Name: Wendy Leece
How long have you lived in Costa Mesa? 38 years
Occupation: mayor pro tem
Education: bachelor's degree in education from University of Arizona
Previously elected or appointed positions: Newport Mesa-Unified School District trustee 1994-2002; Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission 2003-06; Cable Television Committee
Community organizations you belong to: Costa Mesa Community Foundation board member, Costa Mesa Historical Preservation Committee, Vector Control District Board of Directors, Orange County Library Advisory Board, Costa Mesa Senior Center, Costa Mesa Library Foundation, Costa Mesa Historical Society,
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Costa Mesa right now? Budget, oversight of OC Fair & Event Center ground lease and subsequent approval by Legislature of the sale.
What is one decision in the last year that the City Council got right and why would you have supported it?
Entering into an agreement with the state to buy the Orange County Fairgrounds and offering to lease the fairgrounds to Facilities Management West. About 18 months ago, Orange County and Costa Mesa residents came to our council meetings and asked us to help preserve the fairgrounds because the governor wanted to sell them to solve the state budget problems. For more than a year, our staff and consultants have collaborated with state legislators and officials, attorneys, advisors, and many others to enter into agreements that will preserve the fairgrounds and keep our Orange County Fair a fair.
We have done our best to examine the documents and agreements and determine that this is the best decision for Costa Mesa. It is a win-win situation for the city. We don't spend a dime, but we stand to make millions of dollars. We don't have to worry that the state will come back to us in a few years and decide to sell the land to a developer who wants to build houses or even a casino. As of today there are still some unresolved issues, such as the legislation being approved, and there is still the possibility that the sale will not go through. I remain hopeful. We have done our very best to keep control of the fairgrounds in local hands and at the same time promote free enterprise and an entrepreneurial spirit.
What is one decision in the last year that the City Council got wrong, or partially wrong, and why would you have voted differently?
I cannot think of a decision that the council got wrong or how I might have voted differently. I consider my votes very carefully and have no regrets.