FOLEY RESIGNS FROM CITY COUNCIL
As many folks know by now, this afternoon Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Katrina Foley announced to the world via her Facebook page and a press release that she has decided to step down from the City Council to take the seat on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District School Board to which she was elected Tuesday. According to her announcement, which you can read in it's entirety HERE, she will step down from her council seat effective December 14, 2010 - the day she will be seated on the School Board.
HER CONTRIBUTIONS GREATLY APPRECIATED
For many of us here in the city who have appreciated her many times solitary voice of reason on contentious issues for the past 6 years, this is a major loss. Whether she had a chance to influence the vote on issues or not, she could always be relied upon to present a clear, well-reasoned opposing view to be considered.
NO REAL SURPRISE HERE
Certainly, not many of us thought she would actually be able to fulfill the requirements of a council seat and one on the School Board simultaneously, plus run her law firm and provide enough time to her husband and sons. We're happy she made her decision, even though our council will basically be left without a moderate voice.
HER TIMING IS INTERESTING
An interesting sidebar of this announcement is the timing. The new Costa Mesa City Council will be certified and seated on December 7th - a week before Foley departs. She will be part of the process of deciding the new mayor and mayor pro tem, since the meeting on the 7th will be the final scheduled meeting of the year. The council will next meet on January 4, 2011.
SELECTION PROCESS TO REPLACE FOLEY?
Also up in the air is the process by which a person to replace her will be selected. There is no official city policy for this process. The last time it happened was when Karen Robinson was appointed to the bench. The process that was followed at that time resulted in Eric Bever and Mike Scheafer receiving two votes each, over and over. Bever finally withdrew and Scheafer was appointed.
COUNCIL COULD PLUCK A NAME FROM THE AIR
It is my understanding that the new council could simply pull a name out of the air and have that person appointed if there are three votes to do so. Any person who is appointed must meet eligibility requirements - be a resident of the city and a qualified voter. However, any of the names being bandied about would meet that criteria because they are all currently city commissioners.
FREQUENTLY MENTIONED SUSPECTS
Those who are most prominently mentioned are Planning Commissioners Steve Mensinger and Colin McCarthy and, occasionally, Jim Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick may not be eligible because he was elected to a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board last Tuesday. In fact, it's possible that he will have to resign his planning commission seat for that reason. Also being mentioned is Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jeff Mathews - a member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee and a guy who, despite pumping large sums into Allan Mansoor's Assembly campaign war chest, has kept a pretty low profile.
PLANNING COMMISSION OPPORTUNITIES
It's possible that there will be at least two, maybe three, slots open on the Planning Commission. I wonder just how many cronies Jim Righeimer has left to fill those slots?
COUNTING THE BATTLEFIELD DEAD AND WOUNDED
So, let's tally up the damage over the past couple weeks. Righeimer gets elected to the City Council; Wendy Leece also retains her seat, but is being threatened by Supervisor John Moorlach with a recall effort in a few months; Katrina Foley resigns form the City Council and takes her lone voice of reason with her; City Manager Allan Roeder resigns effective in March, taking with him three dozen years of accumulated institutional knowledge and management skill; the new city council will select a replacement for Roeder, plus a replacement for retired Fire Chief Mike Morgan. Plus, you can add to the mix the rumors I hear that we might see a mass exodus of senior city staffers in the first quarter of the year in anticipation of a Righeimer regime that will likely involve a full frontal attack on their wages and retirements. This is really grim.
TRIANGLE SQUARE IS BACK AGAIN
And did I mention that Triangle Square is coming back before the Planning Commission at a SPECIAL meeting on November 16th? Yeah, no mention of the LED lights, but the ever glib and former mayor Peter Buffa will put on his song and dance outfit again and ask for a couple variances for his clients as they try to resuscitate that dying municipal white elephant.
NO PEP TALK FROM ME - READ THE CHUCKMEISTER
And, lest I be tempted to leave you with some kind of uplifting, positive statement, let me, instead, provide you with a link to my pal, Chuck Cassity's blog entry at Chuckmeister Unleashed that addresses the result of the election Tuesday. It's depressing, but a very interesting read. Just click HERE.
PLENTY OF FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Have a nice weekend, everybody. You've certainly got plenty to contemplate.