Friday, November 05, 2010


As many folks know by now, this afternoon Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Katrina Foley announced to the world via her Facebook page and a press release that she has decided to step down from the City Council to take the seat on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District School Board to which she was elected Tuesday. According to her announcement, which you can read in it's entirety HERE, she will step down from her council seat effective December 14, 2010 - the day she will be seated on the School Board.

For many of us here in the city who have appreciated her many times solitary voice of reason on contentious issues for the past 6 years, this is a major loss. Whether she had a chance to influence the vote on issues or not, she could always be relied upon to present a clear, well-reasoned opposing view to be considered.

Certainly, not many of us thought she would actually be able to fulfill the requirements of a council seat and one on the School Board simultaneously, plus run her law firm and provide enough time to her husband and sons. We're happy she made her decision, even though our council will basically be left without a moderate voice.

An interesting sidebar of this announcement is the timing. The new Costa Mesa City Council will be certified and seated on December 7th - a week before Foley departs. She will be part of the process of deciding the new mayor and mayor pro tem, since the meeting on the 7th will be the final scheduled meeting of the year. The council will next meet on January 4, 2011.

so up in the air is the process by which a person to replace her will be selected. There is no official city policy for this process. The last time it happened was when Karen Robinson was appointed to the bench. The process that was followed at that time resulted in Eric Bever and Mike Scheafer receiving two votes each, over and over. Bever finally withdrew and Scheafer was appointed.


It is my understanding that the new council could simply pull a name out of the air and have that person appointed if there are three votes to do so. Any person who is appointed must meet eligibility requirements - be a resident of the city and a qualified voter. However, any of
the names being bandied about would meet that criteria because they are all currently city commissioners.


Those who are most prominently mentioned are Planning Commissioners Steve Mensinger and Colin McCarthy and, occasionally, Jim Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick may not be eligible because he was elected to a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board last Tuesday. In fact, it's possible that he will have to resign his planning commission seat for that reason. Also being mentioned is Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jeff Mathews - a member of the Orange County Republican Central Committee and a guy who, despite pumping large sums into Allan Mansoor's Assembly campaign war chest, has kept a pretty low profile.

It's possible that there will be at least two, maybe three, slots open on the Planning Commission. I wonder just how many cronies Jim Righeimer has left to fill those slots?


So, let's tally up the damage over the past couple weeks. Righeimer gets elected to the City Council; Wendy Leece also retains her seat, but is being threatened by Supervisor John Moorlach with a recall effort in a few months; Katrina Foley resigns form the City Council and takes her lone voice of reason with her; City Manager Allan Roeder resigns effective in March, taking with him three dozen years of accumulated institutional knowledge and management skill; the new city council will select a replacement for Roeder, plus a replacement for retired Fire Chief Mike Morgan. Plus, you can add to the mix the rumors I hear that we might see a mass exodus of senior city staffers in the first quarter of the year in anticipation of a Righeimer regime that will likely involve a full frontal attack on their wages and retirements. This is really grim.


And did I mention that Triangle Square is coming back before the Planning Commission at a SPECIAL meeting on November 16th? Yeah, no mention of the LED lights, but the ever glib and former may
or Peter Buffa will put on his song and dance outfit again and ask for a couple variances for his clients as they try to resuscitate that dying municipal white elephant.


And, lest I be tempted to leave you with some kind of uplifting, positive statement, let me, instead, provide you with a link to my pal, Chuck Cassity's blog entry at Chuckmeister Unleashed that addresses the result of the election Tuesday. It's depressing, but a very interesting read. Just click HERE.

Have a nice weekend, everybody. You've certainly got plenty to contemplate.

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Blogger Gericault said...

Good Grief Charlie Brown! Never send me to Chucks blog again.........

11/05/2010 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

What?! Gericault, you took exception to the Chuckmeister's spin on post-election California? He does accept comments, you know... :-)

11/05/2010 07:24:00 PM  
Anonymous folkinhippy said...

so, foley resigns. that just means that instead of a 4-1 majority most of the time and with a 3-2 majority more infrequently they now will appoint someone to make those numbers 5-0 or 4-1.

although... gary has seemed more reasonable of late. if we really want someone with foley's approach on the council, maybe when we are in his establishment to let him know we are having a beer there due to his reasoned approach to our police force's negotiations, we can also let him know we might even eat dinner there should he back a democratic means to choose the next council member. cant imagine anyone on the planning commish wold beat chris in a special election.

then again, this city hasnt ceased to disappoint me in almost 10 years...

11/05/2010 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Chuck Cassity said...

Okay Geoff. Here's the deal. The Council should appoint YOU to fill out Foley's term (thanks for all your service, Katrina). You're the only guy I know who makes it his business to watch each and every tiny little aspect of city doins' and then fill in all us slackers so we're not left out in the dark.

And Gericault, sometimes my postings are less depressing, but only when less depressing events provide the impetus...

11/06/2010 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Chuck ....It felt like I was reading AM Talk Radio....


11/06/2010 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Peter Buffa always seems to be involved with the worst projects. LED billboards are great for Vegas or strip bars but not Costa Mesa. Triangle square doesn't have a problem with lack of signage. It's got a difficult to navigate parking garage. It also had a foreign owner for a long time that alienated most of the tenants. It doesn't need LED billboards to be successful.

11/06/2010 06:44:00 PM  
Anonymous folkinhippy said...

triangle square was opening right as i moved her in the mid 90's. didnt we seize the land thru... (bum-bum-bum-bahhh!) imminent domain?

how about using that law for things that have been successful here? i see lots of empty lots that have been run down eyesores for years (you know, the ones on superior, santa ana and placentia that had all the righiemer and bever signs in the last 6 or so years to name a few). could we seize these for community gardens like the one on del mar that is loved and heavily used? could we charge some sort of occupancy fee for growers and put these all over the city as tools for growing not only food but community and have them generate revenue in the process?

or maybe they are just paving the way for led signs in costa mesa so in 2012 the empty lots can sport huge electronic city council advertisements! the paper ones are so cumbersome. the riggy ones on superior are still up...

11/06/2010 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

Hey folkinhippy... what do we need more garden space for? Prop 19 failed, remember?

OK, cheap shot and I am sure you are not interested in recreational pot, but when I read your post that was the first thing that popped into my head.

Sorry! :) :)


11/07/2010 05:44:00 PM  

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