Quality of Life
Prior to seeking public office I experienced loud music and car horns honking literally day and night. People parking cars and dumping trash and littering our streets. Crime on the west side was going unchecked. Most people in Costa Mesa did not experience these things directly at their home. But too many neighborhoods on the west side were in need of being cleaned up. I think many people in our city realized that and saw that it affected all of Costa Mesa.
I ran for council because my concerns were falling on deaf ears. When I was elected I had an open door policy from the beginning. Every community in our city was important to me, and I will continue that approach.
Revitalizing Our Economy
The City Council must pursue policies that encourage job growth and economic activity. This starts with ensuring our city resources are being properly utilized and taxpayer dollars are not being wasted. An example of this from when I was on the city council was closing the job center which was costing the taxpayer about $100,000 per year but was not being used by many people from Costa Mesa nor was it placing them in meaningful employment. In fact, the center on average only placed about thirty people per day, many of whom came from other cities. And despite the job center being in place, we still had a lot of loitering on the streets which the job center was supposed to prevent.
At the time, a private sector business called Labor Ready complied with the law and required that all people seeking employment through them follow the rules. This insured that employers and job seekers found work in legal and ethical ways.
Our community’s safety is near and dear to my heart and will always remain a top priority. During my time as a Deputy Sheriff I saw many people who were here illegally committing additional serious crimes, and that they were being released back into our community after serving their time. As a result I put forward a proposal to work with ICE to make sure that anyone who was arrested during the normal course of an officer’s duties would be screened and ICE would be contacted.
This effort resulted in over 1,300 criminals who were here illegally bring turned over to ICE. The numbers included sex offenders, robbers, burglars, and other violent criminals. I am still amazed even in the wake of Kate Steinle’s murder, among many others, by an illegal alien, that our federal government has yet to take a common sense approach of cooperation with local law enforcement, instead political correctness prevails and these dangers are ignored.
Public safety isn’t merely based on hiring more police officers to put on the streets. To be clear, I fully support our police chief and the members of our police department in doing their job and making sure they have the resources they need, including the right amount of officers. But, thanks to AB 109 and Prop 47 it is not that simple. You could hire 500 new officers and put them on the street today, but it would not change the crime statistics, even if they arrested one person each, because many crimes now are cite and release violations and fewer are doing any real time in prison – so most of the 500 would be right back in Costa Mesa committing more crimes. Instead, addressing the problem areas of the city, including the motels, will go further in combatting crime than simply putting more officers on the street.
Homelessness is a multi-faceted issue. In Costa Mesa, we need to continue to address homelessness from both a public health and public safety perspective. Specifically, Costa Mesa has several obsolete motels where homelessness and crime are rampant. It is crucial that the city take steps to revitalize the motels, as well as focus on combatting homelessness of the many individuals who call these motels home.
When it comes to development, I will weigh the pros and cons, take public comments into consideration, and make an independent decision. We need to make smart decisions about the future of Costa Mesa, and that includes allowing reasonable growth so that the future residents of Costa Mesa have the same economic opportunity afforded to current residents. The no-growth initiative, or ballot-box zoning effort, is ill-conceived and could have an extremely harmful effect on Costa Mesa’s future.