Commentary: Keep Out Of Town Lobbyists Out Of Costa Mesa

This commentary by Harold Weitzberg appeared in the Daily Pilot on July 17, 2012.  

Re. Commentary: Vista ruling benefits local governments, residents (July 13):

I was stunned to see the press coverage provided to Kevin Dayton, a paid lobbyist with ties to building and contractor groups. Under the guise of being an independent adviser, he waxes poetically about the horror of union control, prevailing wage and why we need a charter.

Oh, he forgets to mention he is the purported frontman for exploitative, outside rich developers and exploitative contractors who want to turn our city and parks into a paved parking lot of slurried take-out restaurants.

By the way, many local contractors are not in favor of this charter, despite claims that it helps construction costs.

Dayton criticizes the citizens of our city who shouted him down at a City Council meeting.

Hmm, why can that be? Let’s see. Citizens were given three minutes to speak. Dayton, a Sacramento lobbyist, was given unlimited time to speak by key developer members of the council.

After 10 minutes of his ranting, we all wanted to know why he was able to break the rules. I know that money talks, but I didn’t realize that the influence of outsiders could buy such access in our Council Chambers.

Let’s not mince words here. This charter stinks.

It’s a bad idea, and the people pushing for it are only thinking about their personal gain and the gains of their friends and business associates.

It does not solve any pension problems, it does not improve infrastructure, and it does not return control of the city to the citizens. It allows for cronyism, poor contracts and 10 years of misery without a reasonable opportunity to change.

I would personally like Dayton to keep his highly paid lobbying out of my city so that we can restore it to a safe, unified and prosperous city that takes into consideration all of the citizens of our city.

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