By the Daily Pilot staff
8:54 PM PST, December 30, 2011
1.) Jim Righeimer. Costa Mesa's mayor pro tem led an unapologetic charge to restructure the city with layoffs, pension reform and the creation of a proposed city charter, making him the target of organized labor and a hero of reform-minded conservatives who argue that the city's finances are unsustainable.
2.) Nick Berardino. The general manager of the Orange County Employees Assn. led an equally unapologetic fight to keep public employees on the payroll, where he blitzed the city in an effort to stop some 200 planned layoffs and won an appointment to the Orange County Fair Board along the way.
3.) Katrina Foley. This independent-minded Newport-Mesa Unified school trustee championed schools, youth sports, charitable work and public employees, and also served as a counterpoint to the tradition-bound school board.
4.) Tom Hatch. Costa Mesa's new city CEO found himself in the unenviable position of having to lead during what has arguably been the most difficult chapter in city history.
5.) Dave Kiff. Costa Mesa got most of the attention, but the Newport Beach city manager, aided by the City Council, made quiet but meaningful financial reforms that few would call painless.
6.) Nancy Gardner. Newport Beach's new mayor, a pragmatic environmentalist and consensus-builder, goes her own way, but manages to do so with little conflict.
7.) Jeffrey Hubbard. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District superintendent pleaded not guilty to a third felony charge of misappropriation of public funds related to his old job as the Beverly Hills schools chief and will go to trial in January.
8.) Kimberly Claytor. The teachers' union president voiced support for cutting money from the administration instead of the classroom and led a teachers union no-confidence vote in the superintendent.
9.) Leslie Daigle. The Newport Beach councilwoman and state Assembly candidate can rightfully claim partial credit for efforts to dredge the bay and improve water quality.
10.) Sandy Segerstrom Daniels. The Festival of Children Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and its founder has become a powerful voice for the voiceless.
11.) Helen Nenadal. Though not one to seek the spotlight, the head of the Costa Mesa City Employees Assn. fought the reforms at City Hall and put her name on the lawsuit seeking to stop the layoffs.
12.) Steve Mensinger. The Costa Mesa councilman teamed with Righeimer in an attempt to restructure the government and put infrastructure improvements back on the front burner.
13.) Steve Beazley. The president and chief executive of the OC Fair & Event Center survived the proposed sale of the fairgrounds and had a fair this year that broke attendance records.
14.) Jeff Teller. The Orange County Market Place operator managed to convince a Fair Board hell bent on removing his operation from the fairgrounds to change its mind.
15.) Walt Davenport. The immediate past Newport-Mesa Unified school board president stood steadfastly alongside the embattled superintendent, earning an A for loyalty but lower marks from the teachers union.
16.) Allan Roeder. Costa Mesa's well-liked city manager retired after 36 years at City Hall.
17.) Henry T. Segerstrom. The Orange County Performing Arts Center was recently renamed the Segerstrom Center for the Arts due to the patronage of the managing co-partner of C.J. Segerstrom & Sons (South Coast Plaza).
18.) Mike Henn. The Newport Beach councilman spearheaded an ambitious effort to revitalize struggling retail areas, but had to recuse himself from Lido Village discussions after some questioned his professional ties to one of the business owners in the area.
19.) Donald Bren. The Irvine Co., which Bren chairs, announced plans to build PIMCO's new headquarters at Newport Center, new homes and apartments in Irvine, and a makeover for Fashion Island.
20.) The Irvine 11. Ten of the 11 college students at the misdemeanor trial were convicted for interrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador at UC Irvine.
21.) Steve Staveley. Costa Mesa's interim police chief quit in a huff, calling the City Council majority and its proposed cuts to city employees "unethical" and "immoral."
22.) Keith Curry. The Newport Beach councilman riled Democrats and those against political art on public grounds when he led the effort to commission a statue honoring President Ronald Reagan.
23.) Gary Monahan. The mayor of Costa Mesa took it on the chin after deciding to keep working at his Irish bar on St. Patrick's Day after a city employee committed suicide at City Hall. He later apologized, explaining that it was the busiest day of the year for his business.
24.) Wendy Leece. It's never easy to stand alone, but the Costa Mesa councilwoman voted against the layoffs and held her ground.
25.) Paul Reed. The Newport-Mesa Unified assistant superintendent and chief business official stepped in when Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard went on leave to lead the district.
26.) Scott Baugh. Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party.
27.) Tom Gazsi. Costa Mesa's new police chief.
28.) Jay Johnson. Newport Beach's police chief.
29.) Rick Francis. Costa Mesa assistant city CEO.
30.) Dana Smith. Newport Beach assistant city manager.
31.) Tod Ridgeway. Developer and former Newport councilman.
32.) Bill Lobdell. Costa Mesa city spokesman and a former Daily Pilot columnist.
33.) Tara Finnigan. Newport Beach city spokeswoman.
34.) David Hunt. Former Newport Beach city attorney.
35.) Tom Pollack. Newport Harbor Nautical Museum's board chairman.
36.) Courtney Brown. Corona del Mar junior who led the "save the Fun Zone" demonstration.
37.) Tim Starn. Commander of the now-disbanded AirBorne Law Enforcement.
38.) Evelyn Hart. Senior citizen advocate and former Newport mayor.
39.) Roger Carlson. Davidson Field press box namesake and former Pilot sports editor.
40.) Chris Miller. Newport Beach harbor resources manager in charge of the Rhine Channel cleanup.
41.) Dave Ellis. Orange County Fair Board member.
42.) George Argyros. Newport Beach real estate developer.
43.) Geoff West. A Bubbling Cauldron editor.
44.) Barbara Venezia. Orange County Register columnist.
45.) Amy Senk. Corona del Mar Today editor.
46.) Roger Bloom. Newport Beach Independent editor.
47.) Norberto Santana Jr. Voice of O.C. editor.
48.) Greg Ridge. Repair Costa Mesa activist.
49.) Sandy Genis. Repair Costa Mesa activist.
50.) Jim Mosher. Newport Beach council critic.
51.) Perry Valantine. Costa Mesa council critic.
52.) Tom and Eleanor Egan. Costa Mesa council critics.
53.) Richard Afable. President and CEO of Hoag Hospital.
54.) Mike Whitehead. Voice of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Independent columnist.
55.) Martha Fluor. Newport-Mesa Unified school board member.
56.) Christine Anderson. Sonora Elementary School principal.
57.) Ed Selich. Newport Beach councilman.
58.) Rush Hill. Newport Beach councilman.
59.) Geoff Ianniello and Pam Williams. Newport-Mesa Unified's nutrition services operations manager and nutritionist.
60.) Steve Rosansky. Newport Beach councilman.
61.) Anton Segerstrom. South Coast Plaza executive and philanthropist.
62.) Jim Fitzpatrick. Costa Mesa planning commissioner and Sanitary District board member.
63.) Colin McCarthy. Costa Mesa planning commissioner and head of the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Assn.
64.) Mary Hornbuckle. Coast Community College District trustee, preschool leader.
65.) Tim Vasin. Costa Mesa Fire Department union head.
66.) Jason Chamness. Costa Mesa Police Department union head.
67.) Aaron Harp. Newport Beach city attorney.
68.) Tom Duarte. Costa Mesa city attorney.
69.) Jennifer Muir. Orange County Employees Assn. spokeswoman.
70.) Billy Folsom. Costa Mesa city mechanic, employee advocate and face of Stop the Layoffs.
71.) Dennis Harkins. Orange Coast College president.
72.) Michael V. Drake. UC Irvine president.
73.). Mike Carey. OCC sustainability director.
74.) Gordon Bowley. Mesa United president.
75.) Jim and Linda Jordan. Former "Snoopy House" owners.
76.) Richard Luehrs. Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive.
77.) Larry Weichman. Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce president.
78.) Tom Johnson. Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year/former Pilot publisher.
79.) Ed Fawcett. Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce CEO.
80.) John Moorlach. County supervisor.
81.) William H. Gross. PIMCO founder.
82.) Mike Thornton. OCC's 500-win women's basketball coach.
83.) Mike Bargas. Estancia football coach.
84.) Scott Meyer. CdM football coach.
85.) Robert Murtha. Estancia football's award-winning tailback.
86.) Phil D'Agostino. Costa Mesa High School principal.
87.) Kirk Bauermeister. Estancia High School principal.
88.) Tim Bryan. CdM High School principal.
89.) Michael Vossen. Newport Harbor High School principal.
90.) Deborah Davis. Back Bay and Monte Vista high schools principal.
91.) Eliza Rubenstein. OCC choral director.
92.) Larry Haynes. Executive director of the Mercy House.
93.) Maria Elena Avila. Owner of Avila's El Ranchito, Costa Mesa, and community advocate.
94.) Carl St.Clair. Pacific Symphony director.
95.) Louise Fundenberg. Balboa Peninsula advocate.
96.) Father Kerry Beaulieu. Pastor, Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church.
97.) Kenton Beyshore. Mariners Church pastor.
98.) Mark S. Miller. Temple Bat Yahm rabbi.
99.) Marc Rubenstein. Temple Isaiah rabbi.
100.) Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini. Islamic Educational Center of Orange County imam.
101.) Fred Bockmiller. Mesa Consolidated Water District board president.
102.) Kate Winnett, Judi Gorski and Richard S. Robinson Jr. The respective commodores of the Bahia Corinthian, Balboa and Newport Harbor yacht clubs.
103.) Carousel pony. The famed Fun Zone merry-go-round galloped into history along with 2011.
Daily Pilot reader picks
•Brad Avery. OCC marine programs director.
•Josh Yocam. Advocate for part-time lifeguards and Balboa Island.
•Val Jamora. Cdm High music instructor.
•Scott Paulesen. OASIS Senior Center president.
•Liddy Paulsen. Sister City president
•Patrick Moore. Balboa Fun Zone rides owner.
•Derek and Matthew Hanna. Harbor View Elementary School clean-up artists.
•Lisa Roberts and Shannon Spining. Paularino Elementary School teachers.
•Raymond Jeffrey Yates. Morningside Recovery president.
•Kent Treptow. Former Pilot photographer who walked across America.
•The Rev. Sarah Halverson. Of Fairview Community Church.
•Costa Mesa Homeless Task Force.
•Wing Lam. Wahoo's Fish Taco founder.
•Mike Brumbaugh. Former Costa Mesa parks commissioner.
•Ivan and Marco Calderone. Of Taco Mesa.
•The Barto family. Donated the Nordic Star to the OCC Professional Mariner Program.
•Mesa Consolidated Water District board.
•Costa Mesa Police Department.
•Newport Beach Police Department.
•Jean Witte. Helped fund the Distinguished Speakers Series at the Newport Beach Public Library.
•Gary Collins, pastor of St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach
•The Newport Beach Ronald Reagan statue.
Additional Daily Pilot staff picks
•Jon Szalay. Hi-Point Series winner.
•Erin Freeman. Irvine Co. spokeswoman.
• Big Corona parking lot attendants.
•Beth Krom. Irvine councilwoman.
•Sukhee Kang. Irvine mayor.
•Rhonda Reid. Estancia counselor.
•John Alexander. Of the Pacific Chorale.
•Beverly Morgan. Festival of Children spokeswoman.
•The Corona del Mar "Goldenrod 6" chickens.