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Councilor votes for colleague

Righeimer helps appoint 27-year-old UCI alumnus who worked on his campaign and with fairgrounds efforts.

January 06, 2011|By Mona Shadia, mona.shadia@latimes.com

COSTA MESA — Councilman Jim Righeimer's former campaign manager has been appointed to the city's Parks and Recreation Committee.

Ethan Temianka was approved, without discussion, on a 4-1 vote. Councilwoman Wendy Leece dissented.

The 27-year-old is a real estate investor. He has stated his involvement in city parks involves playing in the city's adult basketball league.

Twelve people applied to be on the committee.

Temianka is also known for co-founding, with Righeimer, Save the Fair, an effort to save the Orange County Fairgrounds. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in criminology from UC Irvine.

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Before starting his real estate investment firm, Temianka worked for Righeimer's development company and also served as his campaign manager the first time Righeimer ran unsuccessfully for Costa Mesa council.

When asked whether his appointment could create the appearance of political payback, Righeimer described Temianka as a young, energetic and sharp guy who brings a new prospective to the city.

"Ethan lives in the community. He owns a home here," Righeimer said Thursday. "He's been involved in actual programs in the community with regards to the parks; he knows all the ins and outs there. We're looking for new blood to look at how we price parks and fields and how we interact with teams."

Temianka called any concerns about the appearance of cronyism silly, adding that he's not interested in running for a higher office.

"Jim knows me very well, he knows the type of person that I am," Temianka said. "I'm a go-getter and work hard at everything I do. For me, it's about doing what's right, and I know the city very well."

Terry Shaw, who was seeking reappointment to the committee but did not receive it, said he was naturally disappointed, "but I wish him all the best on his next four years on the commission."

Planning Commissioner Jeff Mathews said Temianka's work ethic will be valuable to the commission.

"He's done a lot of work," Mathews said. "For me, it seems like he's a pretty qualified person. It's good to have somebody who's a little bit younger."

In addition to Temianka, the City Council appointed Dean Abernathy and Dan Vozenilek to serve on the commission for the next four years.

The terms begin in February.

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