OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Costa Mesa City Council’

Tony Capitelli is in for Costa Mesa City Council

Posted by Scott Carpenter on August 20, 2013

With Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece’s term on the city council expiring due to term limits and Mayor Jim Righeimer up for re-election next year may be interesting for the Costa Mesa City Council election.  Today Tony Capitelli, a staffer for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, officially announced his intention to run for Costa Mesa City Council.

(Full Disclosure: Tony and I went to Concordia University together and have been friends since.)

Having known Tony since college I was excited when he called me a few weeks ago to inform me of his intentions to run.  He has always been an admirable person, he holds deep conservative values and truly understands public service. Costa Mesa of course remains the center of a lot of political turmoil with the ongoing labor negotiations, however I think Tony is taking a wise approach of asking for civility while city leaders must take steps to put Costa Mesa on a course of fiscal sanity based in reality.  Below is his official announcement:

Why I’m Running for Costa Mesa City Council

After careful prayer and consideration, I have decided to run for a seat on the Costa Mesa City Council. God has put each of us on a unique path, and in my life that path continues to be one of public service. Costa Mesa is a diverse city facing intricate challenges, and we need new leadership to carry us forward.

Costa Mesa is in many ways a microcosm of our nation. Civic Leaders of the past have lead us down the path of fiscal irresponsibility to the extent that this city could not even perform one of its most essential and basic functions, maintenance of its roads and streets. Although I may not always agree with their approach or on some of the details, the current council majority has been willing to address this issue, and thanks to them, our city is moving slowly toward fiscal sanity. While progress has been made, it will be up to the next council to continue this battle and push the message of responsible government. Costa Mesa is a wonderful family-friendly community that is home to world class arts, shopping and entertainment, but if our infrastructure is not properly maintained and improved, then we fail to meet our potential. Projects such as the revitalization of downtown, and improving the safety of our streets while making them both pedestrian and bike friendly will strengthen our communities. This path has not and will not come without sacrifice, but it is vital to Costa Mesa’s future.

This city also has the opportunity to demonstrate enhanced ways of serving the least fortunate in our community, those experiencing homelessness or those at-risk. Government is not the only answer to this problem, but we need a council that is supportive. Our faith based communities have shown that community development, along with charitable giving and private organization, can create opportunity for all Costa Mesa residents to succeed. Unfortunately, our current transitional housing facilities have created an environment that has become more of a burden, and we should work toward more innovative and productive solutions. City government, community organizations, and the Police Department, working collaboratively, can ensure that we achieve these goals while keeping our families safe.

The unique makeup of Costa Mesa, the recent influx of young families, and the residents who’ve called this city home for decades are all looking for new leadership. I seek the opportunity to accommodate that request with the utmost humility, and in doing so, I ask for your help. Whether it is through monetary donation, walking precincts, or most importantly, prayer, your support is vital to our success and is much appreciated. If you would like to help, please click the link below.

Thank you, and God Bless!

Tony Capitelli

Support Our Campaign!

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Union Member Videoed Stealing Campaign Signs Supporting “3M” Candidates In Costa Mesa

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 31, 2012

Anyone who has been involved in local politics even for the briefest of time knows that campaign sign stealing is typical fare for a city council election.  However, the practice recently has been raised to an art form in Costa Mesa, with candidates on both sides (the “3Ms” – Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan, and Colin McCarthy vs. John Stephens, Harold Weitzberg, and Sandy Genis) claiming to be victims.  This year, the thieves have gotten out-of-hand.  While both sides have reported theft of signs from residential yards and commercial buildings, Mensinger and Monahan have pointed to the theft and destruction of large and expensive banners.  In at least one instance, someone scaled a private residence fence and slashed a banner that was placed up between two large poles.  Other 3M banners and signs have been cut and defaced with paint.  The thefts have become so prevalent that Mensinger and Monahan have put up $500 each for any information leading to the arrest of someone stealing banners (an anonymous donor put up another $100 bringing the total to $1,100.)

At least one vandal has been caught red-handed.  A video, taken by a Mensinger supporter, shows a bearded man pulling up signs for the 3Ms and supporting the proposed city charter, tearing them apart, and tossing them in the bushes.  At a candidates’ forum for Atlas PAC last week, McCarthy identified the man as Steve White, a Costa Mesa city employee and member of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association, the union that has sued Costa Mesa over its attempt to outsource union jobs to private companies to save the city money and reduce the city’s unfunded liability for skyrocketing employee compensation and benefits.  As the OC Register reported, White has been placed on paid administrative leave and is under investigation, though the city did not say the reason for the investigation.  White, classified as a Senior Maintenance Worker, earns approximately $86,000 per year in compensation and benefits (see #382 in the link).  Interestingly, though White has a prominent beard in the video, the Register reported that White’s Facebook page showed a recently shaven profile picture.

The union has deflected comment about White’s purported actions, stating “Sign damaging is something that has happened in every election,” said Orange County Employee Association spokeswoman Jennifer Muir, who added all sides’ signs have been defaced. “It’s not a good thing. It’s silly. It should stop.”  Muir would not comment about White specifically because city administrators have not officially linked him to the signs (don’t hold your breath for any comment after they do link him).  However, she did not waste a chance to again attack Mensinger and the council majority, stating “Now they can’t stand the scrutiny to their plan,” she said, “so they’re trying to drum up a political diversion.”  Muir apparently was not asked how a union member, making nearly $90,000 a year from the city, destroying the property of the 3Ms – something which the union-supported candidates have also complained about – is a “political diversion” rather than simply a petty act of vandalism.  It begs the question of how the union would have responded if one of the 3M’s supporters had been filmed destroying Stephens’, Weitzberg’s, and Genis’ signs.  Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

Just a couple of the signs on private property supporting the 3Ms and Measure V that were defaced

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