Sunday, July 5, 2009

CM PRESS # 742


After making what some consider to be negative comments about his fellow Parks and Recreation Commissioners and writing some completely false things about us, PRC Commissioner Galitski wrote the following in the Daily Pilot:

galitski wrote (in theDaily Pilot) on Jul 2, 2009 1:44 PM:

" I never trashed my fellow commissioners, the press will say what they want... you should know that's what sells papers. Nor will I hide behind annonymous names to make statements. I am a citizen just like you, I base all of my decisions on public comment, I respect those who come and speak before us- even Millard. Share your opinions and thoughts at our next commission meeting. We would love to hear from you and that is how things get changed. I am not on any special agenda... I am just trying to do the right thing for the city. " (emphasis added)

Notice how Galitski worked our name into his comment, and in a snide and childish fashion, ("even Millard") even though there was no reason to put it there. Ha, ha, funny, huh? The guy's a real card.

Just to be sure you're clear about this, Galitski is on the Parks and Recreation Commission that recently voted to stop Costa Mesa residents from using the gym in the Downtown Community Center on Sundays so Santa Ana based Liga Azteca Basketball could use the facilities owned by the citizens of Costa Mesa.

Citizens of Costa Mesa (not Santa Ana) pay Galitski and the other commissioners $ 100 each per meeting to use proper judgment to benefit Costa Mesa citizens, not Santa Ana residents. In other words, they work for the citizens of Costa Mesa, not for the, ah, residents, of Santa Ana.

Back before Galitski was appointed to this commission, we suggested to some improvement minded people that he might be worth a try on the commission. Why? Not because of anything substantive, but because he was associated with some people who we felt were a positive influence on our city, and one of his associates had helped out Improvers several years ago, and at that time we had no negative thoughts about him.

Don't get us wrong, we don't claim that Galitski got the seat because of our suggestion. The truth is that we don't know if anyone even considered our suggestion. But, we did want to mention that we were more than passingly aware of Galitski before he got his appointment, and we did want to be clear that we had no real impression of where Galitski stood on issues. However, from what little we did know, we thought he might be on the right track.

These days, we have a much clearer picture of Galitski, as he's now tipped his hand more than once and in doing so has fulfilled Socrates' truism: "Speak that I may see you."

Now, a few more words on this influence business, just to be completely clear. The CM PRESS doesn't have, nor do we claim that we have, an iota of influence different than any other activists who pay attention to local matters and who frequently give their opinions about our city in public. 'Nuff said?

Here's a major reason why these commissions are so important--the two Farm Teams
The Parks and Recreation Commission and the Planning Commission often serve as informal farm teams for the City Council.

Only the most naive or most disinterested might think that people are appointed to these commissions because they're good planners or know which trees are to be pulled or left in the ground or solely because they supported various Council candidates.

Commissioners are potential City Council candidates in waiting. Even the commissioners may not be aware of this, but savvy Councilmembers and ordinary activists in the city are watching how they do their jobs, how they vote, how they handle themselves, and what kind of political leanings they have.

Although very few people ever attend Planning Commission meetings and even fewer attend Parks and Recreation Commission meetings, the CM PRESS tries to attend as many of these meetings as possible.

One major reason we do so is to see what the commissioners are made of. We want to know who might be good for the improvement of Costa Mesa if they are encouraged to run for, and if they win, a seat on the City Council.

Generally, you can't get a good sense of this just from watching the meetings on TV. You have to kick the tires, as we say at the used car lot. Even when we don't say anything at public comments or about specific issues,we're usually there and we're watching, listening and weighing.

So, what about Galitski?
You may have a different opinion, but we've seen all we need to see of Galitski. We have his number.

He's shown who he is with his own words in the Daily Pilot.

If he has any aspirations for the City Council (and we don't know that he does), we'll be sure to give our further opinions here in the CM PRESS.

But, maybe we have it wrong. What do you think?
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Alaska, like California, recognizes libel per se as a cause of action in addition to libel per quod.

Free speech has its limits. Damaging another with a false statement of fact, and then claiming that you were just giving an opinion won't usually shield a defamer from liability.

Stay tuned.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

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