Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Progressive Icon Passes

Tonight most of my progressive - read that liberal - friends are mourning the passing earlier today of former Fountain Valley Mayor Gus Ayer, who apparently unexpectedly passed away peacefully in his sleep.

I knew Gus casually - he was a "Facebook friend" when I was on Facebook and we corresponded from time to time on issues of common interest.  Even though our political views were about 180 degrees apart I admired his knowledge, political skills and his energy.  I've written about him a couple times on this blog as he injected his interest and enthusiasm into Costa Mesa issues over the past couple of years.  He was, like me, a portly gent of more than a few years, yet he was an avid hiker, including recent trips to the Grand Canyon and Central America.

My impression was that when he seized a cause he would expend every effort in his being to attain his goal.  Based on comments from some of our mutual friends, he was a mentor to many of the current crop of liberal politicians in Orange County and worked very hard on their campaigns and issues.  A measure of his effectiveness may be the fact that many local  Republican activists didn't much care for him.

Although there will likely be many homages to Gus, you can read three early ones HERE, HERE and HERE.  And, courtesy of The Surf City Voice, you can read his final public publication, HERE, intended as a launch point for a major campaign addressing the redundancy and performance of local water agencies.  It's a powerful piece and seems like an excellent exclamation point on a great career serving the interests of the public.

Condolences to his wife, Verna, and their children and all his friends on the loss of this special man.  I wish I had known him better...  The Huntington Beach Independent published a nice obituary about Gus Ayer HERE.  He was quite a man and will be missed.

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Blogger Joe said...

I was fortunate to meet Mr. Ayer for the first time last year; always enjoyed his writing.

RIP Gus.

2/14/2013 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous sad to hear said...

sad to hear. he has friends ranging from ridge to actually working on Republican councilmember Genis' campaign. (is true). Republicans Leece , leffler, genis are allies with ultra lib Debbie Cook too. We are all getting along, no mudslinging anywhere amongst them, a tribute to Gus. Genis even went to HB council and badmouthed our city. stop this war on women. fitzy ate all of it, shoosh drank it, mensinger bumped it, genis chortled about it, and wendy wanted to study it more. how true said alf, you are correct said fuqua. cyndy black liked it too. ridge calls them all tools.

2/14/2013 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Rest in peace, dear Gus.
You were a kindred spirit, taken from
us too soon.
You are loved by many and will be missed.

2/14/2013 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Greg Diamond said...

Thanks for this piece, Geoff. If it means anything to you (as I hope that it would) my recollection that he thought highly of your work on this blog tracking down the truth about Costa Mesa and taking brave stands in the face of powerful opposition. It is the sort of thing that he himself did so well.

He's irreplaceable, but his work will go on. It has to -- he'd had demanded it of us -- and so it will.

2/14/2013 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Gus believed in Government that works, and making sure it was always open , and transparent.
............everything else he did stemmed from those basic beliefs.

Thats why he made enemies from both Republicans and Democrats, and it's also why he made so many friends.

2/14/2013 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Ellinorianne said...

Gus introduced me to your blog, he was a big fan. Thank you for this. So many of us are reeling from losing him. It was just too soon.

2/14/2013 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger b rad said...

My Wife and I are very Sad to hear of his passing.
We met Gus when he signed on and helped to defeat the evil forces attempting to swindle the Fair grounds away.
Thank you Gus, you'll be missed.
Brad and Nicol Shefmire

2/14/2013 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I've added a link to my post to include the nice obit on Gus in the Huntington Beach Independent.

Ellinorianne, thanks for the kind words. He was a special guy.

2/15/2013 12:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Both...if it's who I think it is.

2/15/2013 10:39:00 PM  

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