COSTA MESA A week after a surprise shake-up that saw Mayor Katrina Foley’s ouster in favor of her ally Sandy Genis, council members say they are ready to move ahead with city business.
The move to replace Foley came less than a year after a new council voting majority — made up of Foley, Genis and first-term Councilman John Stephens — appointed her as mayor following the exit of council members Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan.
Genis’s Nov. 7 vote to remove Foley came as a shock to many, considering the two women were often aligned politically against council members Jim Righeimer — who initiated Foley’s removal — and Allan Mansoor on a number of hot-button issues such as pay raises for public safety employees.
But what does the restructuring mean for the council going forward?
Not much, said Mansoor, who was appointed mayor pro tem in the shake-up.
“The only thing that has changed is who will run the meetings and cut the ribbons,” he said.
In the coming weeks, the newly reorganized panel will discuss a proposed animal shelter to be operated by the Orange County Humane Society amid a slew of complaints from residents, among other issues.
Foley has vowed to move forward with matters important to the community.
“I’m going to keep doing my best to work on behalf of the residents and business owners of the city of Costa Mesa,” Foley said Monday. “I’m here to do the work.”
She’s already looking ahead to a mayoral run next year, when the position is elected by voters citywide. Her campaign website is asking for volunteers and monetary donations.
Genis said this week that her decision to side with Righeimer and Mansoor in ousting Foley should not be taken as a sign that her policy positions will change.
“We’ll be in different seats… but my hope would be that we still vote the same way,” she said. “It might be (tense) for a while but I hope we’ll get over it.”
Over the years, Genis has been an advocate for protecting the habitat of Fairview Park, working on the city’s small lot ordinance, which allows the development of 15 or less detached residential units in multifamily zones, and Measure Y, a voter-approved growth initiative.