Saturday, June 12, 2010

Election Numbers & Fairgrounds Future

COUNTING CONTINUES
The pace of change with the primary election numbers has slowed, but the folks at the Registrar of Voters office keep on counting so the numbers continue to change. As of Saturday most of the races remain the same.



MANSOOR'S LEAD SECURE

Allan Mansoor's lead over Long Phan has slightly diminished to just under 70%, but is still unsurmountable. He will face Democrat Phu Nguyen for the 68th Assembly seat in November.
LEECE'S SEAT GONE
Wendy Leece seems to have lost more ground in the race for one of the six seats on the 68th Assembly District Republican Central Committee. Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commissioner (and BIG Mansoor supporter) Jeff Mathews leads her by enough votes now for the final seat that his position seems secure.
MEASURE "C" LANDSLIDE AFFIRMED
Measure C, which locks in the zoning for the Orange County Fair and Event Center continues to be a landslide, with 9,687 voters (87.4%) who cast ballots on this issue voting a resounding YES!
IS THE FAIRGROUNDS REALLY SECURE?
Here's something to chew on for the next couple days.

VOTER APPROVAL NOW REQUIRED
With the overwhelming passage of Measure C the voters of Costa Mesa have made clear their preference for the Fairgrounds to remain basically the same. To change the uses of the Fairgrounds if sold by the State to Costa Mesa or anyone else it will require not only going through the whole Planning Commission/City Council process, but will also now require approval of the voters in Costa Mesa before anything can transpire.

LATINO CAUCUS THREAT
With that in mind, and with the specter of the Latino Caucus blocking the purchase by Costa Mesa because of the recent self-serving move by Mayor Mansoor and his friends on the City Council to declare our city a "Rule of Law City", I find myself wondering if the State might not step back and shift gears.

STATE PREVIOUS THREAT
You may recall that last year representatives of the State sent a harshly-worded letter to Costa Mesa, warning it NOT to do anything that might devalue or interfere with the sale of the Fairgrounds. We ignored that warning and went ahead with the zoning change and Measure C. However, Measure C only becomes effective IF the property is sold.

HOW ABOUT A LONG LEASE INSTEAD?
I wonder if our "friends" in Sacramento might decide to pull the property off the market and, instead, negotiate a long term - like 99 years - lease for the property instead? That way it remains in the hands of the State and, as such, is not subject to our zoning restrictions. With a long lease many developers would find that opportunity for use of that property to be quite desirable. We could see, literally, anything on that 150 acres - homes, commercial development, etc. Our "friends" in Sacramento could cut a juicy financial deal with lots of bucks up front to help with the budget and still have a long-term payout from the lease. And, they could get back at Costa Mesa for ignoring their warning and, very effectively, give us the finger!

MAYBE A FLASHY CASINO?
The potential for a very different mix of lessors is interesting to speculate about. Most of the apparently sympathetic "partners" the City has been dancing with in recent months probably couldn't come up with the up-front cash to make such a long lease work. But, maybe one of the now-wealthy Indian tribes would like to work a land swap for a long lease on 150 acres of prime urban real estate, close to three freeways, for a nice, new dazzling casino! You know, something that would make the Trinity Broadcasting facility on Bear Street look like a 25 watt bulb by comparison.

OR A PORK FACTORY?
Or, maybe, how about a nice, aromatic hog farm? Yes sir, that would be a nice addition to our community, wouldn't it? All those lovely ocean breezes we tout would carry the fragrance of that new industry through all of north Costa Mesa.

NO WORD FROM THE "FAT LADY" YET
I have a feeling Measure C may not be the end of this drama...

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

New Election Numbers & Budget Workshop

MORE VOTES COUNTED
The election counts keep changing as more votes - provisional and walk-ins - are tallied.





LEEC
E LOST HER SEAT, SO TO SPEAK
None of the races mentioned earlier have changed except Wendy Leece has apparently been leap-frogged by Janet Nguyen for the 6th and final Republican Central Committee Seat for the 68th Assembly District. As of around 6:30 Wednesday night Nguyen has 7,058 to Leece's 6,764, a swing of nearly 300 votes from very early this morning.

NUMBERS CHANGED, NOT PERCENTAGES
In the 68th Assembly District race the new, slicker-coiffed Allan Mansoor has tallied 15,262 votes (73.8%) over Long Pham's 5,415.

In the 47th congressional race, Van Tran's lead expanded to 51.8%, 6,297 votes.

The numbers for Measure C have changed, but not the percentages. "Yes" - 8,843 (87.2%), "No" - 1,301.

Overall, 328,443 Orange County ballots were cast (20.5%). 101,612 Democrats voted (19.7%). 203,586 Republicans voted (29.3%).

I'll continue to update the numbers as they change, if they change.

***
COMMUNITY BUDGET WORKSHOP THURSDAY
A reminder... Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall in Conference Room 1A, City Manager Allan Roeder and Budget and Research Officer Bobby Young will conduct a Community Budget Workshop for any residents interested in knowing about the proposed 2010/2011 municipal budget. Typically, no council members are present at this meeting.

INFORMAL AND USER-FRIENDLY
In years past this has been a fairly informal event, with the same slide show presented to the City Council at it's Budget Study Session Tuesday afternoon. (You can watch that presentation HERE) Normally, this a much less structured, user-friendly event at which residents are encouraged to ask questions and offer their views.

NOT MANY ATTEND
Last year there were approximately a dozen folks who showed up, if you count those people who came and went during the meeting. In prior years there were only two or three of us there. Even though the study session provided good information and is available for viewing on Channel 24 (99 on ATT UVerse) and via streaming video on the city web site, this workshop has been quite informative in the past.

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All Precincts Counted...

LOW TURNOUT, AS EXPECTED
With all the precincts accounted for, fewer than 20% of all Orange County registered voters chose to cast a ballot on June 8th. Of the 1,603,312 registered voters, only 316,297 (19.7%) voted and just under half of those, 146,128, chose to vote by mail. County-wide, only 97,703 (18.9%) of Democrats voted, while 196,659 (28.3%) of Republicans cast a ballot.

MEASURE "C" WINS RESOUNDINGLY
In the race that hit closest to home, Costa Mesa's Measure "C" - which locks in the current zoning of the Orange County Fair and Event Center property if it is sold by the State - only 9,864 registered voters (17.1%) decided the fate of that property. Of those, 8,599 (87.2%) voted "Yes". Yep, 5/1000ths of the registered voters in Orange County said, "We want the Fairgrounds to remain a Fairgrounds!" Now, let's see if we can actually put a deal together...

MANSOOR TROUNCES PHAM - WILL MEET PHU NGUYEN
In the 68th Assembly race nearly 23% of the 134, 626 registered voters turned out. 15.5% of registered Democrats voted, giving Phu Nguyen 57.7% of their votes. 22.8% of the registered Republicans voted, and gave Allan Mansoor 76% of their votes, defeating Long Pham by more than 10,000 votes. He received 48.2% of the TOTAL votes cast in that district. What does this mean for November? Who the heck knows?!

SANCHEZ FACES VAN TRAN IN NOVEMBER
In the 47th Congressional district, only 9379 (9%) of the registered Democrats turned out, but gave Loretta Sanchez all their votes. 10,900 (15.8%) registered Republicans voted and gave Van Tran 5,453 (50%) of their votes. The November election should be very interesting in this race.

WENDY WINS IN MUSICAL CHAIRS
Oh, yes. It looks like Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece nosed-out Supervisor Janet Nguyen, 6,564 to 6,509, for the final seat in the 68th Assembly District Republican County Central Committee. She joins Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jeff Mathews, who finished 3rd for the six seats.

COSTA MESA COUNCIL RACES WILL SOON BEGIN
Now comes the really fun part - the announcement of candidates for Costa Mesa City Council for the November election. Two seats will be contested - Wendy Leece's seat, which she is expected to defend, and Allan Mansoor's vacant seat.

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Pre-Midnight Local Election Returns

MIDNIGHT RESULTS
As the clock sneaks toward midnight, here are some results of interest from the election tonight. I'll update them with another post tomorrow.



MEASURE "C"
BY A LANDSLIDE
I go to bed fully expecting to find Measure C a winner by an 80+% margin.

MANSOOR "SQUEAKS IT OUT"
Allan Mansoor with 75% of the vote. Will face Phu Nguyen in November.
TRAN VS. SANCHEZ IN NOVEMBER
Looks like Van Tran will take on Loretta Sanchez in November
WENDY MIGHT MAKE THE CUT
Neck and neck with Supervisor Janet Nguyen for a spot on the 68th Assembly District Republican Party Central Committee.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

VOTE YES ON MEASURE "C"


When you hit that voting booth Tuesday please don't forget to vote YES on Measure "C".

PROTECTS THE ZONING
Measure "C" protects the zoning of the Orange County Fair and Event Center from potential capricious city councils in the future. It requires another vote of the electorate (you) before any change can be made to the zoning of that 150 acre parcel of prime real estate.

INSURES THE VOTERS HAVE A VOICE
Because the sale of the Fairgrounds is not yet complete a YES vote on Measure "C" is more important than ever. It will NOT STOP the sale of the Fairgrounds, but it will insure that any plans to build condos, casinos, kosher slaughterhouses or any other use not presently included in the current array of uses for that site will be stifled until the voters have had a chance to be heard at the ballot box.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE "C"!

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Budget Battles Loom

NO TRIP - MORE BUDGET WORK
OK, the Sacramento trip is off, so this week may only be half as disastrous as I thought it might be. Unless, that is, the folks in Sacramento get their act together and we end up launching a team to the Capitol later in the week. That, of course, would put it right in the middle of the budget deliberations...

ROEDER COMMENTARY
Speaking of which, City Manager Allan Roeder wrote a commentary for the Daily Pilot on the subject of the budget which appeared in print Sunday. Strangely - another of those system bugs yet to be ironed out - it didn't appear in the Pilot online, but is available for online viewing at the OC Now site. You can read it HERE.

MEETINGS THIS WEEK
In it Roeder does a good job of presenting what amounts to a preamble to this week's activities - Tuesday's City Council Budget Study Session, which has been moved to the Council Chambers because of the anticipated crowd. This also means it will likely be televised live by CMTV on Channel 24 - 99 on U-Verse, and also be available for viewing at a later date on streaming video at the city web site. The study session begins at 4:30.

WORKSHOP
Thursday it is anticipated that there will be a community budget workshop at City Hall for interested residents. That is scheduled for Conference Room 1A and begins at 6 p.m. In years past it has been sparsely attended and has lasted a couple hours.

LAKERS/CELTICS?
Both meetings conflict with the Lakers/Celtics playoff games, which might make for a shorter-than-normal meeting. Only kidding...



TUESDAY COULD BE A MARATHON

The study session on Tuesday could be long and contentious. I imagine some residents will stand and ask how their participation in prioritization exercise will affect the outcome. The likely answer may be - "Not at all", which is probably true. The sad fact of life today is that all those positions mentioned in that exercise MUST be cut, and probably more, too. If recent public pronouncements by one of the union's leaders is any indication, it looks like we might expect less cooperation from the bargaining units than last year. Unfortunately, if more folks don't share the load that simply means more people will lose their jobs - there is no other solution.

WONDER HOW THE COUNCIL COMPLETED THEIR FORMS?
I'm going to be very interested to hear how the council members completed their forms. In theory, they are part of the public record and available for review and comment. We'll see.



CITY HALL A MORGUE

Sources tell me that City Hall was like a morgue last week because the required pink slips - notices of layoff - were handed out to most of those 70+ people who will probably lose their jobs. I know some of those folks and have spoken with several others over the years. It pains me deeply to see this happening through no fault of their own.

"THE MOUTH"
By the way, I've avoided mentioning the blithering idiot who operates out of Mesa North - our old buddy The Mouth - but I cannot close without a comment on his blog entry today. In his clever (in his mind) way he responded to Roeder's letter with some suggestions for balancing the budget. The first item on his list - we assume it was the most important in his alleged Mensa Mind - was, "Cut everything that benefits illegal aliens in any way." Now, that's a nice, reasoned approach, don't you think? Yes sir, his prejudices are so pervasive that he wants to cut EVERYTHING that might affect illegal aliens. So, I guess that means no Police or Firefighters will keep their jobs. How about the jailers? Actually, I guess he means that we should just shut down city government entirely, since there is a chance that EVERY person on the payroll might benefit an illegal alien. What a racist bonehead he is! And he's begun quoting and linking a lot to Aljazeera, the Muslim newspaper, lately - wonder what that's all about? Has our old pal found an even darker side? That's hard to imagine, but it may be true. In past posts he's been very pro-Iran...

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