Measure V Reduces Checks and Balances

This letter to the editor appeared in the Orange County Register on October 13.

COSTA MESA, Robin Leffler, president, Costa Mesans for Responsible Government: The proposed Costa Mesa charter does not provide residents more local control but instead transfers too much more power to the City Council.

Their claims of cost savings are unproven, unexplained and likely exaggerated.

In addition Costa Mesa is vulnerable to problems like those of the cities of Bell and Vernon because there are too many problems in the proposed charter, such as:

  • • One city councilman, based on undisclosed outside influences, wrote it.
  • • It enables favoritism, corruption, reduced competition and higher costs by exempting the city from the Public Contracts Code and allowing unlimited no-bid contracts.
  • • The proposed charter does not address current pension liabilities.
  • • The proposed charter omits the financial, purchasing and contracting controls recommended by the grand jury to prevent catastrophes like Bell and Vernon.
  • • Checks and balances are limited to consider charter revisions once every 10 years.
  • • Reduced checks, balances and public controls can lead to bigger government. “Local control” is a worthy ideal but this charter clearly gives less control to the locals.
  • • A charter form of government could be good but this charter is flawed. Costa Mesa deserves better.

Costa Mesans for Responsible Government strongly recommends a No vote on Measure V.