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Costa Mesa is California's most transparent city, posting a wide array of public information on its website, including every check written by the city, legal fees and settlements, and the most detailed public employee compensation report in the nation. Costa Mesa also has enacted the Civic Openness In Negotiations (COIN) ordinance to provide stakeholders with unprecedented access to the city's labor talks.

Since 2011, the City has significantly expanded the amount of public information available on its website. Items posted online for the first time include: conflict of interest statements, campaign contributions to candidates and political action committees (PACs), legal fees and settlements, each check written by the City, council compensation, each city contract, city pension information, and a detailed breakdown of public employee compensation.