Local Economic Recovery
We cannot sacrifice the future of our city for short-term results that will not be sustainable. Similar to many California cities, Costa Mesa is facing immense budget shortfalls with a projected $30 million deficit. Costa Mesa has become dependent on revenue from South Coast Plaza, however consumer shopping habits have evolved and this change has been accelerated by the pandemic. As the last six months have shown us, we need to be adaptable and creative in our solutions and collaborate to create plans for an economically sound future, which I believe is something all Costa Mesans can get behind regardless of political affiliation. However, there is a third leg to the table, which is revenue. We need to look for additional ways to drive revenue to support the projects that will protect our city and its residents. I believe a critical first step to jumpstarting the local economy is allowing Costa Mesa business owners to safely operate and assist them in navigating through this unprecedented time.
The state has a top-down approach to planning for housing for its residents. The California Department of Housing and Community Development creates a regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) based on a projection for regional growth. These aggressive projections further challenge the infrastructure of cities like Costa Mesa without considerations to the impact on environment, traffic and existing residents. I believe in upholding Measure Y, which the citizens of Costa Mesa voted for so that they can decide what is best for our community.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living home operations have been a concern for Costa Mesa residents for several years. We need to be able to provide regulated support services without sacrificing our public safety. Zoning, supervision and support are needed with services prioritizing the needs of our community.
Police reform and defunding the police are not the same thing. We can drive the social justice and change we all want without compromise to public safety. I agree that there needs to be reform, however the rally cry of ‘Defunding the Police’ sends the wrong message and further creates fear in a public that has already been shaken. From my personal experience leading teams for national million and billion dollar organizations, there is always the concept of diminishing returns. The first thing that gets sacrificed when there are reduction of resources is usually training, as it is oftentimes the largest initial investment. The second thing that gets sacrificed is the quality of staffing, and third, the current staff that does not quit, has higher levels of exhaustion and stress. So now we have a police force that has less training, with lower quality candidates that have higher levels of exhaustion and stress. Personally, that does not sound like a great recipe. I am an advocate for building relationships with City Law Enforcement to ensure the City of Costa Mesa is attracting the best talent to safely protect the community.
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