Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Council Seated - Foley Elected Mayor, Genis Mayor Pro Tem

Well, it was a glorious evening in the Costa Mesa City Council Chambers Tuesday evening and a packed house enjoyed the proceedings.  I missed the event, dealing with my Christmas cold.  Darn!  So, my sweet and also sniffling wife and I watched the event on good old CMTV.
Mayor Steve Mensinger and Councilman Gary Monahan were given an appropriate sendoff in their last official acts in those roles.  Monahan is termed out - again - after serving sixteen years on the council.  Mensinger was defeated in his run for re-election after serving six years - two as an appointee and four when he was elected in 2012.

Among the nineteen speakers was Tim Whitaker, representing Vice Chair Michele Steel of the Board of Supervisors.  He made presentations to both Mensinger and Monahan.
Assemblyman Matt Harper also stepped up to the speakers podium to praise both men for their service, and to acknowledge the winners in the election - particularly Allan Mansoor, who preceded him in Sacramento.
During Public Comments most of the speakers thanked Mensinger and Monahan for their service to the community and also congratulated the winners - Sandra Genis, John Stephens and Mansoor.  Some of the speakers tip-toed right up to the edge of being disrespectful to Mensinger, who must still be smarting at his defeat, where he didn't even come close to retaining his seat on the council.

There were a couple obvious partisan Mensinger fans who spoke, and more than a few who are not his fans.  That's OK.

Beth Collins is a Mensinger fan, and didn't much like it when some in the crowd reacted to her praise of him.
Jay Humphrey, who ran strong race for City Council and has been a tireless volunteer, thanked all those who supported him and congratulated the winners.  He also thanked all those who worked so hard for Measures Y and AA.
Cindy Brenneman was nearly giddy with the results of the election.  She thanked Monahan, citing their long relationship, and also thanked Mensinger, but was less cordial.  There was clearly a "don't let the door hit you in the butt" vibe then.  Can't blame her.

Former councilwoman Wendy Leece referred to the "In God We Trust" motto hanging on the wall behind the council members, acknowledged all the hard work it takes to be a council member and thanked Mensinger and Monahan for their dedication to the city.  She quoted from Shakespeare, Henry V.
Terry Koken crooned a tune.
Tamar Goldmann congratulated Genis for being the top vote-getter, again.  She hoped for a more cooperative relationship with law enforcement personnel. She praised Jay Humphrey for his good run and his tireless dedication to the city.  She also praised Leece for her continuing work on behalf of the residents.
Dan Goldmann thanked Mensinger and Monahan and observed that we all need to participate going forward.
Steve Ray, Executive Director of the Banning Ranch Conservancy, offered congratulations to the winners and hoped his organization might be of help to the council in the future.
Robin Leffler stepped up as the President of Costa Mesans For Responsible Government to thank all the volunteers who worked on the many campaigns.  She observed that it took the efforts of hundreds of volunteers to push to victory, not only for the candidates, but for Measures Y and AA.  Clearly, she was happy.
Cynthia McDonald thanked all who supported Measure Y and mentioned Eleanor Egan specifically for her defeat in court of specious lies on the ballot measure argument.
Kim Hendricks, speaking as a member of the Fairview Park Preservation Alliance, thanked the voters and the volunteers who supported Measure AA - an overwhelming 70.9% of the votes cast were in favor of that measure.
Richard Russell, a Mensinger fan, stepped up last and praised him for his efforts.  At one point he observed to him that , "you have been a hustler" - meaning he was always on the go, getting things done.  I smiled when I heard that, because that phrase isn't always a positive description.  Russell and I might agree that it fits Mensinger, but probably don't agree that it's a favorable term.
City Clerk Brenda Green asked the outgoing council to certify the election, which they did, 5-0.

Mensinger and Monahan were given a chance to address the audience.  Mensinger thanked the City Ctaff for their efficiency.  He praised CEO Tom Hatch and his strong right arm, Kelly Shelton, for their support.  He thanked both Police Chief Rob Sharpnack and Fire Chief Dan Stefano... and he thanked the citizens of Costa Mesa.  Then, kind of out of context, he said, "Governing is one thing, criticizism is another."  I don't know exactly what he meant, but he probably didn't like the ongoing criticizm he'd received during his terms.
Monahan already said his good-byes at the last meeting, so his comments were very brief.

Both Mensinger and Monahan then received proclamations and memory books from the City and they were done by 6:45 p.m.
Then the administration of the Oath of Office was administered by former Mayor and current Judge Karen Robinson.  That was a VERY special moment for all.  Mansoor lugged his youngest child with him.
Then came an interesting moment.  It was time to elect a mayor, so Righeimer nominated Genis.  She, in turn offered an alternate nomination - Katrina Foley - which was seconded by Stephens.  Genis then asked that her nomination be withdrawn.  When the vote was taken to elect the mayor the result was 4-1 - Allan Mansoor voted NO!  So, it didn't take long to see how this is going to go with him.  When Genis was elected Mayor Pro Tem the vote was 5-0.
Each of the new members made short speeches.  Foley thanked her family and, in particular, her 90 year-old grandmother, who was sitting down front.
Genis was grateful for the large turnout and hoped many would continue to be involved in city issues.
Stephens took his time and polished up his stand-up comic routine as he thanked his family, business associates, all the volunteers who supported him.  One thing is very clear - this is a VERY different council than the previous one.
Mansoor thanked his family, specifically his wife, Jannifer and his mother-in-law who cared for their children during the campaign events.  He thanked the city staff for being so professional and supportive.  He thanked Chief Sharpnack for his help and observed that it may be time for another sweep of vagrants in Talbert Park.
Foley observed that the next meeting will be January 3, 2017.  She asked Hatch to amend the agenda so all speakers during Public Comments are permitted to speak early in the meeting - no more trailing them to the end.  She also observed that she wanted to do away with speaker cards.  She also wants to trail Council member comments to the end of the meeting.  That's a GREAT idea, since Righeimer used to speak for 15 or 20 minutes, spewing his mantra and sucking up valuable time.  She also told Hatch that he would be City Manager henceforth, not CEO.  She also asked for a presentation on how to get Fire Station #6 open and fully staffed without overtime.  That's going to mean more firefighters.  She also asked that Chief Stefano bring back early in the year a plan for implementation of the new staffing model that integrates the rescue ambulances for transportation of victims.
It's going to be a VERY interesting first few months.  Righeimer seemed collegial enough.  Mansoor is clearly not in step with the majority, so his presence and his inability to clearly articulate his position on issues will complicate the business of the city getting done.  We'll see.
Congratulations to Katrina Foley and Sandra Genis on their new leadership roles.  Congratulations to John Stephens on his election and to Allan Mansoor to his election.  Time to move forward...  I thought it was time to present this for your listening pleasure... it seems very appropriate.

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Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Thank you so very much, Potstirrer, for all your posts, especially during the past six years and most particularly for the Hallelujah Chorus. It was so appropriate both for the season and for the occasion tonight. I'm sorry you and Susie are ill and couldn't be present for the joyous vibe in City Hall, for the first time in years.

I wish you and Susie get well very soon and that you have a merry Christmas and a joyous new year. See you on January 3rd! Peace and love.... :-)

12/13/2016 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

First Mansoor brings his screaming babies to disrupt the meeting, and then he gives the city a big F U by voting no. Even Riggy showed some class and respect with his vote and comments...though that is sure not to last.

Feel better, Geoff.

12/14/2016 04:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

What a wonderful night. So much positivity was in he air. It is wonderful to see the new regime (or most of it anyway).

I was put off by Mansoor's comments about having Chief sweep the lower Talbert Park. While this needs to be done, certainly, last night was not the time for those comments. I guess he's not happy if he's not targeting some group of people . Now will be the homeless as well as immigrants. It took 2 minutes to figure out he's not going to work with the majority. Its going to be a long four years for Mansoor. And I hope he finds another babysitter. As cute as the kids may be we are a bit tired of them interrupting the meetings.

But Mensinger's gone, and we're very happy. Now things will start to get done for the city and residents, and not just for the developers.

Congratulations Costa Mesans. We now have a council majority that can put this city back on track.

12/14/2016 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Honeyman, I couldn't agree more. Righeimer realizes his life will be a joke if he doesn't find a conciliatory position with the majority. Mansoor hasn't learned that yet. Indeed Mansoor showed us what a small person he really is.

12/14/2016 07:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

A great day in Costa Mesa!

The end of "Mensheimer" on council for now is excellent.
But we still need to remain vigilant- the dark forces of developers and outside interests will only redouble their efforts to turn the CMC into DTLA.

Will Mansoor continue his Minuteman war against immigrants and minorities?
Will Mansoor take the place of Mensy and the Evil Elf in joining with Das Rigmarshal in furthering the agenda of the Newport Bosses?
Will the attacks on Fire and Cops stop or taper off?
Will Das Rigmarshal dismiss our cops from his civil lawsuit?

We shall see.

12/14/2016 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Happy to see regime change;sad that Huy Pham is not here for it.

12/14/2016 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

Last night was a congenial crowd, made up mostly of residents feeling "the winds of change.". I have a question, Mansoor was holding hus baby during swearing in, is the baby now a council person, too...can he vote in his father's absence. Crying babies, tired babies, cranky babies not really appropriate in council, even though they are cute. I'm looking forward to the business of the city being handled in the best interest of the residents and the city. I further hope that a cohesive FiVE member council will engage as a team and not fragment along political lines. Mansoor last night, has me wondering if this will be possible, with his immediate vote as a "no" in a 4-1.. preview? Mr. Mansoor this is not your community of six years ago....2017, time will tell

12/14/2016 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous mesa verde madman said...

Arthur Nern - you forgot one:

Will Mansoor hire a babysitter?

12/14/2016 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Dragging your kid to the photo op, swearing in must make him a family man in his mind, an unintelligent one maybe, but he has now set the tone for his time on the council.
An arrogant, unintelligent, obnoxious, poser that never believed he would be sitting on the council in the minority. Can't win them all, now can we.
I predict a resignation from a sitting council member that is in the new minority.
Foley is on the move correcting the wrongs that convinced me to move from Costa Mesa.
I also predict rapid change in all 5 planning appointments.

12/14/2016 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous lovemygarden said...

For someone who won a spot on the Council, Mansoor certainly was a sourpuss last night. I don't think it was just his crying baby that was making him that way, although I certainly sympathize with the baby. Everyone I spoke to afterwards said they felt a dark cloud lift and dissipate from Costa Mesa. Let's keep it that way!

12/14/2016 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

@ mesa verde madman- the OC GOP will foot the bill for hiring the help for Mansoor, just like they were for moving him from back East and renting his apartment up in the North end of the City.

12/15/2016 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous mesa verde madman said...

That's going to be throwing good money after bad, since he's going to be on the losing end of quite a few votes.

12/15/2016 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Smokey said...

The Messiah chorus was the fitting response to Council's evening 12/13. Thank you, stay in good health and Merry Christmas!

12/15/2016 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous And so it Goes said...

Fantastic update and thank you Geoff for all you do!
So glad we will have a chance for some positivity in CM!
Agree that we need to stay engaged and vigilant… Evil forces do not sleep.

12/15/2016 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous big boy pants said...

I can't wait until Julie Mercurio and Tim Sesler get shown the door. Julie is a despicable person. She's spewing to those who follow her private blog that she hopes the current council doesn't place Jay on a Commission. Why? Because the voters rang the bell on him twice. This is the deceit Julie Mercurio plays. Jay barely lost for a Council spot twice. McCarthy then should resign as he lost in a council election too. Jays showing in the 2 elections for City Council, his continued involvement of city issues, experience and his passion just might make him the best candidate for a commission. Wasn't he accused of authoring that measure that passed by 70% too? What's so funny about her comment is how she got on the Parks Commission. Yet she makes these types of comments. She previously wrote we should all give the new council a chance. Then she does a serious amount of trashing many things related this council elect. She is a FAKE. She then goes after Jay for the use of the City Seal that was part of a Fire Logo in his campaign. She posts the same logo with seal. She also posted the rules from the city that state not to be used for anything other than official city business. Here is how she posted it in quotes too. "for any purpose other than for the official business" Now I know she probably feels her little private blog is official city business but it's not and she is in violation of the very city rules she quoted. But of course all the little Mercurio minions try and defend it by saying well the restrictions are meant for elections only when clearly it's not. Selser is just creepy. My hope is the current council does the right thing and wipes the entire Parks and Planning Commission clean and starts over. Allow Dickson and others to reapply. Then make the best decisions for the city regarding those appointments.

12/16/2016 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger mesa verde madman said...

With apologies to the Wizard of Oz, ding dong, CMPS is dead.I think in the long run, more people were turned off buy the insanity that was Fowler, Mercurio, Bales, etc. Most people (because they touted however many thousands signed up) just followed it for the crazy, and it completely backfired on them.

I hope they clean house on all of them, but in their place, put qualified members of the community, regardless of what 'side' they lie on, rather than troll everyone a la Trump, who will likely put El Chapo in charge of the DEA when this is all said and done.

12/18/2016 06:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

Will someone tell Gary that he can take down that 2016 election banner on the side of his crappy dive bar, you know the banner, the one that has Mansoor and those two other guys that lost out miserably.

12/18/2016 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

CMPS is kind of like driving past a wreck on the freeway. You know you shouldn't look, but you can't help yourself. I suspect that of the claimed 8000 members, most fall into this category. The same 30 or so regulars post every day, and anyone not part of this cabal who dares to post an opposing view gets jumped-on like an attack by a pack of wolves, and seldom returns to post again. It's gotten worse since the two Julies un-appointed themselves from their moderator roles shortly after the election.

12/18/2016 09:27:00 PM  

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