Let me start with a true story involving me and Newport Beach Councilman Steve Rosansky.
So there I was, sitting at the Orange County Transit Authority building off Main Street in Santa Ana/Orange waiting for my noon appointment. In the lobby, I see this councilman and that councilman (from different cities), along with other lobbyists and politicos, walk in and out and I exchange “Hello’s” with each of them. Apparently, this is a very happening lobby.
Then, I see the elevator doors open and out comes Councilman and former Mayor Rosansky and the first thing I notice is that he’s not wearing a suit, like the other fancies, instead he’s wearing a Togo’s shirt and he’s pulling a cart. I put two and two together (because I am a corporate controller) and realize that he’s just finished delivering sandwiches from his Togo’s just down the street.
Our eyes meet and for the first time in years, he acknowledges me with a wry smile and a quiet “Hello.”
I respond with a “Hello sir.”
Rosansky then says, “I hope you choke on the sandwiches” as he walks through the double glass doors.
My buddy from Assemblyman Jim Silva’s office then walks in and asks me, “What was that all about?”
So it’s been just a bit over a year since I started writing for the Newport Beach Independent and it’s been a good year, mostly.
Whenever I hear from someone, or read something someone wrote about my columns, the recurring theme is primarily positive and with the same observation in them, I write as if I have nothing to lose.
And mostly, they are right, I’ve always written what’s on my mind and my mind is a bit crude and reckless sometimes. Plus, I do not really have anything to lose. I have no intention of running for city council for the next decade or two (until my kids don’t want to be around me anymore) and I do no business with the city.
The only real thing I have to worry about is surfing in Newport’s waters now after all the lifeguard brouhaha…
But it turns out I do have something to lose, and apparently, I’ve lost it.
You see, since 2006, I’ve been applying, on a mostly annual basis (missed a year when my triplets were 3 months old and another after my wife asked me for a divorce…), for the Parks Beaches and Recreation Commission in the city.
How have my attempts gone?
Well, there was a year when, during interview to be a finalist, former Councilman Don Webb took the time and liberty to personally criticize me for exercising my right to free speech on my old blog, to the astonishment of the other two councilmembers on the subcommittee.
Then there was that year, when I was a finalist, where former Councilman Dick Nichols swore up and down that he had voted for me twice, when in reality he didn’t even vote for me once.
So last year, as a finalist, I tried to count to four and only ended up mustering up one vote (thank you Nancy!).
This year? Well, according to the city clerk’s office, I turned in my application in a timely manner, but I did not even receive a call, or email, for an interview from the subcommittee made up of Newport Beach councilmembers.
Let’s see, in the four years I applied, I was interviewed four times, and a finalist in my first year applying and a finalist last year. A finalist two out four years. Not bad right?
But this year? Not even a phone call to be interviewed.
And I can’t help but wonder if it has anything to do with my “nothing-to-lose” style of writing.
Well, there was that one time where my editor Roger Bloom told me that if I ever ran into this particular councilmember in a dark alley, I’d better turn around and run for my life…
And I suppose I can be pretty harsh sometimes in my criticisms of councilmembers (The Kings of Newport Beach), their love, and fear, of the public employee unions, as well as their overwhelming desire to put the city into $150 million worth of debt to build a Taj Mahal/White Elephant/Albatross around our necks/Dog Park/Espresso Stand in the Park, but harsh enough to be cast down into the Not-Even-Interview-able category?
Harsh enough to wish that I’d choke on some delicious Togo’s sandwiches that Councilman Rosansky was gracious enough to personally deliver?
I, at least hope that they tipped him well for the prompt delivery.
And thank you for reading.