Nguyen compares state, Costa Mesa budget woes

Costa Mesa Mayor and state assembly hopeful Allan Mansoor responded to criticisms from his opponent Phu Nguyen on Saturday that he's led the city into a financial ditch much like the state's current fiscal woes.

"My opponent will not make responsible cuts or address much-needed pension reform," Mansoor said.

Nguyen, the democratic candidate for the 68th District assembly seat, took a shot at his Republican opponent Friday, drawing parallels between the California state budget passed earlier in the day and Costa Mesa's budget shortfalls.

"The state budget passed [Friday] violates California's constitutional requirement that our budgets be balanced," Nguyen said in a press statement. "It assumes revenues that will never materialize and again delays getting our state's financial house in order. Unfortunately, Sacramento isn't the only place this happens. My opponent, as mayor of Costa Mesa, has presided over the decline of a once economically healthy city."

Costa Mesa had to adjust their budget mid-year in 2009 after sales tax revenues fell short of expectations. California legislators approved the state's $125-billion budget early Friday after a marathon session.

"We're trying to make responsible cuts and that's what Sacramento needs to do," Mansoor said. "My opponent will not make the responsible cuts and will probably want to rely on tax increases and that's not what we need right now."

An independent study released earlier this year pegged Costa Mesa as the only city in the county to spend more than it took in over the last eight years. City officials disputed the claim, with other statistics showing it made more than it spent like every other city, according to media reports.

The city is currently operating with a $16-million budget shortfall that it is working to plug.

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