For Immediate Release:
October 9, 2018
To my Costa Mesa Neighbors,
People have been asking me why I voted to remove Katrina Foley as mayor and replace her with Sandy Genis. When we voted on this, I tried to be diplomatic and said that I was supporting Sandy because she was friendly, fair, and respectful. Regular interruptions of fellow council members at meetings by Foley was enough for me to vote to change our mayor. People have told me “be positive, be nice”, and I get that. But there is more that the public needs to hear about what is going on in our city that has me deeply concerned.
I was very disappointed in her unprecedented firing of all of our planning commissioners and parks and rec commissioners. In the past, out of respect for our community, if you wanted to change the makeup of a commission, you waited until terms ended and did it through attrition, not the wholesale firing of everyone. As a result of the firings, and the time it took to re-seat a new planning commission, all of the sober living homes that were scheduled for review by the planning commission were delayed for months and are just now coming forward. I am also concerned with how Ms. Foley has and currently treats our city staff to the point that many city employees do not want to interact with her out of fear and because of how she has treated them. I know this because of what I have seen and by what employees have told me.
I have personally heard her yelling at city staff, which is unprofessional and disrespectful, to say the least. I have also seen her belittle staff, which again, I find extremely unprofessional and disrespectful. I bring this up because I think we are extremely lucky to have the staff we have and I do not want them to leave because they are being bullied.
I have also seen her resort to name calling and storm out of meetings when she does not get her way. Maybe this is why the district liaison meetings with school board members were canceled at the request of the district. New discussions are being restored under Mayor Genis. Many people did not know that Foley was kicked off the board of Costa Mesa United as well. You cannot have someone serve as mayor when key people in our community refuse to meet with her.
Now it seems that our city attorney is in her sights with the recent vote to look for other options for legal services. We may need better oversight on billing and things like that but I do not think to replace him is the answer nor is this the best time with so much going on. I am concerned that our city manager may be next. Foley voted against a pay raise for Mr. Hatch that only would have covered the past five years of no raise. There is no raise going forward in his contract like we normally do for other city employees such as two or three percent each year for the next three years as an example. Foley has argued in the past that employees will leave if we do not give them raises. Apparently, that concern is not there for our city manager. This is very disruptive to our city.
Keep in mind that at the beginning of last year, all council members met and publicly discussed our priorities to give to our city manager. He made it clear he would do his best to complete them but that it would be very difficult to add more things due to cost and staffing. Since then, I am told Foley has tied him up in meetings with her lasting two to three hours demanding that more things be added to HER list. Never mind what other council members want and the fact that we already prioritized our council priorities. If every council member met with Tom Hatch for two to three hours every week that would be ten to fifteen hours of meetings. If we all added five new requests for him to do that is twenty- five new items on the agenda.
Now I am told she is going directly to department heads and bypassing Tom Hatch. This is in direct violation of Costa Mesa Municipal Code 2-106 Interference by the council in administrative affairs. It states, “The city council and its members shall deal with the administrative services of the city only through the city manager, except for the purpose of inquiry, and neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates of the city manager…”
This is why we have a new mayor. So this is not about whether I agree with her on issues or not as I do not agree with Ms. Genis on everything. It is simply about how you treat people.
-Allan Mansoor, Costa Mesa City Councilman
Contact: Amanda McGuire | (909) 680-2854 | firstname.lastname@example.org