Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Email shows Leece requested seating change

itchingpost.com has obtained from a confidential source a copy of an email that indicates Costa Mesa City Councilmember Wendy Leece in early February made a request to City Manager Allan Roeder to change seats with Councilmember Linda Dixon.

In the email from Leece to Roeder dated February 7, 8:19 p.m., Ms. Leece writes: "Hi Allan, I would like to request to be moved on the dais to be seated between you and Eric. I have discussed this with the mayor and he concurs. Thank you, Wendy."

Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor is listed as a cc on the email.

The email appears to directly contradict statements made by Leece to Daily Pilot staffer Alicia Robinson in Robinson's March 19 report on the Seating Chart fiasco (here). In that story, Leece told Robinson, "I don't remember how that did come up."

While the email makes it clear that Leece hatched and discussed the seating switch with Mansoor, it's not clear if either councilmember discussed it with any of the other councilmembers (a potential Brown Act violation). No other member of council, including Dixon, is listed as being cc'd on the email.

It is at least curious to us that Leece - assuming the email substantiates that she initiated the chair swap request - was unable to remember her initiative when interviewed by the Daily Pilot earlier this week.


Len Bose said...

I find it strange that Linda was so clear that she had spoken to Allen over the phone at the March 6th meeting and tonight she said if only if Allen would have called her.

Rob Dickson said...

Dixon read that e-mail at the Council meeting tonight. The Mayor apologized for the brouhaha, and after reading the transcript from the previous meeting, it seemed as if he was sincere. Assuming to know his intent and motive is really inappropriate, as his stated intent from the get go was to follow precedent. For the sake of the City, I think we should at least give him the benefit of the doubt. Don't get me wrong - if he really thought it was a minor point, he should have dropped it and avoided the ridicule an the rancor.

Its sad that such a "minor request" in the Mayor's words became such a divisive issue. The real impact of this will be personal animosity between councilmembers over something trivial. As Dixon said, all they had to do was ask. Everyone looks trivial and intractable on this one, except Foley. I think it would have been better if Dixon made a statement as to how disrespectful it was, and then voluntarily relinquished her seat to one-up the majority.

Foley rightfully abstained from the vote, and I was disappointed that Bever didn't as well. To address your Brown Act observation - Bever did ask Barlow about that and Barlow indicated that it wasn't a Brown Act issue as far as she was concerned.

Sandra Genis was great tonight, making some very valid points that the mayor acknowledged. However, at one point she did refer to "Improvers" and "Return to Reason" on the dais - what is troubling about that is it makes it seem as if those two "groups" are the only players - when in fact, the vast majority of Costa Mesans "belong" to neither group.

I get her point, but it tended to reiterate the partisanship in my opinion.

The Pot Stirrer said...

Sadly, Rob, the partisanship permeates the actions of the council, as witnessed by Mansoor's recent rejection of Rich Gillock for a slot on the 3R Committee even though there was a position open. You may recall that in a previous meeting when defending a certain activists position on that committee he stated that they didn't check backgrounds, but just accepted anyone who applied as long as there was a position open.

Don't expect statesmanship from a politician, especially one eager for higher office. "The Party" has him now, and that's where his loyalty will lie...

zenofobe said...

Who? Dixon, Leece
When? During the last month
Where? Council chambers
What? Seating changes
Why? Nobody wants to sit next to Foley