Fairgrounds Purchase a Go, Peekaboo Mansoor, Fireworks and Daily Voice RIP
OK, here we go! With their reported unanimous vote in closed session tonight the Costa Mesa City Council authorized the purchase of the Orange County Fair and Events Center. Whew!
TRIO TO HAND-DELIVER IT TO SACRAMENTO
Wednesday City Manager Allan Roeder will accompany council members Katrina Foley and Gary Monahan to Sacramento to personally deliver the proposal to the office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, meeting the deadline imposed upon the city during their "exclusive" negotiations.
HOLDING OUR BREATH
No one I've spoken with has a clue whether the State will find the proposal acceptable or not, so there will be lots of crossed fingers around these parts until word is received from the Governor's office.
THANKS TO ALL INVOLVED
Thanks to Roeder, Becky Bailey-Findley and the entire team who has been burning the midnight oil to put this offer together. Somehow, "thanks" seems hardly adequate.
MANSOOR PLAYS PEEKABOO
Tonight's meeting was another strange one. When the council came out of closed session - only about 15 minutes late - Mayor Allan Mansoor was nowhere to be found so Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece took over and began the meeting. Then, during Council Member comments he mysteriously re-appeared and took over.
QUICK PITCH WITH THE AGENDA
The very first thing he did was to suggest moving the Fireworks issue forward - it was the last item on the agenda - to be heard immediately even before the Consent Calendar. He met with opposition by Leece and Foley, who indicated that many people who planned to speak didn't anticipate the issue being heard at the beginning of the meeting and might not be in the auditorium to speak. Those logical complaints fell on deaf ears and the three guys voted to hear it next.
GARY GOT HIS WAY
After much discussion and public input the council voted 4-1 to add another fireworks sales hour on July 4th (Leece voted no) and then voted unanimously to return "hand-held devices" into the inventory of approved fireworks. Man, I hope they don't regret that move.
MANSOOR AND MONAHAN - "WE'RE OUTTA HERE!"
The reason for moving the issue forward became crystal clear when Mansoor called for a "brief 5-minute break". When it was over both he and Monahan had left the building and were not seen nor heard again for the rest of the meeting! Monahan got his issue addressed early so he could go pull beer pumps and I wonder if Mansoor had a fund raising event scheduled for this evening? Regardless, he didn't earn his pay tonight, for sure.
DAILY VOICE TO FOLD
On another interesting note, Sunday Rick Reiff at the Orange County Business Journal reported that former Daily Pilot publisher Tom Johnson and his partner, William Lobdell will abandon their fledgling news outlet, The Newport-Mesa Daily Voice, after less than a year in operation. According to Reiff's report, Johnson will join Laguna Beach-based Firebrand Media as publisher of two weekly free newspapers - the Laguna Beach Independent and the soon-to-be-launched Newport Beach Independent. No mention was made about a "Costa Mesa" version.
MORE INFO PENDING
I knew this was coming but couldn't talk about it until "official" notification. I guess Reiff's article constitutes that notification. I've tried to contact Tom Johnson for more information but have received no reply yet. We don't know for sure, but assume, that these new efforts will have an online presence, too. No word whether Bill Lobdell will be joining this new adventure. I'll report back when I get more information. In the meantime, I wish Tom well with this new gig.