Mayor Peter Buffa

Age: 48

Occupation: Multimedia producer

First elected: November 1986

Term expires: November 1998

Key issues: Retaining and attracting businesses to ensure "the resources to provide other public services, especially police and fire"; improving streets and access to the freeway and toll road; keeping law enforcement and emergency services as the city's top priority.

Councilman Gary Monahan

Age: 38

Occupation: Restaurant manager

First elected: November 1994

Term expires: November 1998

Key issues: Developing Costa Mesa High School farm site; upgrading residential and commercial development in the westside and other areas targeted for redevelopment; upgrading public infrastructure, such as streets, roadways and sidewalks.

Councilman Joe Erickson

Age: 40

Occupation: Businessman

First elected: Appointed July 1991; elected November 1992

Term expires: November 2000

Key issues: Continuing to reduce crime; developing the Costa Mesa High School farm site into playing fields; continuing "renovation in our neighborhoods."

Councilwoman Heather K. Somers

Age: 41

Occupation: Interior decorator

First elected: November 1996

Term expires: November 2000

Key issues: Working with the Fire Department to launch a CPR program in schools and coordinating the Community Emergency Services Response Team to help businesses learn first aid; seeking input and funding from the community and businesses to develop the Costa Mesa High School farm site.

Councilwoman Libby Cowan

Age: 44

Occupation: Community services superintendent with city of Irvine

First elected: November 1996

Term expires: November 2000

Key issues: Providing youth programs that offer an alternative to antisocial behavior; completing funding and building plans for the Costa Mesa High School farm site, Fairview Park and a new downtown community center; renewing commitment to the master plan for parks and streets.

Other Key Officials

City manager: Allan L. Roeder

Age: 46

Length in office: 12 years

City attorney: Thomas Kathe

Age: 41

Length in office: Eight years

Police chief: David L. Snowden

Age: 54

Length in office: 11 years

Fire chief: Frank Fantino

Age: 52

Length in office: 14 years

How to Reach Them

Council meets: First and third Mondays of the month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Telephone: (714) 754-5000

Fax: (714) 556-7508

Web site:


Motto: "Hub of the Harbor Area" is the official motto, but "City of the Arts" also is used.

Flower: Fuchsia

Incorporated: June 29, 1953

Population: 102,090

Legislative districts:

* 45th Congressional

* 70th Assembly

* 35th Senatorial

* 2nd Supervisorial

Operating budget: $73.7 million

Number of employees: 780

Highest-paid employee: City manager, $128,916 a year

Council perks: $517.50 monthly stipends


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