Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Adios, "Young Jailer/Mayor" (Amended)

OK, my friends, we've all had our New Year celebrations and, hopefully, are all ready for the year ahead. If recent pronouncements are any indication, the local campaign season ahead of us promises to be one filled with more noise than light, but should give
us some excitement. So, gird your loins and get ready.


Tonight our young jailer/mayor - sadly, this blog entry will probably be the last time I'll be able to call him that - will abdicate his throne and the betting is that Eric Bever will become the next mayor of Costa Mesa. I'm sorry, but I can't help but wince when I type those words. I wrote a commentary on Mansoor's decision that the editors of the Daily Pilot felt was worthy of publication yesterday. You can read that commentary, which the editors entitled "Mayor's act of largesse is political maneuvering", here. I think it's quite possible that we'll see Wendy Leece, Mansoor's hand-picked running mate last year, selected as Mayor Pro Tem, which will require some musical chairs on the far right side (as you face it) of the dais. (Well, I was wrong! Imagine that! Just before 7:00 tonight Bever was selected as Mayor and then, instead of the majority nominating Leece as Mayor Pro Tem, Bever nominated his pal, Mansoor! He used as an excuse that fact that "the mayor and mayor pro tem need to work closely together." Duh! I guess he didn't think he could "work closely" with any of the ladies on the dais - no surprise there. So, the boys just swapped seats and kept on truckin'. What a sham!)

While I hope Bever will throw off the mantle of court jester he's wo
rn since taking his seat on the dais, I'm not sure it's possible. I keep hoping he will realize that when one sits in a position of authority and is, in fact, a voice for our city, those snappy one-liners and other pitiful attempts at humor are completely inappropriate. I hope he finds a way to comport himself with dignity during this next eleven months until the election, but I fear I might turn blue waiting for that to happen. Only time will tell.

Yesterday my
friend, Byron de Arakal - in his now-weekly Costa Mesa Unplugged column for the Daily Pilot - presented us with an absolutely spot-on description of the metamorphosis of Allan Mansoor. You can find that column, entitled "Regretting Mansoor's reversal", here. I agree completely with Byron's assessment of the changes we've seen in our young jailer/mayor since he was first elected. I recall Mansoor at our first meeting during a candidate forum in his first campaign as a nice, earnest, sincere young man who, in addition to taking the oath to protect and defend us in his day job as a Deputy Sheriff, was willing to make a further commitment to the improvement of our community by seeking elective office. I'm pre-disposed to think kindly of those who serve us in public safety jobs and was looking forward to his performance as a councilman. I've been disappointed.

I recall how u
neasy he was during those first few months on the dais, looking very much like a fish out of water. Of course, that might have been because he was sharing space with the chronically inept Chris Steel. Regardless, I watched as he groped his way through the learning curve and developed meager political instincts.

I was deeply saddened when he and his majority decided to close the Job Center - a facility that had served this community well for nearly two decades and solved the problem of loiterin
g day workers throughout the city. I was very distressed when that Mansoor-led majority decided, in a complete blind-side, to first defund, then disband, the city's Human Relations Committee without so much as a thank you to the volunteers who spent countless hours attempting to provide a forum for mediation of problems that existed between factions within our city. That kind of callous heavy-handedness was an omen of things to come.

I've watched as Allan Mansoor morphed from Opie into a petty tyrant, guided by his core constituen
cy of self-anointed "improvers" who seem determined to blame the latinos in our city - which represent a third of our population - for every ill within our borders. He became an easily-led pawn for any number of persons and entities, including the Orange County Republican Party hierarchy, Minutemaniac Jim Gilchrist and his band of merry nuts and the aforementioned "improvers". Over the past two years since he attempted to convert every Costa Mesa police officer into an immigration screener, we've seen his face on national television, where puffed-up talking heads pontificated about his "bravery" and "leadership" and stroked his growing ego. He was no longer that nice young guy from a few years ago.

Among that "improver" group is one guy - heck, he may be your neighbor - who has received muc
h electronic ink in this space and seems to be gearing up for a run for a council seat of his own. When goaded by my commentary in the Daily Pilot he published an entry on his "little newsletter" which, while denying any interest in elective office, provided us with his campaign platform. You can read that manifesto here. When I first read it I found myself wondering why he wasted all those words when he simply could have boiled it down to one phrase, a thread common to most of his entries - "To solve all our problems, expunge all the latinos from the city, regardless of their immigration status". That seems to sum up his view.

When I think of the specter of this fellow as a member of our city council it makes me want to puke. He is my worst nightmare for this city. Even though he consistently provided the intellectual stimulation for the so-called "improvers" for the past decade, if he were to hold a council seat and have his way, the bulldozers would already be plowing through the Westside of our city and eminent domain would be the order of the day. Actually, though, I find myself anticipating his candidacy. It would require him to slither out from under his rock and give us more personal information than I think he would care
to do. It would also expose to scrutiny his underlying philosophy as expressed in his books, newsletter and hundreds of online essays. While he has consistently said he writes to be read, that view may come back to haunt him.


I don't think he'll dare to run. Instead, he'll continue to lurk in the shadows, spewing his venom anonymously using many pen names on the Daily Pilot blog. Should he decide to venture out from the shadows and actually run for office he can expect to be greeted by several folks more than willing to provide their views of his fitness for office in our city. I have a hard time believing the voters of Costa Mesa would seriously consider as a
candidate for a leadership position a man adorns his essays with swastikas and who is revered by Louisiana's David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan - an accolade the fellow uses as a marketing device for his books. One salivates at the opportunity...


So, dear readers, we say adios to "our young jailer/mayor" - the term, not the man. Allan Mansoor, who has looked a little weary recently, will remain on the council, marking time until termed out in 2010 - at which time the Orange County GOP leadership will likely have found another seat for him from which to exploit his naivetÈ. And the beat goes on...

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bever faces a tough election this year, and I would bet that they swapped positions so Bever could campaign as mayor and carry the title on his ballot designation. This is quite common for council majorities.

1/03/2008 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mayor Bever came out and publicly stated that he was against using eminent domain on the Westside. That would appear to be a major break from the Millard Improver drumbeat, and a very positive development. Disagree with Bever on some things, certainly, but his promotion of the Westside overlay zone is a breath of fresh air and will win him much support. Let's be very clear on the main thrust of this next election - Westside "improvement."

This will make the ICE controversy look like small potatoes. Instead of an issue that deals with folks here illegally and their sympathizers, we are now talking about entrenched and prosperous property owners that have been under concerted attack by Millard, et al for quite some time.

Bever's public statement supporting the overlay zone is a hugely positive step for the future of Costa Mesa - I hope that everyone is paying attention.

1/03/2008 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it was a sham for Mansoor and Bever to switch places. Political posturing for sure...but I'm sure the voters of Costa Mesa will see it for what it is and make their own decisions come November. I never thought nominating Ms Leece for Mayor, with her limited experience on the council, was prudent for our City. I think giving Bever a shot at Mayor was an admirable thing for Mansoor to do. Especially, after Bever squashed the directly-elected-Mayor thing a while ago, that Mansoor and many in the so called Improver camp obviously wanted. I found the way that vote went down very interesting, since the majority seemed to always vote the same way...but I never read or heard much about it afterward. Anyone know why?

1/03/2008 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Tommie, I wouldn't have used the word "admirable" in this context. I suspect Bever may have quashed the directly-elected mayor move because he realized that it would squeeze him out of any chance to hold the office. Whatever his reason, it was a good decision, particularly since Mansoor didn't seem particularly interested in term limits for the directly-elected mayor. That would result in a de facto dictatorship. I don't believe anyone expected to have Leece nominated for mayor, but it wouldn't have been unreasonable to see her nominated for Mayor Pro Tem, which theoretically prepares the holder for the job of mayor in the future. Bever's reasoning for nominating Mansoor - "because the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem must work together" - reeked. Does he mean he couldn't work with Wendy? Or Linda or Katrina? Hmm, he may be right.

Since the change of command last night I've heard more than one person speculate about Brown Act violations having to do with the way it was orchestrated. I seriously doubt that was the case, but the speculation doesn't surprise me, since Bever has come close to that line in the past with his note-passing on the dais. Given his history of being more than a little casual with the rules, I suspect it won't be long until he steps in a giant pile of doo doo on the dais. It will make for fun watching.

1/03/2008 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geoff, Well maybe "admirable" is a little bit dramatic...but, what I mean doesn't appear that Mansoor had anything personally to gain by stepping aside as Mayor, except to try to give a fellow councilmember a POSSIBLE leg up in his bid for re-election. And I don't think anyone was holding a perverbial gun to his head. And maybe they were thinking it was too soon for Wendy to be Pro-tem (I mis-spoke/typed in my last post, I meant "Pro-Tem")...and they certainly were not going to nominate Foley or Dixon. Although I feel if all were fair in politics...Foley should have gotten the nomination. I guess we'll find out in November if it worked. One last thing...I suspected the same reason why Bever voted no on the elected mayor thing. It was never clear to me what his reasoning was...did he really just not agree with the idea or was his nay vote self serving? It's important to me, because one of those scenarios speaks to his character, which is not very admirable.

1/04/2008 12:37:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home