Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fairgrounds Purchase a Go, Peekaboo Mansoor, Fireworks and Daily Voice RIP

OK, here we go! With their reported unanimous vote in closed session tonight the Costa Mesa City Council authorized the purchase of the Orange County Fair and Events Center. Whew!


Wednesday City Manager Allan Roeder will accompany council members Katrina Foley and Gary Monahan to Sacramento to personally deliver the proposal to the office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, meeting the deadline imposed upon the city during their "exclusive" negotiations.

No one I've spoken with has a clue whether the State will find the proposal acceptable or not, so there will be lots of crossed fingers around these parts until word is received from the Governor's office.


Thanks to Roeder, Becky Bailey-Findley and the entire team who has been burning the midnight oil to put this offer together. Somehow, "thanks" seems hardly adequate.

Tonight's meeting was another strange one. When the council came out of closed session - only about 15 minutes late - Mayor Allan Mansoor was nowhere to be found so Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece took over and began the meeting. Then, during Council Member comments he mysteriously re-appeared and took over.

The very first thing he did was to suggest moving the Fireworks issue forward - it was the last item on the agenda - to be heard immediately even before the Consent Calendar. He met with opposition by Leece and Foley, who indicated that many people who planned to speak didn't anticipate the issue being heard at the beginning of the meeting and might not be in the auditorium to speak. Those logical complaints fell on deaf ears and the three guys voted to hear it next.

After much discussion and public input the council voted 4-1 to add another fireworks sales hour on July 4th (Leece voted no) and then voted unanimously to return "hand-held devices" into the inventory of approved fireworks. Man, I hope they don't regret that move.


The reason for moving the issue forward became crystal clear when Mansoor called for a "brief 5-minute break". When it was over both he and Monahan had left the building and were not seen nor heard again for the rest of the meeting! Monahan got his issue addressed early so he could go pull beer pumps and I wonder if Mansoor had a fund raising event scheduled for this evening? Regardless, he didn't earn his pay tonight, for sure.

On another interesting note, Sunday Rick Reiff at the Orange County Business Journal reported that former Daily Pilot publisher Tom Johnson and his partner, William Lobdell will abandon their fledgling news outlet, The Newport-Mesa Daily Voice, after less than a year in operation. According to Reiff's report, Johnson will join Laguna Beach-based Firebrand Media as publisher of two weekly free newspapers - the Laguna Beach Independent and the soon-to-be-launched Newport Beach Independent. No mention was made about a "Costa Mesa" version.

I knew this was coming but couldn't talk about it until "official" notification. I guess Reiff's article constitutes that notification. I've tried to contact Tom Johnson for more information but have received no reply yet. We don't know for sure, but assume, that these new efforts will have an online presence, too. No word whether Bill Lobdell will be joining this new adventure. I'll report back when I get more information. In the meantime, I wish Tom well with this new gig.

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Blogger Gericault said...

Call the Governor 916-445-2841,
Fax the Governor 916-558-3160
Call Fred Aguiar, Governor's Chief of Staff and former Director of DGS
Call Ron Diedrich, Acting Director of DGS
Fax 916-376-5018
Call Ted Park, Acting Director DGS Real Estate Services,
Fax 916-376-1895
Free online Fax service

4/21/2010 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

I have to say that I am not surprised that the Daily Voice folded. They seemed to bring very little in the way of unique content to the web.

I can use Google News for a news aggregator much more effectively than wandering over to their site to read stories from other news outlets.

As for the fireworks over fireworks. I would be p-o'ed if I had plans to be there to speak and they moved the agenda item. If anyone is in that boat, they should come to the next meeting and make it clear that moving agenda items is dirty pool.

4/21/2010 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger mesa verde madman said...

So what, or where, exactly, are Mansoor and Monahan's priorities? If they have better things to do, they shouldn't be on the council...

And I already saw my first 'Mansoor for Assembly' campaign yard signs, and you'll never guess where... Mensinger's front yard! Way to spoil the neighborhood...

4/21/2010 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

mesa verde madman, get used to it, amigo... I'm not surprised that Mensinger is the first one to show a Mansoor sign... I'm going to have to fight my gag reflex from now until November - unless Mansoor gets beat in the primary, but that's to much to hope for.

4/21/2010 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am baffled by these fireworks regulations. Perhaps with only one attorney on the city council the others are oblivious to the fact that Code Section 9-190 and Code Section 13-277 and 13-283 are in direct conflict with each other. 9-190 allows for fireworks to be set off between the hours of 4pm and 10 pm on July 4th. Yet the noise provisions provide that it is a violation of the municipal code, and a potential nuisance will be declared for noises exceeding 55 decibels. There is an exception for construction, but there is no exception for fourth of July fireworks. Furthermore, I would argue that having to listen to fireworks for 6 straight hours, along with every barking dog in the neighborhood, is by definition a nuisance. I for one am getting tired of having to spend hundreds of dollars every year to vacate my house for an out of town hotel so I don't have to feel like I am living in Beiruit.

4/21/2010 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Lydia, thanks for re-submitting your comments. Interesting paradox you present. Perhaps an email to Kim Barlow might clarify the issue... let me know...

4/21/2010 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous CMTRUTH said...

Don't miss the new episode of GANGLAND airing tonight & featuring Costa Mesa.

4/21/2010 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Mansoor is having his first fundraiser tonight. Yes, it's at Steve's. There isn't one sign ...there's twenty.

Nice night for it............

4/21/2010 04:32:00 PM  

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