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    COSTA MESA, California—Funding for Pop Warner football led to a couple of hours of debate at the Costa Mesa City Council meeting.

    The City Council voted four to one, with Wendy Leece in dissent, to explore adding Jim Scott Stadium to the Joint Use Agreement with the Newport Mesa Unified School District and to pay a $10,000 past due bill Pop Warner football owes the District.

    Many citizens protested spending from the nearly one million dollar contingency fund for youth sports while vital city services such as police helicopters and staffing were being cut.

    Citizen Tamar Goldman stated, “However, financial support for these sports comes after basic city services like police, fire, and emergency medical availability. A city that can not afford to maintain a full police department at the optimum number, that has just lost an emergency medical coordinator, cannot afford a single dollar for football.”

    Some citizens, such as Perry Valentine, questioned the ethics of Steven Mensinger, former president of Costa Mesa Pop Warner, “But if you have people with apparent conflicts participating in the vote, influencing other council members, and participating in the discussion, that’s really questionable kind of stuff.”

    City Attorney Tom Duarte said, “as far as Council member Mensingerm he does not have a legal conflict.”

    Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer said, “A major attractant to bring families to this community is to have athletics and sports and good schools and good academics. Community should be about parents and families. It should not be paying high salaries, high pensions, and outrageous benefits.”

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