Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's This Foley Rumor?

Out of the blue this week Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner Steve Mensinger floated a message to his Facebook pals requesting that they join him in drafting Councilwoman Katrina Foley to run for the Board of Education Trustee Area II seat presently held by Michael Collier in November. In his typical bull-in-the-china-shop style, he didn't bother to ask Foley if she was interested before he launched this effort.

Here's an image of part of his Facebook entry:POSSIBILITY FOR MAJOR CHANGES
Now, you must admit this really gets the juices flowing. Collier's seat is one of four up for grabs this fall. School Board President Karen Yelsey, Vice President Walt Davenport and Trustee Judy Franco also must face the electorate. Holdovers this time around are Dave Brooks, Dana Black and Martha Fluor.

If Foley decides to make a run for Collier's seat, so to speak, it creates some interesting scenarios for our November municipal elections. If she did run, and was successful, that makes for some interesting potential demographic shifts on the Costa Mesa City Council come December.

Mayor Allan Mansoor is termed out - thank goodness for that - and we don't yet know if Wendy Leece will try to run for re-election - this time without Mansoor's coattails to ride. One must assume that our old carpetbagging buddy, Jim Righeimer, will run for Mansoor's seat. Remember, the perpetually inept Chris Steel ran nine times before he was finally elected. There might also be others who choose to enter the battle, especially if Leece decides to pack it in.

Among the folks who logically jump to mind as candidates would be current planning commissioners Colin McCarthy and newbie Jim Fitzpatrick and commission Vice Chair, Sam Clark. Heck, Mensinger might be trying to clear a spot for himself, too, by touting Foley for the School Board.

What about some of those folks who ran last time? Chris Bunyan, Chris McEvoy, Jeff Matthews, Bill Sneen and Lisa Reedy? Can we lure my friend, Bruce Garlich, back into the frey?

Let's just say, for the purpose of discussion, that Leece runs and wins and Riggy also wins a seat in the election. If Foley gains the School Board seat she must abandon her city council seat. That means that, come January, the Costa Mesa City Council would be one body short, requiring either a costly special election or the appointment of someone to fill out the 22 months of Foley's term. I'm betting on an appointment, considering the financial condition of our city.

I salivate like Pavlov's Dog when thinking about the wheeling and dealing that would go on between the four council members if that should happen. It would be a battle between the self-anointed "improvers" versus the developers. Talk about the clash of the Titans!

Would Gary Monahan try to appoint his pal, Matthews? Would Riggy try to appoint McCarthy? What about Mensinger? This is just too delicious to contemplate!

OK, all you potential candidates, start thinking about what this fall might be like. What fun!

And, lost in all my speculation, is Foley's impact on both elected bodies. I think her reasoned, articulate views and energy would be missed from the City Council dais. Her departure would eliminate any kind of balance on the council. We would be governed with a perpetual right-hand turn on the tiller, which wouldn't be good for our town.

She has not decided yet whether she will, in fact, run for the School Board based on my conversation with her today. However, I think she would give the stodgy, somnolent School Board some much-needed vitality and shake things up at a time when some shakin' is necessary. She's been active in school activities for seven years, including her current stint as Sonora School PTA President. She's tireless - I never had that much energy! - and would be an asset to the School Board at a time when fresh ideas and energy are essential.

So, your assignment this weekend is to come up with other names and scenarios assuming Foley does, indeed, run for the School Board. Drop me a note or post a comment. Let the games begin...

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Blogger familyguy said...

If the Riggy and Mensinger get elected to City Council, I'm moving

2/26/2010 06:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Eastsider said...

I've been following this. I don't get why she can't do both. Monahan does. Can you give us more info on that. I'd vote for her and think she should do it. Our schools need more work than our City right now. No term limits on School Board. Term limits on Council.

2/26/2010 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger G. Ridge Studio said...

The only thing your current post clearly illuminates is....we need more Katrina Foleys.

2/26/2010 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Lumpy said...

I'm with familyguy. We don't need anymore arrogance or pompasity on the Council. Almost made my breakfast come back on me!

2/26/2010 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger G. Ridge Studio said...

You know they are priming the pump when you see little nuggets like these...

philliesinfive wrote on Feb 24, 2010 10:47 AM:

" West makes some sound arguments, however judging by the number of "for rent" signs in town I disagree there is an increased demand for apartments. Glad these folks are talking about these issues. I'd vote for McCarthy and my friends would to. He's got some great ideas! It's an issue this City should work on. "

2/26/2010 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Humberto said...

Geoff, that's a good prediction. We should expect battles between the so called "improvers" and the developers. Here is the major difference between these two groups. While the former uses the local government to pursue social goals, such as "improving" the racial make-up of the city, the latter group is more interested in facilitating big economic groups to operate the city. Foley would be great in the District, but I doubt her goals are aimed in that direction. I would love to see her running for a bigger seat, either in the County or the state.

2/26/2010 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Eastsider, I checked with the City Clerk, who referred me to the State government code, section 1099, which addresses this issue. In this case, it appears that section (a) (2)applies. Section (a) says, "A public officer, including, but not limited to, an
appointed or elected member of a governmental board, commission,
committee, or other body, shall not simultaneously hold two public
offices that are incompatible. Offices are incompatible when any of
the following circumstances are present, unless simultaneous holding
of the particular offices is compelled or expressly authorized by
law:" Section (2) reads as follows: "(2) Based on the powers and jurisdiction of the offices, there is
a possibility of a significant clash of duties or loyalties between
the offices." Because of the overlap of the district and the city council, this seems to apply to Foley's potential situation.

As far as Monahan double-dipping at the Sanitary District and council, the City Attorney was consulted and affirmed that he could serve on both boards.

G. Ridge Studio, you're right.. we need LOTS more Foleys - on both sides of the political spectrum.

2/26/2010 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Well, now, the story gets even more interesting... I got a note from Linda Sneen, who preceded Michael Collier on the School Board, in which she told me she, too, is going to run for that seat in November! She feels she left the board with work still to do. She acknowledges that her friend Katrina will be a tough opponent, but feels strongly that she has much to offer and wants another shot at that seat.

I met Linda when her husband, Bill, was running for City Council during the last election. She would also bring a lot of energy to that job. This is going to be fun to watch...

2/26/2010 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Chris McEvoy said...

I am running again. I would be a third perspective to the improvers and developers, I would call myself a Costa Mesa Traditionalist. Our City is wonderfully unique and these other two groups don't recognize it and/or don't like it. The Traditionalist voice is not heard on the dias but I truely believe is a sleeping giant in our City.

This will be an exciting election.

With regards to Foley, I hope she stays on the Council, atleast until she is termed out.

2/26/2010 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Eastsider said...

Pot Stirrer,

Thank you for the legal research. I looked at the statute. It's pretty clear. Most importantly, it provides that any member of the public can challenge the act through a complaint to the attorney general. If found to be a clash, the officeholder automatically forefits the first office (City Council in this case) I still think she should consider pursuing school board--no term limits.

2/26/2010 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Gary Craig said...

I like the idea of a Costa Mesa traditionalist.
As someone once said in response to some Riggy induced spaztic, knee jerk piece of zoning rule, - There is a reason I live in Costa Mesa, and not Irvine. Contrary to popular belief among improvers, it is not money.
My family & I live here for the art community, proximity to the coast, and the diversity of income and ethnicity.
Costa Mesa in the 30 years i've been around has always been the most eclectic of coastal OC communities. I'd like to see it remain so.

2/26/2010 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

A reminder, I don't accept comments posted as "Anonymous".. pick a name.

One person asked what Collier is "doing that doesn't make him a viable choice to continue on the board?"

I don't have an answer for that because I, like almost everyone else in this town, doesn't pay much attention to the school board. I suspect those questions may be answered during the campaign in the summer and fall. Even if Foley decides not to run, Linda Sneen will create opportunities to ask and answer your question.

2/26/2010 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Eastsider, while I agree that Foley would make things very interesting on the school board, the fact that they don't have term limits isn't a positive, in my view. In fact, it's what has created a kind of stagnation of ideas, where old-timers on the board reject out of hand new views. I think term limits - maybe a max of three terms - should be considered.

2/26/2010 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Chris, I'm glad you're planning another run for City Council. During the last campaign your presence kept the others on their toes. With a couple years under your belt involving yourself in municipal matters I expect you'll make a bigger impact on the rest of the candidates. Sadly, sometimes it takes money to wage an effective campaign.

2/26/2010 08:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Tony D said...

Katrina Foley would be great on the school board. And so would Linda Sneen if she runs again.

But I gotta disagree with some of you on Riggy and Mensinger (even my buddy the Pot Stirrer). I know them both. They are good family men, they are committed to making Costa Mesa a better place to live and the city would benefit from their intellect and expertise. They will not be the friends of the extreme fringes, mark my words.

2/27/2010 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Tony D, my friend, I fear some of us do get enthusiastic in our condemnation of Riggy and Steve, but - at least in my case - it's more a matter of their style than anything else. Both men are developers and, as presidents of their firms, are used to calling the shots without questions being asked by underlings. That may work in their business, but it's inappropriate in municipal government, where rules of decorum - The Brown Act, for example - have been established to protect The People's interests. From what I know about both of them I have to agree that they are good family men and both have what they perceive to be the city's best interest at heart - from their perspective. Both have demonstrated while on the Planning Commission a heavy-handed approach - again, probably a product of their professions. That approach doesn't get it when you are a municipal leader. Goals are reached by open discussion and consensus, not by being a dictator. It should be a VERY interesting year...

2/27/2010 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Chris McEvoy said...

Gary, a lot of people feel the way we do, I am hoping to tap into that. Our voice should have a vote on the dais.

Geoff, got to agree with you on the money comment. Money would be an advantage of sorts but again I will not fund raise. My reason is it's not good practice to vote on an item before the City that has any ties to a campaign contribution. I did save up for a campaign statement this time around. Like you said it is the only mailer that is goes out to all the registered voters. I have definitely learned a lot about the City since the last election.

Tony D, it sounds like you got two people you'd like to see on the dais, all I can hope for is you hear what I got to say and like the vision I have for our City.

2/27/2010 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger familyguy said...

If you really believe Riggy and Messy are truly committed to this community just check out the agenda for the March 8th meeting under code enforcement priorities. It seems their goal is to make Costa Mesa one giant gated HOA community (probably run and profited by their company) if you recall they tried some of this stuff last year and council shot them down.

2/27/2010 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger familyguy said...

And one more thing....has anybody noticed the giant banner at Skosh Monahans again. It's a "save the fair" banner, I wonder if that makes it legal?

2/27/2010 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Arrrggh! :-( Here we go again!

2/27/2010 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Tony D said...

You might be right about their vision Family Guy. But first, I should make a point here. I'm not a Costa Mesa resident. However, in my city there are rules on parking overnight on residential streets and such that make the community better. Call them HOA rules if you like, but forcing people to abide by certain standards is not necessarily a bad thing. Just ask Sid Soffer's former neighbors. But that's what elections are for. If you don't like Steve and Jim's HOA type vision, or heavy handed style, then don't elect them.

But if you do elect them, know what you are getting. And my point is that they are not hardcore extremists. They are businessmen who will make decisions that they feel are in the best interest of the city.

I happen to like them both. But maybe that's enough reason not to vote for them. :-)

2/28/2010 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Annie said...

If Steve Mensinger is endorsing Katrina Foley for school board, then I would ask if her campaign is being funded by The Education Alliance, which is Jim Righeimer's baby.

3/03/2010 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Mesa North said...

I hope Katrina stays on council. She is effective in her current duties in Costa Mesa and still has some influence over the school district because she is so involved. We just need someone on the school board who can move the district forward with the joint use projects and I believe Sneen can do it.

3/03/2010 11:11:00 AM  

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