Candidates And The "Signing" of Triangle Square
The filing closing day for the November elections was last Friday, August 6th with the exception of those races in which the incumbent chose not to run. Potential candidates in those races have until 5:00 p.m. on August 11th to complete and submit papers. Locally, the Costa Mesa Sanitary District race in which incumbent Gary Monahan has chosen not to run remains open until Wednesday.
Here's a rundown for the Costa Mesa-related races:
COSTA MESA CITY COUNCIL
With 2 seats being contested, here are your 5 candidates: Incumbent Wendy Leece; carpetbagger and Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer; former candidate and school teacher Chris McEvoy; newcomer and proponent of medical marijuana dispensaries in our city, Susan Lester and last-minute filer Chad Petschl. Nobody has heard of him, so I'm going to try to get information on him soon.
COSTA MESA SANITARY DISTRICT
With 3 seats being contested: Incumbent Arlene Schafer; Incumbent Bob Ooten; Former board member, council member and Mr. Fish Fry, Mike Scheafer and rookie Planning Commissioner and self-anointed water guru, Jim Fitzpatrick.
MESA CONSOLIDATED WATER DISTRICT
Division 4: Incumbent Jim Atkinson
Division 5: Incumbent Shawn Dewane and Tax Professional Peter Meuter
Division 2(short term): Appointed Incumbent and former Planning Commissioner Jim Fisler; Current Sanitary District Board Member and recently-retired long-time coach and teacher at Estancia High School Art Perry; Business owner and former Sanitary District Board Member and long-time community activist Dan Worthington.
NEWPORT-MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Trustee Area 2: Incumbent Michael Collier; Lawyer and Costa Mesa Council Woman Katrina Foley
Trustee Area 4: Incumbent Karen Yelsey
Trustee Area 5: Incumbent Judy Franco; Retired Municipal Administrator, Loretta Zimmerman
Trustee Area 7: Gloria Alkire; Incumbent and former long-time Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner Walt Davenport
MANSOOR PERPETUATES THE LIE ON THE BALLOT
By the way, I see from his ballot statement that Mayor Allan Mansoor and candidate for the 68th Assembly seat being vacated by Van Tran is perpetuating the falsehood on his ballot statement that he's a Deputy Sheriff. He quit that job the end of last year and it's a real shame that the system permits him to mislead the voters with such a blatant lie. Such is life, I guess. It probably won't be the last time he lies to his constituents...
TUNE IN FOR THE "PETER BUFFA" SHOW MONDAY
Monday's Planning Commission meeting should be very interesting. Among the items on the agenda is the proposal, ramrodded by former Costa Mesa mayor, all-around funny guy and consultant Peter Buffa, to turn Triangle Square into a mini-Las Vegas. Yep, the pitch will be to permit two HUGE LED (light emitting diode) signs on the facade of Triangle Square, one at the intersection of Newport Blvd. and Harbor Blvd., that will be 15 feet wide by 20 feet high! The second, and even more fun, will wrap around the facade just below the former NikeTown dome and will be - are you ready? - 10 feet high by 96 feet wide! That's right, almost a third the length of a football field wide! According to the drawings included in the staff report, you'll be able to see parts of that sign from Broadway, near the corner of Newport Blvd., all the way around to 19th Street nearly to Harbor Blvd. - a more than 200 degree arc!
Now, we're told that there will be no spill-over illumination from either sign into residential neighborhoods. OK, if you say so.
ARE THEY REALLY NECESSARY?
These signs are apparently necessary to draw folks into the nearly dormant municipal white elephant and oxymoron. Several owners have tried, and failed miserably, to make things work at Triangle Square. The current owners are attempting to rejuvenate it and think these signs will do the trick. They will advertise stores and events at the shopping center and, at least as originally proposed, will also advertise national and regional products and events. I suspect that, with more than 100,000 cars passing that location each day, the owners will be able to make a tidy pile of money for advertising on the signs. According to the information provided, the signs will display an image for a minimum of 4 seconds before changing. I imagine Councilman Gary Monahan will be very happy that the patrons of his gin mill will be able to walk out the front door and see ads for his competitors, The Sutra Lounge and The Yard House glaring away only a block down the street.
WHAT WILL BE ON THE SIGNS?
What will those signs advertise besides Triangle Square businesses? Will they advertise our massage parlors, tattoo parlors and medical marijuana dispensaries? Will they carry political ads? Imagine an array of Allan Mansoor smiley faces looking down at you as you are heading for the beach! Yikes!! Who decides the content? Once that genie is out of the bottle will there be any restriction of the content?
IS ENOUGH ENOUGH?
So, do you think the City of Costa Mesa needs any more garish signage? Is this the way our city is going? Just drive down the 405 through Westminster and Huntington Beach any night to see what this may end up looking like. The lights on some of the signs adjacent to the roadway are so bright they almost fry your retinas! Do we really want to emerge from the ditch at the end of the 55 Freeway to find ourselves forced to put on sun glasses at night as we wait through two or three cycles of the traffic signals at 19th Street and Newport Blvd.? Do you want to be distracted by a 15X20 image of a scantily-clad model luring you to the Sutra Lounge while waiting to make a left turn onto Harbor Blvd. off Newport Blvd.? Hmmm. Maybe this isn't such a bad idea after all! The discussion is going to be interesting, regardless the outcome.