First Candidate Forum On Thursday
OK, Sports Fans, it's time to get this campaign season underway!
MESA VERDE COMMUNITY, INC
Thursday, August 21, 2014, our friends from Mesa Verde Community, Inc. will hold the first of several Costa Mesa City Council candidate forums at the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue (Lions Park). The event begins at 6:30 p.m., with a chance to meet and greet the candidates. The formal part of the forum will run from 7:00 - 9:00. Their President, Darnell Wyrick, will moderate the event.
THEIR FIRST CHANCE...
This is the first chance to see all the eight (8) candidates in action. Hopefully, they all will show up and be ready to tell us why they are the best candidate for one of the two positions available this time around. We may hear them tell us their views on The Charter, Development, Public Safety, Medical Marijuana, Fairview Park and other important issues facing the next City Council. It will be interesting to see whether the candidates are tossed softballs, or will the questions actually have some heat on them...
FIELD STILL TOO LARGE
The closing date came and went while I was on vacation and the only "surprise" was that Harold Weitzberg decided not to run this time around. That leaves us with the following roster of candidates:
KATRINA FOLEY - Former council member and current trustee of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. A lawyer, she can present the meat of issues well and seems to have boundless energy.
JIM RIGHEIMER - Current mayor and architect of many ill-conceived schemes during his tenure on the council. It will be interesting to watch him spin his performance Thursday evening.
JAY HUMPHREY - Former councilman and dedicated community activist who attends almost EVERY important public meeting in the city and asks intelligent, respectful questions and also provides possible solutions to problems.
LEE RAMOS - My Eastside neighbor - appointed member of both the bogus Charter Committee and the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee - is a fella about my age. He says he's lived in Costa Mesa since 1947. His signs say "Vote for Lee", so I'm confused... is he trying to attract the "large" Asian vote, or is he trying to duck his Latino heritage? Heck, we just hope he stays awake for the entire event.
TONY CAPITELLI - First time candidate, homeless activist, son-in-law of Newport Beach councilman and Assembly candidate, Keith Curry and employee of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. He's a nice young fella.
AL MELONE - A spoiler from the campaign two years ago, when his presence on the ballot sucked up valuable votes in a very tight election. He brings to the race a platform with one plank - the dog park. He's demonstrated little patience as he addressed the council and commissions in the recent past.
CHRISTOPHER BUNYAN - He ran unsuccessfully in the past, left town for a few years and has now returned to run again. It will be interesting to get his take on critical issues, since he doesn't show up an any of the important city meetings. He markets himself as a Banning Ranch activist.
RITA LOUISE SIMPSON - A late addition to the ballot, we don't know much about her except she recently retired from the Auto Club, has lived in Costa Mesa for nearly 30 years and seems aligned with Righeimer's views. We'll know more, hopefully, by 9:00 p.m. Thursday.
So, now it begins. This will be our first chance to see all the candidates together, and to get a real sense of what this campaign season is going to be like. I, and many others, have speculated that it may be the nastiest, most expensive, campaign in city history. We'll see.
To get us in the right frame of mind, let's let Michael Buffer kick it off...