The people of Costa Mesa have been suffering from a lack of effective leadership for the past 5 years, resulting in expensive lawsuits, depleted police and fire departments, out-of-control high-density development, rising homelessness, issues with Sober Living Homes, and threats to our parkland. I will bring back trust and civility to the City Council, and address these and many other issues:
- Improve Public Safety: Crime is up 33% and our police force is understaffed. The fire department is also at dangerously low staffing levels while their call volume continues to escalate. Some firefighters work as much as 4,500 hours per year. That’s expensive and unsafe. My highest priority is to strengthen public safety by restoring staffing levels in our police and fire departments. I will eliminate the climate of hostility that exists between the City Council and our public safety employees, and will work personally with the Police and Fire Chiefs to fortify our public safety staff.
- Control High-Density Development: Since 2010, our City Council has been dominated by real estate developers who have encouraged high-density projects that are incompatible with surrounding neighborhoods. The recently-approved General Plan allows 5-story apartment complexes on Harbor and Newport Blvd. We will be crushed by traffic unless we elect new leadership. We must restore balance to real estate development in our city, focusing on the needs of our residents over out-of-town developer profits.
- Protect Neighborhoods from Nuisance Sober Living Homes: In the last 5 years, Sober Living Homes have multiplied, bringing crime to our neighborhoods. Recently, the City agreed to let one provider open two treatment facilities (50,000 square feet) one on Bristol and another on Airway. The patients are likely to move into our neighborhoods. The City Council, in conjunction with the residents, should take an aggressive stand against the bad Sober Living Home operators through vigorously-enforced, conduct-based laws aimed at rooting out criminal and nuisance behavior.
- Preserve and Expand Parks: Since 2010, we have experienced threats to Tewinkle Park (Big League Dreams) and Fairview Park (sports fields). We need new leadership that will preserve our parks, especially Fairview Park’s natural beauty. We should also acquire new parkland to address our need for sports fields.
- Reduce Homelessness: Homelessness is up 45%, threatening the value of our businesses and homes. We have to address this issue effectively with compassion and mercy. While there is no easy solution, we should explore permanent supportive housing and work with the county, non-profits, and neighboring agencies to reduce homelessness substantially.
- Be Nice: Too often, when residents raise concerns they are treated with disrespect by City Councilmen who call them “haters.” Bickering and personal attacks between councilmembers is out of control. I will be considerate and respectful of all points of view. We are all Costa Mesans. We don’t always agree, but we should be kind to one another.