Commentary: Why I am withdrawing from the Costa Mesa council race

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the 2012 Costa Mesa City Council race. I ran in 2010 and intended to run in 2012 for the same reasons.

I am truly disturbed by the manner in which Costa Mesa is being run. There is a lack of depth in terms of diversity on the council, which seems to prohibit fair representation for our community as a whole.

I am disappointed by the lack of respect shown to residents and employees of the city by some elected and appointed officials, and the decisions that have been made, which have the appearance of being driven by personal feelings, nepotism and outside influence.

Costa Mesa needs and deserves council members who make their decisions based on the research of facts, public input and the short- and long-term success of the city and all of its components (residents, businesses and employees).

I don’t believe that is something we have now. The dais is no place for personal power and agendas or outside influence. We need candidates who are running for the sole purpose of serving the community.

Although I know I would be an asset to this city as a representative on the council, I do not want to take the risk of standing in the way of other great, qualified candidates with good intentions. Too many candidates can create the potential of a split vote, and I do not want that to happen.

Making the decision to run for council was never about me. It was about wanting change so much that I was willing to step up and try to make that positive change possible. It was about contributing to the community and acting in the best interest of the community.

I believe by withdrawing from this council race that I will be doing just that. It will give Costa Mesa residents who are not happy with the current council the best opportunity to elect new council members. At the end of the day I want what I have always wanted, which is for the city of Costa Mesa to thrive.

I will continue to attend council meetings, volunteer and support the organizations and residents of this city. I don’t need to be a council person to do that.

I will give input and support in an effort to make that happen. I will stay engaged in the affairs of the city, maintain a watchful eye, and speak up when I think there is something that must be said in support of positive change. I will fight for the success and stability of the city I call home, Costa Mesa.

At this point, I fully support former Mayor Sandy Genis and attorney John Stephens for Costa Mesa City Council. They have for many years contributed to this community in various ways. They have been and will continue to be involved in the community affairs and will fight for what is best for Costa Mesa.

Although there are three open seats, I can only put my full support behind two candidates at this time, as the filing period has not ended, and I want to take more time to do my due diligence in making sure my vote goes to a candidate who will make the right decisions for Costa Mesa. It is my hope all of the residents of Costa Mesa will do the same.

SUE LESTER is a community and medical marijuana advocate.