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Week In Review

December 30, 2007

COSTA MESA

Mayor to step down early; council to pick replacement

Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor will step down Wednesday, a year into his second two-year term as mayor, officials said last week.

Mansoor wants to “give someone else the opportunity to be mayor,” City Manager Allan Roeder said.

“The position does carry with it additional demands on an individual It takes a lot of time and energy, and Allan is one of those people who puts in the extra time and effort to do the best job possible,” Roeder said.

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Mansoor, who will remain on the City Council, contacted Roeder recently and asked him to put the selection of a new mayor and possibly a new mayor pro tem on the Jan. 2 council meeting agenda.

Mansoor gained national media attention in 2005 when he advocated having local police enforce immigration laws. His tough stance on immigration has earned him both praise and ire from residents.

Council members will pick a new mayor from among their ranks Wednesday, and the appointment is usually based on seniority.

Santa visits bar, gives gifts to neighborhood children

While children normally have no reason to visit a bar, on Christmas Day they had great reason to drop in to a neighborhood tavern. Santa was dropping off a bundle of gifts to neighborhood kids.

Phil Niesen, the manager at Tony’s Place, has organized the gift-giving event for seven years. He took over the duties after the previous owner, Tony Valente, passed them down to him.

More than 200 toys were given out to roughly 200 children. The line stacked up at 10 a.m. and children and their parents took pictures with Santa while they scurried around a table trying to find the perfect gift.

The money for the event was raised from community members and businesses, as well as patrons from the bar, some of whom were there early, wishing the children a merry Christmas.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Board of supervisors votes to increase traffic ticket fees

Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach cast a lone vote against a plan to increase traffic ticket fees to fund medical care for the uninsured. The board voted 4-1 to increase moving violation fees and other fines to help pay for emergency care for the uninsured. Moorlach calls the fine hike “nefarious.”

“It forces people to pay who are already paying for insurance and roads,” Moorlach said. “They shouldn’t have to pay more if they get caught in a speed trap or on a signal camera.”

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