In the last 15 minutes of Tuesday night's City Council meeting, Mayor Allan Mansoor had to vote on waiving a fee for a new youth soccer league, a Latino origination based in Santa Ana. They were requesting use of three fields not being used by AYSO and located on the Westside.
Here's the rub. If he votes "yes," he doesn't look like a fiscal conservative but he gives the impression he wants to help the kids of the Westside, who mostly are Latino; doing this could give him a much-needed "kudos" from angry Latinos.
Or he could vote "no" to the $28,000 fee waiver to show his fiscal responsibility. This no vote would anger residents of the Westside (Councilwoman Wendy Leece's backyard) who think the council doesn't care about them; this no vote would then push the kids into gangs and drug abuse. You've gotta love it.
The look on Mansoor's face was priceless. He sat there, staring at his notes while the rest were waiting for his vote. He decided that he wouldn't (or couldn't) vote. Councilman Katrina Foley yelled foul and something about a lawsuit. Mansoor attempted to recuse himself (not legal in the middle of a vote). Foley asked "why?" Mansoor didn't answer. Foley still yelled. Finally the city attorney suggested that a closed section were needed.
Wow, that was great. Too bad there was only myself, Chris McEvoy, a candidate for council, and one other person in the audience. During the break I predicted that Mansoor would not return and there would be a revote. I love being right!
Mansoor left, Leece took a revote, Councilman Gary Monahan changed his vote (covering Mansoor's sorry butt), and the proposal passed, 3-1. Bever cast the dissenting vote; at least Bever didn't waver on his convictions.
What a great end to a long night.
Kevin Doane lives in Costa Mesa