After years of people in the community working to form a coalition of voters — Republicans, Democrats, third parties and independents — Sandy Genis ran for election and won with the support and hard work of that group.
The coalition wanted a government that served the residents, not out-of-town interests or a political machine. Her campaign slogan in 2016 was “Leadership We Can Trust.”
When the new City Council was seated in 2016, Genis nominated Councilwoman Katrina Foley as mayor and voted in favor of Foley’s appointment.
But then a year later, Genis formed a new alliance with the very political machine that we worked so hard to defeat. Genis chose to tear apart the coalition by voting to unseat Foley as mayor in late 2017.
We have never received the promised explanation of why she betrayed so many of her supporters. The result is now the city is falling backward into divisiveness.
Recently, Genis submitted a candidate statement that was alleged to be false and misleading in places and confusing even to those who are familiar with city matters. The lack of clarity in that statement would certainly baffle the average voter and would require much research to understand its meaning.
Genis sought to have her offending statement, i.e., campaign hit piece, published and disseminated by the Registrar of Voters to every voter in Costa Mesa. A publication from a government source needs to be accurate because it is thought to have more credibility than one from a private party, and therefore should not be used to disparage an opponent.
Had former Councilwoman Wendy Leece not filed a petition to get Genis’ candidate statement revised, the burden would have been on Foley to refute those statements at great expense. We should all be grateful that Leece set aside her friendship with Genis to pursue truth and clarity for the citizens of Costa Mesa.
Genis seems to think there should be no consequence to her actions. But there are consequences, and her actions have led many of us to feel that our trust has been betrayed. We elected her to work with all City Council members to represent us in city matters, not to participate in the power politics of the previous years.
So, who can be trusted to lead Costa Mesa forward? Foley did an excellent job when she was the appointed mayor. She is the only candidate for mayor who has stayed true to her principles and remained loyal to her supporters and Costa Mesa. It is clear to me that Foley is the candidate to trust.
Stoaks, Brenner have the pulse of the people
Sometimes they say it takes a village to support the growth and development of an individual. In the case of Newport Beach, it is going to take a village to restore the city to its full potential.
During the past few months, the community has been at the forefront of embracing change in our government. This has formed organically through many neighborhood events, in which two of the candidates, Tim Stoaks and Joy Brenner, have factually focused on bringing the residents together again.
These candidates have successfully brought thousands of Newport Beach residents together in just a few months. Both Stoaks and Brenner have worked around the clock to educate and inform like-minded people as to why we need to transform our city on Nov. 6.
This has been a call to action, in which the community has literally been taken off-line and become united. Residents across the city have walked away from each event with a strong feeling of good, with new friendships being formed and citizens being energized with optimism.
If two honest and principled Newport Beach residents can collectively listen and bring thousands of people together for the common good of our city (especially without being self-serving), then both Stoaks and Brenner can bring common sense back to Newport Beach in the most conventional way.
Why? Because Stoaks and Brenner have the pulse of the people.
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