Small Crowd But New Converts
At a small gathering of mostly true believers Thursday night at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, city council candidates Sandra Genis, John Stephens and Harold Weitzberg listened intently to the questions about their views on important issues and answered every one crisply and with conviction. You can read Mike Reicher's coverage from the Daily Pilot HERE.
FILLING A GAP
Because the late cancellation of the Costa Mesa United Forum left a big hole in their schedules, the three candidates decided very late to hold a small, casual gathering and hoped to attract some new folks to their campaign. Even though they didn't really advertise this event - I barely got my post about it up and running yesterday, they achieved those goals.
SMALL TURNOUT, LOTS OF QUESTIONS
My count showed a maximum of 30 people in the lobby of the Community Center, of which a half-dozen acknowledged they had no affiliation with either the host organization, Costa Mesan For Responsible Government (CM4RG) or any of the individual candidates. It was my impression that each of those people left feeling strongly that Stephens, Genis and Weitzberg should be considered solid candidates and will receive their support.
Questions posed to the candidates during the nearly two-hour meeting ranged from concerns about Banning Ranch, the 19th Street Bridge, the process used to have a diseased tree removed and Jim Righeimer's Charter. It was interesting to see some folks I would have anticipated being strongly in the 3M camp attend this meeting and expressing admiration for the candidates and their positions on issues.
LOTS OF CHECKS WRITTEN
And, for the small size of the group, I was impressed with the number of checks being written to candidates. I have no idea how much money was raised, but a lot of checks were written.
KOKEN STRUMS AND HUMS
The group was even entertained by the ubiquitous Terry Koken, who strummed his guitar and his banjo and sang little folk ditties appropriate to the moment.
The candidates will now busy themselves by walking precincts, visiting coffees held on their behalf and preparing themselves for the final candidate forum on October 18th. Earlier that week, on October 15th, Jim Righeimer and former council member and current Newport Mesa Unified School Board Trustee Katrina Foley will debate his charter scheme. The candidates will also spend time replacing campaign signs that have been stolen throughout the city. Both sides report very significant incidences of theft - signs into the hundreds have been snatched up and/or destroyed. It's going to be an interesting six weeks...