A Bubbling Cauldron
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Welcome to A Bubbling Cauldron, a blog dedicated to the observations and opinions of this writer. Most of the time the subject will be local politics and politicians - those issues and/or people affecting the lives of those of us in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Occasionally, I might write about something obscure that interests me. Or, I may just launch off into some philosophical rant if the urge moves me. I might even include comments by others from time to time.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mansoor's Legacy?
One of the interesting sidebars of the immigration situation that our young jailer/mayor initiated last December has been the apparent attempts by some blacks to provoke confrontation between themselves and Latinos.

Ted Hayes, the ubiquitous "homeless activist", showed up at a Costa Mesa city council meeting, stood before the council at the speaker's podium and praised our mayor for his "courage". During his little speech he stated that the immigrants were taking jobs from "my people" - I assume meaning blacks - and went on to state that "his people" wouldn't do the jobs for "slave wages". The implication was clear. Following Hayes' remarks, at subsequent demonstrations in the past few weeks other black "leaders" echoed his comments. Fortunately, the Latinos have remained calm and peaceful during these events and didn't take the bait.

So, we have yet another reason to "thank" our young jailer/mayor. Will he be the flash point that ignites the race war that Charlie Manson tried to start in the late 1960s when his disciples went on their murderous rampage? How would that be for a legacy, Mr. Mayor?

I can only hope that, as the campaign season begins in the next couple months, cooler heads will prevail and that we will finally have the opportunity to hear voices of reason. So far, most of the rhetoric has come from the rabid right as they heaped praise on the mayor, stroked his growing ego and made him the poster boy for intolerance.

It's going to be a very interesting summer.
10:14 pm pdt

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

A Leadership Template
Since the campaign season looms on the horizon, it's time for us to begin considering what the next few months hold for us as a covey of candidates start jockeying for position in the race for our votes in November. Of course, opinions differ on just what constitutes a good candidate for city government. Each of us, based on our background, bias and expectations, may have a different take on that subject.

I suspect most of us in Costa Mesa would just like to have people on the city council we can trust, who are willing to work hard on important issues and calmly debate them with their peers to do the best job possible for all residents of the community. We will likely gravitate toward candidates who share our values and goals for the future of our city.

As I consider candidates who will vie for my vote I use a kind of mental template against which I compare their qualifications. My template presently includes the following characteristics, not necessarily in order of importance:

INTELLIGENCE - I want a candidate with the intellectual capacity to understand the complex issues that will come before the council. That doesn't mean any candidate must be an "expert" in municipal government - we have an excellent city staff to help them navigate through the process. It does mean that any candidate I will consider must have demonstrated, either through academic achievement or professional accomplishment or both, that he or she has sufficient gray matter to do the job.

LEADERSHIP - I want a candidate with proven leadership experience. This doesn't necessarily mean military leadership, although that would be acceptable. Heck, in recent months a little combat command experience might have come in handy. I want a person to whom others look for guidance and direction. I want a person who has demonstrated the skills necessary to guide the discussion of complex and controversial issues and arbitrate resolutions.

ENERGY - I want a candidate with the energy and stamina to do the job. That doesn't necessarily mean youth. I wouldn't consider a young person based simply on age - just as I wouldn't discount an older person for the same reason. I want a person who has shown, through recent accomplishments, that there's sufficient fuel in the tank and horsepower under the hood to take on the tasks ahead.

VOLUNTEER SPIRIT- I want a candidate who feels our city is important and has demonstrated, through significant community involvement, a willingness to make it even better by volunteering time and energy to worthy causes.

VISION - I want a candidate who shares my vision for the future of this city. We don't have to agree on everything, but I want a person on the council who shares my core beliefs and has the skill to prioritize the challenges ahead so they can be met with success. I want a candidate who understands that Costa Mesa is not an island - it's part of a broader regional entity, the needs of which must be considered as critical issues are debated. I want a candidate who has a vision to lead this city into the future, not permit it to regress by espousing half-century old philosophies on social issues and pandering to the darkest side of a few people in this town.

COMPASSION - I want a candidate who wants to make our city a place for anyone willing to work hard and contribute to our society, regardless of ethnicity or religion. I want a candidate who will repudiate those who advocate exclusion of groups because of race or national origin.

EVEN-HANDEDNESS - I want a candidate who is willing to listen to all residents with courtesy and compassion and who will try to negotiate each issue to a fair, just conclusion for all residents, not just a vocal few.

MATURITY - I want a candidate who has the maturity to lead our city of well over 100,000 souls into the next decade. Typically, this maturity comes from time spent in the trenches, learning from experience. It's highly unlikely that I will feel comfortable entrusting the future of our city to the whims of the youth among us - those with the attention span of a gnat.

That's my list - at least part of it. I'm sure other elements will be added as we begin to see who the real candidates will be this year. I'll leave it to create your own, personal list and to do the homework necessary to make an informed choice in November.

***

I hope you will slide on over to Byron de Arakal's blog, Itchingpost.com, to read his most recent entry. It will be helpful to you as you begin to consider the upcoming election. The link can be found on my Useful Links page.
5:07 pm pdt

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Lighting Fields
You might recall a recent posting regarding lighting of a couple fields in the City of Costa Mesa. I posted it on April 21st and the text can be read by simply clicking on my archive 2006.04.16 at the bottom of this page.

That issue has taken on a life of it's own and may become a major factor in the November municipal elections, depending on how some local politicians and their appointees approach it in the next few weeks. If, as it appears might be the case, one or two of them choose to ignore the overwhelming needs of the broader community to placate a couple residents they might find themselves incurring the wrath of soccer moms throughout the city.

The editors of the Daily Pilot, our excellent local newspaper, today published an editorial supporting lighting the fields in question. Byron de Arakal, Parks Commissioner and commentator for that newspaper, also has a Watchdog piece on the subject today. The link for that commentary is as follows: http://www.dailypilot.com/opinion/story/45137p-68227c.html
This is not a "hot" link, so you'll have to type it or copy and paste it into the appropriate location on your browser to access it.

In addition, Byron has posted the first of what will be two entries on this subject on his blog, Itchingpost.com, which can be read by going to my Useful Links page and clicking on the appropriate link.

This issue, as explained in great detail by de Arakal, is critical to the well-being of the children of this community. I encourage each of you who read this blog to navigate your way to his page and read his entry.
12:28 am pdt

2006.10.29 | 2006.10.22 | 2006.10.15 | 2006.10.08 | 2006.10.01 | 2006.09.24 | 2006.09.17 | 2006.09.10 | 2006.09.03 | 2006.08.27 | 2006.08.20 | 2006.08.13 | 2006.08.06 | 2006.07.30 | 2006.07.23 | 2006.07.16 | 2006.07.09 | 2006.07.02 | 2006.06.25 | 2006.06.18 | 2006.06.11 | 2006.06.04 | 2006.05.28 | 2006.05.21 | 2006.05.14 | 2006.05.07 | 2006.04.30 | 2006.04.23 | 2006.04.16 | 2006.04.09 | 2006.04.02 | 2006.03.26 | 2006.03.19 | 2006.03.12 | 2006.03.05 | 2006.02.26 | 2006.02.19 | 2006.02.12 | 2006.02.05 | 2006.01.29 | 2006.01.22 | 2006.01.15 | 2006.01.08 | 2006.01.01 | 2005.12.25 | 2005.12.18 | 2005.12.11 | 2005.12.04 | 2005.11.27 | 2005.11.20 | 2005.11.13 | 2005.11.06 | 2005.10.30 | 2005.10.23 | 2005.10.16 | 2005.10.09 | 2005.10.02 | 2005.09.25 | 2005.09.18 | 2005.09.11 | 2005.09.04 | 2005.08.28 | 2005.08.21 | 2005.08.14 | 2005.08.07 | 2005.07.31 | 2005.07.24 | 2005.07.17 | 2005.07.01
To read previous entries please click above. An index of entries is available on the Archive Index page.

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West