Foley expects Mensinger appointment

COSTA MESA — Former Councilwoman Katrina Foley said Monday that she expects Planning Commissioner Steve Mensinger to replace her on the City Council.

Foley, who stepped down Friday to take a seat on the Newport-Mesa school board, believes the council will appoint Mensinger, a planning commissioner, when it convenes Tuesday night.

But if Foley had her druthers, the appointment would go to high school math teacher Chris McEvoy. He was the third-highest vote-getter in the November election for two open seats, which were filled by incumbent Wendy Leece and Planning Commission veteran Jim Righeimer.

"I think from my perspective, we just had an election and the voters expressed their preference for who they wanted to represent them," Foley said. "I think the fair public process is to respect the voters, but I think Steve Mensinger is going to be appointed. Steve and I are friends, and we both support youth sports and a family focus for Costa Mesa. I look forward to working with him."

Though council seats are non-partisan, McEvoy and Foley are considered more liberal. Mensinger, like the current council majority, is considered a conservative.

Eight people have applied to serve the two remaining years of Foley's second term on the council.

In addition to Mensinger and McEvoy, the applicants are parks Commissioners Jeff Mathews and Mike Brumbaugh; Planning Commissioner Sam Clark; former Councilwoman Heather Somers; attorney Timothy Sesler; and resident Margaret Shillington.

Mensinger, who describes himself as a visionary, said he considers it an honor to be thought of as the council's selection.

"I guess it's a compliment that everybody thinks I'm so good that I would just be appointed," he has said.

Foley also shares some common ground with Mensinger.

"I can ally with Steve on youth sports and issues that affect families," Foley said. "So if he's the one that gets appointed, I think I have an ally on the council."

The council meeting is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, 77 Fair Drive.

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