Only Two Running, So Far
The last word I had from the City Clerk last week is that, so far, only two candidates had actually pulled the necessary papers to run for City Council in Costa Mesa this year - Councilwoman Katrina Foley and former councilman, mayor and current Costa Mesa Sanitary Board member Gary Monahan.
FOLEY - BACK INTO THE BATTLES
Foley was the highest vote-getter in her run for city council four years ago and, although usually on the short end of many issues because she and Linda Dixon must frequently butt heads with the Mansoor/Bever/Leece majority, Foley continues to force important issues into the arena of public debate.
MONAHAN - FOR HIMSELF FIRST
Monahan - a three-term council member before being termed out in 2006 - will attempt to again elbow his way back to the municipal trough. You may recall that he is the only council member to ever qualify for a municipal pension. Right now that amount would be minimal, but another couple terms would go a long way to make his declining years as a pub owner and father of six more comfortable.
LET US COUNT THE WAYS
When considering candidates this year Monahan makes it pretty easy. All you have to do is remember that he thinks of himself first. Those of you paying attention will recall that a year ago he stood before the council and lobbied hard for the issue of a directly-elected mayor to be placed on the ballot. He was joined by then-mayor Allan Mansoor, who refused to even consider term limits for the position. Wisely, that scheme died on the vine. I think both Mansoor and Monahan envisioned themselves as "mayor for life". You may also remember that he campaigned for his current seat on the Sanitary District board as a guy who saw the need for reforms and would immediately move to make them if elected. Well, he did. He immediately moved to give himself and the other board members a pay raise and you, the rate payers, a rate increase. As I said, Monahan thinks of himself first...
BEVER AND DIXON?
The next few weeks should show us more candidates for the three positions on the city council this year. It is assumed that Eric Bever will run again - more's the pity for the city. His inept attempts at combining the job of mayor with that of a stand-up comic is getting pretty old. Linda Dixon is playing her cards very close to her vest. She may have had enough of having her position on the dais marginalized by the majority that has done everything possible except locking Dixon and Foley out of the chambers to ignore their presence and votes.
FISLER HAS TIME TO CAMPAIGN AGAIN
Rumors persist about Jim (I'm a realtor here in town) Fisler, current Vice Chair of the Planning Commission, occasional commenter here on this blog and part of the self-anointed "improver" group is going to run again. We have to assume he will make that decision within the next couple week. With the real estate market doing as poorly as it has been lately, Fisler will have plenty of time for municipal duties.
Former candidate Chris Bunyan has immersed himself in civic activities since he last ran and is presently immersed in saving Banning Ranch. In fact, he's footing the bill for a workshop on that subject from 6:30 - 8:30, Monday, July 21st at the Neighborhood Community Center near Lions Park for that purpose. He's been an off-again, on-again potential candidate. The last word I had from him was that he was not going to run... we'll see...
WHAT ABOUT RIGGY?
And then there's Riggy, the carpetbagging Planning Commissioner and Orange County GOP good old boy Jim Righeimer... we don't know if he's going to toss his hat into the ring this time around. If he does, that would make the election very interesting. He would undoubtedly get a lot of support - that means bucks - from the OC GOP. Riggy has said he's not running. If he did, he'd have to give up his weekly column on the Daily Pilot - a forum he's used to attempt to present "conservative views" to us all - when he's not pillorying applicants before the Planning Commission, that is. (Sorry, a smaller photo wouldn't accommodate his ego.)
I find myself wondering if we're going to see any new faces this time around. I hope so, although I'm not sure what a ballot with a dozen candidates will accomplish except to confuse the electorate.
THE FLAG GOES UP IN AUGUST
By the middle of August we'll know for sure who wants to compete for the opportunity to shape the city for the next four years. Then the fun begins... Stay tuned...