COSTA MESA — The City Council on Tuesday appointed Planning Commissioner Steve Mensinger to serve two years in the seat vacated by former Councilwoman Katrina Foley.
The council voted 3 to 1 to appoint Mensinger, with Councilwoman Wendy Leece opposing. Before the vote, pleas came from at least two dozen residents to appoint Westside resident Chris McEvoy, a math teacher who received the third highest votes in the November election.
"We need people up here that have the ability to say no when they have to say no," Councilman Jim Righeimer said, adding that McEvoy's qualifications and service do not compare to Mensinger's.
"This city is in a financial mess, flat-out financial mess," he said.
Leece was in favor of McEvoy being appointed.
Some who spoke in favor of McEvoy reminded the City Council that their votes should be respected, and that the almost 11,000 votes McEvoy received during the election should be considered when making its decision.
"Chris stands for what I believe is important in this community," said resident Sheryl Smith. "He would be a voice for things I consider to be important."
Resident TK Brimer asked the council to appoint McEvoy to reflect Costa Mesa's diversity — its best quality, he said — and for the sake of honoring the democratic process.
Beth Collins, a resident who spoke in favor of Mensinger, said he opened his home to her sons after their father died and treated them as his own.
Mensinger turned 49 on Tuesday.