Newport Beach City Atty. David Hunt made headlines this year that he'd likely want to forget. He was arrested in mid-March on suspicion of felony spousal abuse. But when the Orange County district attorney's office decided not to file charges against him, Hunt returned to his job at City Hall in early June. Hunt's contract with the city has been extended for another year.
Newport-Mesa Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard grappled with difficult budget issues caused by a reduction in state revenues and was commended for tough decision-
making. But he also faced personal hardship uncommon to officials at his level: two felony charges related to his employment as schools chief in Beverly Hills. He has denied accusations that he OK'd an unauthorized stipend of $20,000 to an administrator there.
Amid an economic crunch, Newport Beach had to figure out how to pay for its new $128-million civic center. It didn't hurt to have a municipal finance expert as mayor. Keith Curry developed a fiscal sustainability plan that helped the city get a AAA bond rating and close an $8-million budget deficit. In November, the city issued bonds for the civic center and qualified for a federally subsidized stimulus program that will save taxpayers millions.
Steve Mensinger has been involved in politics in Costa Mesa as a planning commissioner and now an applicant for City Council. He has also made his mark in the sports arena, where he has been Costa Mesa Pop Warner Football president, as well as an Estancia High football boosters president. Mensinger, who finished his term as Pop Warner president in 2010, helped the program grow to more than 200 children. He also helped institute safety measures.