Monday, June 26, 2017
His enemies may define his effectiveness — updated

His enemies may define his effectiveness — updated

May 10

Judge the Mayor by his enemies

“Judge a man by the reputation of his enemies.” Arabian proverb

“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Council commentary, remarks in the Daily Pilot, and a few posts in the blogosphere illustrate using questions not to get information but to present an accusation or to redirect attention. Presenting an accusation in this manner is often just a disguise for unfounded allegations. It’s inflammatory and prejudicial.

At a recent Council meeting we had a chronic commenter demand answers to such questions as:

“Isn’t it true that your task force is being labeled a secret committee because it isn’t covered by the Brown Act?

“Isn’t it true your audit of the 60th (celebration) is similar to Chris Christies’ own attorney investigating that city’s scandals?”

All he lacked was fact, logic and a reasoned argument. He had plenty of anger and ample attribution for his quotations.

Change the subject

We can see redirection in a knee-jerk comment after an article in the Daily Pilot. The “Mayor’s Art of Leadership” raises a lot of money for Costa Mesa high schools’ art programs. This year’s event honored an early mayor, Norma Herzog, who had a lot to do with growing Costa Mesa and driving the building of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

In his “State of the City,” report during that event, the Mayor noted and praised the many accomplishments of the Public Services, Police, and Fire departments. He commended private enterprises that have helped Costa Mesa.

Nothing to complain about here, right? No chance to insult the Mayor – he was honoring a woman who directed Costa Mesa toward viability, success and growth, right? Wrong!

The commenter cried:

“I’d like to know how Rig pats himself on the back for the Fairview Park Wetlands and Riparian Habitat?” (Sic)

(A rational Costa Mesan responded, “Actually . . . had you been there supporting the arts programs of the two high schools, you would have NOT heard the Mayor say the word “I” once. Instead, in highlighting recent city achievements he commended the city’s hardworking staff, including Police Chief Gazsi, former Fire Chief Arnold and current Chief Stefano, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Munoz.)

Neither of these commenters attends events to help the youth – or other residents. Instead, they confine their efforts to flaming, trolling and insulting those who are improving and growing the City.

So, if we were to judge the Mayor by these enemies, we’d have to say his enemies are rude and uninformed people who are unable to focus on a subject or to raise a logical argument. And we might even have to add obtuse and bigoted.

If the Mayor arouses the enmity of fools, and the support of productive residents  . .

Perhaps by this measure, too, he’s doing well.

(Full disclosure: we’ve had several heated discussions with the Mayor during the past year and found him to be courteous and very well informed. Perhaps he’s not always so. And maybe, our demonstrating knowledge of the issue and using reasoned argument doesn’t raise his ire like interrupting proceedings to demonstrate cluelessness does.)

 Addendum May 12:

The rational response mentioned above provoked a response that illustrates the issue of cluelessness mentioned near the end:

“. . .And as for not supporting the schools, all the free tickets to the dinner were given to hizzoner’s (sic) friends, naturally. I’m betting you got one.”

The Mayor’s friends bought tickets to support the arts programs. The Mayor’s “non-friends” bought tickets. Some companies bought tickets and gave them away – the money still went to the arts programs. So, getting free tickets isn’t what supports the arts – buying the tickets is. Both liberal and conservative folks paid for tickets in order to support the kids.

The commenter seems resentful that she didn’t get a free ticket.

We think that the kids studying art in Costa Mesa should be resentful that she and her ilk didn’t contribute to their education. If six of them worked together they could send one of their number to the event to actually see and hear what transpires. That’s if they could decide who gets the “free ticket.” It might be bloody.

The commenter she offered to bet with didn’t get a free ticket. 

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