Tom Johnson Makes His Picks For Costa Mesa
For those of you who don't subscribe to the Orange County Register, or those of you who may have overlooked The Current in the Friday edition, tonight I'm going to provide a little help for you.
DAILY PILOT PUBLISHER
First, some history... Tom Johnson is the former publisher of the Daily Pilot - the competitor of the Orange County Register's The Current. He left in a huff several years ago when the Daily Pilot's parent, The Los Angeles Times, and ITS parent, The Tribune Companies in Chicago, were going through some very tough financial times that resulted in bankruptcy of the Tribune.
Johnson and Bill Lobdell, currently the Director of Communications for the City of Costa Mesa who had worked for Johnson at the Daily Pilot, began a new venture - The Daily Voice, an online-only newspaper. That didn't go well, Lobdell left and Johnson folded his paper into what is now the Newport Beach Independent, which he ran for several months. He then left that operation. Around a year ago he made an agreement with the Register to run The Current, and did so for many months. Then he left and is an occasional contributor - like the articles today.
FULLY-IMMERSED COMMUNITY LEADER
Johnson, while at the Daily Pilot and ever since, has been deeply immersed in the Newport-Mesa community. He's been on many boards and has been an extremely positive presence in our communities - a community leader in every sense of the word. I say that because, even though he was very critical of me not too long ago, I still admire him and consider him a friend. Which leads us to his two articles in The Current today.
LINK TO THE CURRENT
First, click HERE. After a couple seconds necessary for some software to open you'll be taken to an e-version of The Current, the weekly supplement for Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. On the front page you'll find Tom Johnson's article titled, "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly... Costa Mesa politics" - and boy, did he get that right! Double-click on that title and you'll get a text file of the article, in which you'll find his picks for the three seats available for the Costa Mesa City Council on November 6th.
FIRST CHOICE - NO SURPRISE
His first choice, Steve Mensinger, didn't really surprise me. He's VERY tight with Mensinger through his association as a board member of Costa Mesa United. It's amusing to me, though, that he says that Mensinger's "strength is being the "bull-in-china-shop." I don't know about you, but that image - of uncontrolled chaos, mayhem and destruction of precious items - isn't really what I want in a person charged with the well-being of my city, although I concur with Johnson's assessment of Mensinger and his performance in city government since he was appointed to the City Council 22 months ago. Still, Johnson's loyalty to Mensinger is not a surprise to me.
NOR IS HIS SECOND CHOICE, REALLY...
Johnson's second choice is Sandy Genis for her combination of experience and education. I agree that Sandy should definitely be one of the three choices any of us make.
His third choice(s) will surprise practically everyone! He made it a tie between John Stephens and Harold Weitzberg and suggests that the loser of those two spend some time on the Planning Commission before running again in two years.
REJECTS MC CARTHY AND MONAHAN
The stunner - he shunned two of the three M's - Colin McCarthy and Gary Monahan. I'm not going to paraphrase him here - read the article.
HIS SECOND ARTICLE
Back to the front page, down at the end of Tom's article there's a link that says "See POLITICS page 13". Click on that and you'll be taken to his second article Friday, "Perspective of Costa Mesa council candidates on local issues", in which he provides position statements attributed to each of the major candidates for Costa Mesa City Council seats. Double-click the title and read the text box that appears. Very interesting stuff.
TAKE THE TIME TO READ THESE...
I encourage each of you to spend a few minutes reading Johnson's articles. He's a man with deep professional and emotional roots in our area who has been deeply immersed in Newport-Mesa organizations and issues for decades. You don't have to agree with his choices - I don't, in the case of Mensinger - but his opinion and reasons are valuable to us all.
AND, WHILE YOU'RE THERE...
Back on page 1 you'll also find Barbara Venezia's latest column, "For Measure V, pick your boogeyman". Double-click the title to read the text of her article, which provides a summary of her recent Feet To The Fire Charter Debate between Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and former councilwoman Katrina Foley. Good reading all around. And, if you want to view the debate on streaming video it's available HERE. You can also watch it on CMTV, Channel 24 (Time Warner Cable) or Channel 99 (ATT U-verse) on this schedule from now until November 6th: