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Posts Tagged ‘Tony Capitelli’

Live from the Costa Mesa City Council Feet to the Fire Candidate Forum

Posted by Chris Nguyen on September 18, 2014

We’re live from the Costa Mesa City Council candidate forum sponsored by the Feet to the Fire Forum, a lively debate sponsored by the Daily Pilot and Voice of OC.

Your intrepid blogger walked in late due to having never been on the Orange Coast College campus before, and having to search for the right building.

All the candidates are present except for Katrina Foley.

Daily Pilot Editor John Canalis asks about density. Two loud women scream from the audience.

Jim Righeimer says no changes have been made to any zoning. No variance has allowed people to place more units than permitted under zoning. The two loud women object again when Righeimer points out Foley voted for variances that allow more units than zoning allowed for certain areas.

Jay Humphrey complains about density in an unincorporated area that Costa Mesa is about to annex (Colleen island).

Rita Simpson says each project needs to be mitigated but she supports the annexation of the expensive apartments in the Colleen island.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot asks about lot sizes. Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about LAFCO processes and maintaining prior zoning like in Santa Ana Heights.

Tony Capitelli suggests adding bike loans and public transportation.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks Righeimer about the Costa Mesa City birthday party and a legal settlement involving Dan Joyce, who oversaw the party.

Jim Righeimer says he is not allowed to answer personnel issues, but he does note that some people involved violated city procurement policies.

Jay Humphrey called it a mismanagement of the process.

An obnoxious group of about 20 people out of an audience of 100 keep cheering for every word that Humphrey says and booing everything Righeimer says, sometimes before he even finish his sentence.

Al Melone expresses concern about debating a personnel issue in public.

Lee Ramos says this is beating a dead horse. He says the party was done irresponsibly, but the Council by a 5-0 vote has resolved the issue.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about a sports park at Fairview Park.

Lee Ramos says he reveres Fairview Park the way it is. He calls for a study. He has spoken with Parks Commissioners and the school district. He speaks about asking community members and stakeholders for their perspectives.

Alicia Lopez of the Daily Pilot asks about community input.

Jim Righeimer says listening is not trying to be all things to all people and doing what each public commenter says.

Tony Capitelli says perception is reality in politics. He says Righeimer is unable to build consensus on important issues like homelessness. He wishes to revert to the old public comment policy. He says the Council has executive, legislative, and judicial functions.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about the old public comment system where all public commenters spoke at the beginning of Council meetings while the new policy has part of public comment at the beginning of the meeting and the remainder at the end.

Chris Bunyan blasts the new policy stating that Righeimer implemented it because he didn’t like being criticized.

Jay Humphrey says they didn’t have this problem in the past.

Chris Bunyan interjects that Righeimer caused public uproar about the Council.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about why Costa Mesa didn’t join Newport Beach on group homes.

Jim Righeimer points out that a judge ruled against Newport Beach. He states it is important to follow state and federal law.

Chris Bunyan criticizes the structure of a task force on rehabilitation homes. He says no data is being collected. He points to an ordinance in the City of Orange that limits distances between rehabilitation homes. Bunyan blames the rehabilitation homes and the bed count for increasing crime on the east side.

Al Melone says the city is on the right track. He says the City cannot endure multimillion lawsuits for violating state law.

Rits Simpson expresses her agreement with Melone.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks about campaign contributions from rehabilitation homes.

Jim Righeimer says he returned the sole contribution he received from rehabilitation homes while the other candidates indicated that they did not receive any.

Jay Humphrey says Wendy Leece introduced the city’s rehabilitation home ordinance.

Lee Ramos expresses concern about the city’s political fracturing. He says Costa Mesa has to work together. He points to a local community group who is working on the rehabilitation home issue. He says it doesn’t matter who gets credit as long as the right thing is done (pointing to Humphrey crediting Leece on an ordinance).

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about the Costa Mesa Police Department’s staffing levels.

Jim Righeimer notes crime rates dropped in 2013. (I’ve never heard audience members boo dropping crime rates until I came to this candidate forum.) He says all cities cut police during the 2008-09 financial crisis, which he notes was a decision the Costa Mesa Council made before Righeimer was elected. He notes changes to city HR policies to more efficiently hire additional personnel to restore former police staffing levels.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC questions if Righeimer is consistent with his prior statements about changing policing methods.

Jim Righeimer says it makes sense to utilize police helicopters in partnership with neighboring cities rather than having one helicopter for a single city.

Jay Humphrey expresses concern about having new police officers instead of lateral transfers. He says Costa Mesa is not getting the top quality people applying for police jobs, just the bottom people.

Chris Bunyan says code enforcement is part of public safety, not just police and fire. He again refers to group homes. He says police have no reason to come to Righeimer’s city.

Tony Capitelli speaks about good friends who left the Costa Mesa Police Department for other cities. He says the City needs to come together.

Lee Ramos says he met with the City Manager. He says the new police chief came in and had a decrease in staffing levels. Ramos would like to increase police staffing levels over 18 months.

Al Melone wants to recruit police officers from cold states using the weather to attract top quality experienced police officers rather than local rookies.

Chris Bunyan points to vice squads and K9 units needing experienced police.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about Righeimer dropping his lawsuit against the police union.

Jim Righeimer says he would be willing to drop the suit if the union, its law firm, and its private investigator would come clean. He expresses concern about the law firm extorting city councils on behalf of police unions.

Jay Humphrey says the suit needs to be dropped to bring calm to the city, which would attract lateral transfers to the police department.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks Righeimer if he’s really going after the police system.

Jim Righeimer says the police union and the police department are separate entities. He says there are a lot of police officers who didn’t like what the police union did. He says unions have done this in other cities.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot suggests that Righeimer’s attitude has been anti-union and that’s a non-local issue that gives the perception of not caring about the city. She asks if he’s interested in higher office.

Jim Righeimer says he has young children and doesn’t want to go to Sacramento. Righeimer says there is a massive pension liability.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OV asks if 65% of Costa Mesa’s budget is the appropriate amount to spend on police and fire. He asks if it’s sustainable.

Jay Humphrey says the level is correct and has been the level for years. He calls public safety the app

Tony Capitelli says 65% is sustainable but not with 19% for pensions.

Lee Ramos says 80% is more appropriate for sustainability.

Al Melone is fine with 65%-80% but calls for increasing the retirement age for pensions.

Rita Simpson says CalPERS is demanding greater payments for unsustainable pensions.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks Bunyan about how he would deal with unfunded pension liabilities.

Chris Bunyan says CalPERS hasn’t followed all of Jerry Brown’s recommendations for pension reform. He says fat pensions are gone. He says Costa Mesa needs to tighten its belts.

Jim Righeimer says there is no silver bullet. He says cities will go bankrupt which will force change. He criticizes the structure of the CalPERS board. He says Costa Mesa will be fine because they monitor their budget but other cities will go bankrupt.

Jay Humphrey says the City pension committee has called for increased contributions from both employer and employees to deal with the pension liability. Humphrey cites a single year’s returns as proof that investments are reducing the pension liability.

Tony Capitelli says employees need to pay the entire employee pension contribution and should replicate the federal pension plan. He expresses concern that new employees and his generation are forced to pay for the largesse of older generations.

Jim Righeimer says the State prevents cities and employees from contributing more to the pension. He wants to establish a balance where police are not paying 25% of their salaries to pensions.

Lee Ramos is concerned that the only ways to fix the liability problem is via sales tax, Sacramento changes, bonds, or property taxes.

Al Melone calls for placing money in the bank from higher contributions as insurance against future liabilities rather than paying CalPERS more.

Alicia Perez of the Daily Pilot asks about building supportive housing.

Tony Capitelli says Civic Center Park was thr wrong location, and that Mercy House had applied for a number of other locations, some of which are in industrial/commercial areas rather than residential areas.

Jay Humphrey says Costa Mesa should provide housing for the homeless. He wants to convert motels into SROs. He says the City did this in the 1990s and was a model for the County.

Lee Ramos questions where these places were.

Jay Humphrey gives locations.

Several people shout that these are affordable homes for seniors not the homeless.

Tony Capitelli says there needs to be more collaboration with the community.

Chris Bunyan says hotels should start to take on more homeless as the hotels age. He calls Righeimer anti-hotel.

Al Melone asks where will the funding for all of this come from. He says Santa Monica and LA have much worse homeless problems.

Jim Righeimer says Costa Mesa has attracted homeless by providing numerous services. He says all cities need to provide these services so every city has its fair share. He says some hotel slumlords are overcharging the homeless for tiny spaces, like five people on 180 square feet.

Tony Capitelli says nonprofits, state, and federal funding pays for these. He says they should encourage community development rather than shelters.

Lee Ramos asks where the money is that Capitelli is referring to.

Tony Capitelli points to one grant the City Council voted against.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks yes or no on medical marijuana:
Jay Humphrey says Yes.
Tony Capitelli says Yes.
Lee Ramos says Yes.
Al Melone says No.
Rita Simpson says No.
Jim Righeimer says No if not medical.
Chris Bunyan says Yes.

Barbara Venezia of the Daily Pilot asks Yes or No on messages on toilet seats:
Jay Humphrey says Yes.
Tony Capitelli says Yes.
Lee Ramos says No.
Al Melone says No.
Rita Simpson says No.
Jim Righeimer says No.
Chris Bunyan says Yes.

Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC asks about taking four years with all of Righeimer’s promises and only outsourcing trash.

Jim Righeimer says they can’t outsource the city. He says general employee average total compensation is $105,000. He says the City worked with city employees to cap cash outs of employee vacation pay when they separate from employment.

John Canalis of the Daily Pilot asks about Banning Ranch.

Chris Bunyan says he has fought developing Banning Ranch. He criticizes Righeimer.

Jim Righeimer says it’s Newport Beach’s decision.

Rita Simpson says it’s the Coastal Commission’s decision.

Lee Ramos says there needs to be tighter control of the project.

Tony Capitelli calls for mitigation.

Jay Humphrey opposes the project.

Your blogger missed the final Yes or No question, but here are the answers (if someone recalls the answer please comment below or click on contact us above):
Jay Humphrey says No.
Tony Capitelli says says Yes.
Lee Ramos says Yes.
Al Melone says Yes.
Rita Simpson says Yes.
Jim Righeimer says Yes.
Chris Bunyan says No.

This blogger apologizes for any errors and omissions. Feet to the Fire debates are always the most difficult events to live blog due to their quick and lively pace.  Additionally, tonight’s extremely disruptive audience made it difficult to hear the candidates and panelists at times.

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Live from OC GOP Central Committee: Endorsements Round 1

Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 18, 2014

We’re live from OC GOP Central Committee for the first round of endorsements for the November General Election.

As is normal for an endorsements meeting, a slew of new alternates are being sworn in (though several represent new ex officio members as this is the first meeting since the Secretary of State certified nominees for the November election).

There are so many elected officials and candidates present that I will not even attempt to list them all.

Pete Peterson, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State, addresses the Central Committee.

Ron Nehring, the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, addresses the Central Committee.

The endorsements agenda consists of:
1. Jim Righeimer – Costa Mesa
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
3. Yes on Charter – Costa Mesa (Measure O)
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda (November Election)
5. Mark McCurdy – Fountain Valley
6. Tyler Diep – Westminster
7. Jeff Lalloway – Irvine
8. Steven Choi – Irvine Mayor
9. Lynn Schott – Irvine
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
12. Dave Harrington – Aliso Viejo
13. Derek Reeve – San Juan Capistrano
14. Pam Patterson – San Juan Capistrano
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
17. Craig Alexander – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 4
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
20. Steve Sheldon – Orange County Water District, Division 5
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
26. Phil Yarbrough – Rancho Santiago Community College District, Trustee Area 6
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
28. Measure E – County Contracting with FPPC (Yes)
29. Measure G – Supervisorial Vacancy (Yes)
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
34. Measure AA – Santa Ana Utility Tax (No)
35. Measure JJ – Yorba Linda Pension & Healthcare Elimination (Yes)
36. Measure W – Irvine Great Park Transparency (Yes)
37. Measure V – Irvine Term Limits (Yes)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
39. Julie Collier – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
40. Ellen Addonizio – Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 6
41. Brett Barbre – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 1
42. Diane Dixon – Newport Beach
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
44. Measure Y – Newport Beach General Plan Update (Yes)
45. Dave Ellis – Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 5
46. Scott Voigts – Lake Forest
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lynn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

26 of the 49 items were passed as a consent calendar, except the following 23 people/measures who were pulled for discussion or for referral to the Endorsements Committee:
2. Lee Ramos – Costa Mesa
4. Peggy Huang – Yorba Linda
10. Tom Lindsey – Yorba Linda
11. Tom Tait – Anaheim Mayor
15. Jesse Petrilla – Rancho Santa Margarita
16. Robert Ming – Orange County Supervisor, 5th District
18. Fred Whitaker – Orange
19. Ray Grangoff – Orange
21. Timothy Surridge – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 5
22. Rick Ledesma – Orange Unified School District, Trustee Area 7
23. David Yang – Tustin Unified School District
24. William Hinz – Lowell Joint School District
25. John Novak – Savanna School District
27. Sandra Crandall – Fountain Valley School District
30. Measure H – Anaheim Union High School District Bond (No)
31. Measure I – Fullerton Joint Union High School District Bond (No)
32. Measure J – North Orange County Community College District Bond (No)
33. Measure K – Orange Unified School District Bond (No)
38. Measure GG – Stanton Sales Tax (No)
43. Yorba Linda Recall (No)
47. Erik Peterson – Huntington Beach
48. Lyn Semeta – Huntington Beach
49. Mike Posey – Huntington Beach

8:02 PM: Chairman Scott Baugh reveals more than $10,000 in union contributions for Lucille Kring despite her signing the nonunion pledge. He makes a scathing speech blasting Kring for breaking her word. If she disagrees with the pledge, she shouldn’t have signed it, Baugh says. Kring attempts to protest, but cannot speak as a nonmember of the Central Committee. Baugh entertains a motion from Tim Whitacre to endorse Tom Tait for Mayor of Anaheim.

TJ Fuentes speaks in favor of Tait. He speaks of Tait’s servant leadership, Tait’s grassroots activism and efforts to support the Republican Party. Fuentes speaks of Tait standing by his principles of lower taxes, limited government, kindness, and transparency. Fuentes notes Tait is the OCGOP’s 2013 Local Elected Official of the Year.

Alexandria Coronado says the Tait of the past is not the Tait of today. She says he’s given money to Jordan Brandman and Jose F. Moreno. She says Tait is working with unions and was a speaker at a Democratic Party-sponsored event.

By a voice vote:

TAIT ENDORSED.

Fred Whitaker moves the endorsement of Lee Ramos for Costa Mesa City Council. He says Ramos will help unify the city. He says Ramos is the leading conservative candidate for the open seat.

Baugh asks how much Ramos has raised, how much his opponents have raised, and if he has endorsements from Righeimer, Mensinger, and Monahan.

Ramos says he’s raised about $40,000 while the nearest opponent had $9,100. Ramos does have the endorsements.

Desare Ferraro urges delaying this to allow Tony Capitelli to be considered for endorsement.

By voice vote:

RAMOS ENDORSED

One person pulled the endorsements in Huntington Beach, but there is little debate on the Huntington Beach candidates.

PETERSON ENDORSED

SEMETA ENDORSED

POSEY ENDORSED

There is no debate on Peggy Huang for Yorba Linda City Council.

HUANG ENDORSED

Desare Ferraro objects to the endorsement of Tom Lindsey for the November General Election. She says it would be divisive with the recall going on.

Brenda McCune notes she ran against Tom Lindsey in 2010, but she supports his endorsement now. She calls the recall a power grab. She calls Lindsey an independent mind and listener. She calls him a good Republican and family man.

Baron Night proposes a substitute motion to go to Endorsements Committee. He cites the recall.

Brett Barbre notes the recall is October 7 and general election is November 4. He notes the recall costs $300,000. He says Lindsey is a good Republican.

Night’s substitute motion gets 17 votes. There are far more votes against Night’s substitute motion.

A debate of parliamentary procedure ensues.

By a standing vote, there are 39 votes to endorse Lindsey. 37 were needed.

LINDSEY ENDORSED.

Brett Barbre of Yorba Linda moves to endorse against the recall. Scott Peotter of Newport Beach seconds.

Baron Night of Buena Park offers a substitute motion to send it to Endorsements Committee. Tim Whitacre of Santa Ana seconds.

Night argues the recall is a local issue.

Brenda McCune of Yorba Linda says the people of Yorba Linda want to hear from the party because these issues have gone on for quite some time in Yorba Linda.

Scott Baugh speaks of becoming an Assemblyman in the Doris Allen recall. He warns of recalls against Jeff Lalloway, Jim Righeimer, and Deborah Pauly. He warns against recalls for anything other than malfeasance or betrayal of Republican principles.

Night withdraws his substitute motion.

Peotter notes that Young and Lindsey are following the law and the will of the people. He blasts NIMBYs for launching the recall and says that removing Young and Lindsey should be in a general election, not a recall.

Whitacre of Santa Ana helped collect recall signatures in Yorba Linda. He claims that Young and Lindsey received PAC contributions. He claims Mark Schwing and Nancy Rikel are conservatives.

Barbre of Yorba Linda says it seems the longer you live in Yorba Linda the more credibility you have. He says he’s lived there for 45 years. He says the recall is the biggest waste of money he’s ever seen. He notes the recall supporters were the same people who opposed making Imperial Highway a city road. He notes there is ballot box zoning in Yorba Linda. He notes that Young and Lindsey voted for densities 35% below the cap imposed by voters.

Nancy Rikel attacks Young, Lindsey, and Hernandez. She criticizes the Central Committee for endorsing Lindsey. She blasts Young and Lindsey for supporting the Brea Police contract with Yorba Linda. Disruptive audience members who appear to have been brought by Rikel are cheering for Rikel. Rikel complains that the recall cost more because opponents tried to stand at supermarkets to oppose the recall.

Baugh asks Rikel if she’s actually arguing that the taxpayer cost of the recall went up because people opposed the recall. She admits she meant her side’s campaign contribution dollars.

Peggy Huang notes that unions spent $80,000 in the 2012 Yorba Linda election. She notes Rikel lost in 2012 and is running in the recall.

Dennis White recaps the Brea Police Department versus Orange County Sheriff’s Department contract debate in Yorba Linda. Rikel’s disruptive audience members applaud again.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON THE YORBA LINDA RECALL

By motion of Tony Beall and seconded by Jennifer Beall, the Central Committee votes to send:
JESSE PETRILLA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Bill Dunlap speaks about Robert Ming being a public servant who is a state leader.

Bill Christiansen speaks on behalf of Darrell Issa that there are two good Republicans running for Fifth District Supervisor.

Baron Night says Lisa Bartlett failed to ask for the endorsement in the general though she did ask for the endorsement in the primary. He calls Ming an active supporter of other Republicans, a conservative, and a successful Councilman.

Steve Nagel speaks on behalf of Lisa Bartlett. He has served with her on various regional committees. He says she is a hard worker and has been a strong Republican in Dana Point and statewide. He says both Ming and Bartlett are good Republicans. He says both applied for the endorsement in the primary and that should stand.

By a voice vote:
MING ENDORSED

Fred Whitaker notes his long term service to the party. He states he is willing to compare his conservative record against anyone else’s. He notes he led the successful effort to eliminate Council compensation. He notes that Orange unions are paying their employee contributions without raises, the only city in the County with this accomplishment.

Deborah Pauly points to Whitaker’s $1,000 campaign contribuition to Democrat Tita Smith for Mayor of Orange. She points to Whitaker’s front yard included a sign in support of Smith.

By a voice vote:
WHITAKER ENDORSED

With no debate:
GRANGOFF ENDORSED

A whole lot of people move to send:
SURRIDGE TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE
LEDESMA TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

Alexandria Coronado moves to send:
YANG TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

With little debate since he’s unopposed on the ballot:
HINZ ENDORSED

No one makes a motion on Novak.

Mark Bucher moves to oppose Measures H, I, J, and K, with a second by Deborah Pauly.

Fred Whitaker makes a substitute motion to send all of them to Endorsements Committee, with a second by Baron Night.

Whitaker says four conservative school board members voted for Measure K. He says he doesn’t know anything about the other three measures. He wants the Endorsements Committee to vet them.

Bucher says it’s a simple question of whether the Republican Party stands for or against higher taxes.

There are 24 votes to send the four measures to Endorsements Committee. There are 22 votes against sending the four measures to Endorsements Committee.

MEASURES H, I, J, AND K TO ENDORSEMENTS COMMITTEE

David Shawver speaks in favor of Measure GG. He says the City of Stanton cut $9 million, have 26 employees left, cut spending on public safety. He says the Register said that Stanton has done a good job. Shawver says only three people have opposed this and they’re not Stanton residents.

Mark Bucher says Measure GG is a sales tax for public employees. He says that there are alternatives to higher taxes. If the Republican Party does not oppose higher taxes, the party should fold its tent and go home. Bucher says that sending this to Endorsements Committee will simply result in this coming back to Central Committee.

Shawver attacks Wayne Lindholm. Shawver says the City has cut 6 out of 20 officers. He says they’ve cut everything they can. He encourages people to look at his books. He claims only outsiders oppose this tax and that Stanton voters should decide.

Jon Fleischman notes Diane Harkey opposes this tax. Fleischman agrees with Bucher that approving this tax hike in Stanton will set a precedent where other cities will turn to higher taxes rather than reducing public employee salaries.

By a voice vote:
ENDORSEMENT FOR “NO” ON MEASURE GG

Round 1 of endorsements are complete. Round 2 will be considered in September.

Mary Young thanks everyone who volunteered for the Party at the OC Fair. There’s also a presentation for the Volunteer of the Month.

Mark Bucher says the bills are all paid. Baugh jokingly disputes that.

TJ Fuentes welcomes the new ex officio members and reminds them to pay their $25 dues.

Captain Emily Sanford, USN (Ret.) thanks the Party members for donations of goods to the troops. She encourages more donations, particularly those of the dental variety.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE ADJOURNS AT 9:23 PM.

Posted in 5th Supervisorial District, Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Anaheim Union High School District, Capistrano Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley School District, Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lake Forest, Lowell Joint School District, Municipal Water District of Orange County, Newport Beach, North Orange County Community College District, Orange, Orange County, Orange County Water District, Orange Unified School District, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Republican Central Committee, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin Unified School District, Westminster, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

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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