doesn't like the outcome, so they are attacking the process. The residents that were motivated to participate have spoken, and that's the data that the city needs to base any strategic plan on, not the agenda of a special-interest group.
This is what democracy looks like.
— SA Resident
So assuming that [Anaheim City Council members Kris] Murray and [Jordan] Brandman are nothing more than above-the-board lovers of parks and recreation, why did the city drop the ball so badly on this one?
Supposedly city staff has known for quite some time that this land was not going to be used by the Orange county Water District for a recharge basin — "some time" being at least two years when OCWD started trying to get it rezoned from open space to commercial.
And apparently the city has millions of dollars just stacked up Scrooge McDuck-style, waiting to be spent on parkland.
So why didn't the city try to put this deal together before another party approached OCWD with an interest in the land?
The cynic in me would say that Kris Murray jumped into this fight knowing that it was a no-lose proposition for her. No matter what happens, she gets to burnish her cred as a park-lovin' voice of the people, all for the minimal effort of writing some letters and showing up to a few meetings. It's less work than actually getting a park built.
Unless the city plans on putting five to six people in each apartment, this won't put a dent in the homeless population around Costa Mesa. And who would potentially be choosing who gets placed and who must remain on the streets.
I wonder if the city would enforce its own ordinance for the excessive calls for service that would certainly be coming from a place like this.
— Muffin Top Bob
I think we should be more properly called commenters rather than commentators.