Newport Beach and Costa Mesa – the New Guys!

Who are those guys? You know, the people that got elected to fill the shoes as City Council members…..for Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. It could be easy enough to say that the same old raft of usual suspects were elected. It could be easy enough to say that special interest has had its say…..and that virtually nothing is going to change in Newport – Mesa over the next four years. It could be easy to say that……but in all actuality this recent election was rather surprising.

In Costa Mesa, Alan Mansoor – The Mayor and a working Orange County Sheriff Deputy…..had been pumping up an agenda of Public Safety and outing illegal immigrants in Costa Mesa. He needed help and solicited Parks and Recreation Commissioner Wendy Leece to be his running mate. Wendy you might remember was a prior member of the Newport Mesa Unified School Board … for several years. Wendy is a proven conservative voice and had established herself as supporting the Religious Right on most issues. The opponents of Mansoor and Leece created a “coalition of the willing” that targeted the Mayor and his running mate. The people spoke and Mansoor and Leece have been elected to implement a Public Safety agenda for four years. Since his re-election, the Mayor’s agenda has drawn support from a most unlikely source – The Dept. of Homeland Security and ICE have assigned an agent to reside on site in Costa Mesa to determine the citizenship of those arrested…..and deport anyone that isn’t a legal citizen. This could well be a pilot program and it will be interesting to watch how many other ICE agents are recruited for such duty in other cities and towns in the country. We can expect that Nativo Lopez will probably be spending a whole bunch of time in Costa Mesa now – watching City Council proceedings!

Meanwhile in Newport Beach: The Times they are a changin! In a reverse move of that in Costa Mesa, Newport Beach District 6 Council member Richard Nichols – who supported policing illegal immigrants got ousted by local Surfrider Founder Nancy Gardner. Nichols is famous for mentioning that he didn’t support new grassy areas on Corona Del Mar Big Beach because it attracted too many “Mexicans”. Nativo Lopez got a whole bunch of face time in City Council Chambers and in the press on that one. The rest of Nichols colleges, those from the developer side….and even one of his own “Green Light Pals” on the Council ….chastised him unforgivingly. The slip of the tongue got worse …when Nichols tried to explain “what he really meant”. It’s an abject lesson… learning and knowing when to just say “I’m sorry!”…. and cut your losses. Gardner has served on various City Committee’s and supported dumping the poor people of El Moro Trailer Park “out on their kisters”….which happened last year when the State failed to renew their 25 year old lease … in favor of State Park for Travel Trailers…and removing all the mobile homes….forever! Joan Irvine Smith led the charge on that one along with Gardner. There is a lot more to this story….but there are bigger fish to fry.

Newport Beach “Selected Mayor”….Don Webb ran unopposed and will serve his second four years before he gets termed out. In District 7….Community Activists Dolores Otting challenged Keith Curry. Curry is a savvy insider….in the OC Republican party…..with those traditional connections to “someone” in the Reagan Whitehouse. Curry is smart enough however….to answer e-mails, write policy positions for the Daily Pilot and appear at important Party and City functions. Even though Dolores stood tall….she couldn’t beat connected Curry. No doubt Dolores will still be appearing at most Newport Beach City Council meetings – in any event.

District 1 – Newport Beach… was an effort to replace the irasible Todd Ridgeway. Ridgeway was soundly beaten for a Water Board seat however….so we will be spared having to listen to him involved in “Reclaimed Water” or other mundane affairs of State. Maybe Tod can get Governor Arnold to give him a spot on the Reclamation Board. So, Mike Henn…..a traditional empty suited – “My kids went to USC!”- Hart and Ellis backed candidate….beat out insider Jack Wu and two other candidates. There is little doubt that the developer soul and CFO spirit of Todd Ridgeway will live on in the body of Mike Henn.

In District 4 – Leslie Daigle made quite a name for herself when she was jogging at Corona Del Mar High School track during school hours. Oh, by the way – Daigle’s opponent Barbara Venezia kind of dropped out five weeks before the election. Venezia claimed that a “mean spirited campaign” by Daigle and Ellis operatives had put her husband’s reputation in serious jeopardy…..whatever that means. The husband is in the Trash Hauling business or has some type of investment therein. Whatever! The little known fact was that she never filed papers with the City Clerk to withdraw from the race. She got a sizeable vote. Venezia is the sex trash talking “package” that John Crean shared his local and national television show: “Home on the Range!” The Crean’s now have a Library named after them at Mariner’s Park.

Back to Daigle……..So, Les is jogging at Corona Del Mar High School…..(during school hours) on the track. There are several other civilians….doing the same. The Maintenance Supervisor comes by and says to all – “You can’t use the track during school hours!” All comply…except Daigle….she says: “You probably live in Costa Mesa and I’m a NB City Council person and I can have you deported!!” Hey, but we weren’t there…”just the newspaper account”…so how sure can we be? In any event, Les should probably go to the University Health Club and call it a day in the future. Daigle is another of the four candidates running that was selected by the existing City Council. She served out the term of Gary Adams and now has this four year term. Who knows how many more?

Next is Ed Selich in District 5 “Occupation, Investigative political writer and retired” ….hmm…sounds like a possible future blogger to us…you? Ed seems nice enough…but only time will tell. Ed came out of the Planning Commission and so is beholding to the power structure – we will see! He ran against Bob Schoonmaker…another old Aerospace Exec ….running on less that $1000 bucks. He actually did very well….getting about33% of the vote.

Steve Rozansky sits in District 2 but was already elected two years back. He has a real problem putting the Rehab Housing issue together…and we will talk about that at a later date. He is another of those initially “internally selected” to be a public servant -but elected in the
last election – to replace Gary Proctor – who really lived in Santa Clara.

In other news, the Greenlight People got their clocks cleaned literally…all their candidates
got defeated, the City Measure to approve the flawed General Plan passed and their Measure
to limit growth was soundly defeated. X got rubbed out….V was evidently for a City
Supported Victory! W….was supposed to guarantee no use of Eminent Domain for
Private Sources…….it passed too! Will it protect anything? Who knows?

Finally, there was even a turnover at the Newport-Mesa School Board. Perpetual Judy Franco….held on to her “forever seat”, but two new members gots elected Mike Collier and Karen Yelsey….both actually seem to have two brain cells to rub together and might even bring some common sense to the process. Karen went to Stanford…..The only downside….the Teacher Union back them both!

There is alot more to talk about….here on the Old/Gold Coast…..but….hey….let those elected accumulate a voting record….so we know where they are heading.

About Ron & Anna Winship

Independent News Producers/Writers and Directors for Parker-Longbow Productions. Independent Programming which includes a broad variety of Political, Entertainment and Professional Personalities. Cutting Edge - a talk the flagship of over 30 URL websites developed or under development. The Winships have been blogging for the Orange Juice since back when nickels had buffalos on them, and men wore onions attached to their belts, because it was the fashion back then.