DP 103

December 30, 2011|By the Daily Pilot staff
  • Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Assn., left, and Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer.
Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

1.) Jim Righeimer. Costa Mesa's mayor pro tem led an unapologetic charge to restructure the city with layoffs, pension reform and the creation of a proposed city charter, making him the target of organized labor and a hero of reform-minded conservatives who argue that the city's finances are unsustainable.

An earlier version incorrectly said that Greg Ridge and Sandy Genis were involved with Save the Fair and that Jim Fitzpatrick was a board member for the Costa Mesa water district.

2.) Nick Berardino. The general manager of the Orange County Employees Assn. led an equally unapologetic fight to keep public employees on the payroll, where he blitzed the city in an effort to stop some 200 planned layoffs and won an appointment to the Orange County Fair Board along the way.

3.) Katrina Foley. This independent-minded Newport-Mesa Unified school trustee championed schools, youth sports, charitable work and public employees, and also served as a counterpoint to the tradition-bound school board.


4.) Tom Hatch. Costa Mesa's new city CEO found himself in the unenviable position of having to lead during what has arguably been the most difficult chapter in city history.

5.) Dave Kiff. Costa Mesa got most of the attention, but the Newport Beach city manager, aided by the City Council, made quiet but meaningful financial reforms that few would call painless.

6.) Nancy Gardner. Newport Beach's new mayor, a pragmatic environmentalist and consensus-builder, goes her own way, but manages to do so with little conflict.

7.) Jeffrey Hubbard. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District superintendent pleaded not guilty to a third felony charge of misappropriation of public funds related to his old job as the Beverly Hills schools chief and will go to trial in January.

8.) Kimberly Claytor. The teachers' union president voiced support for cutting money from the administration instead of the classroom and led a teachers union no-confidence vote in the superintendent.

9.) Leslie Daigle. The Newport Beach councilwoman and state Assembly candidate can rightfully claim partial credit for efforts to dredge the bay and improve water quality.

10.) Sandy Segerstrom Daniels. The Festival of Children Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and its founder has become a powerful voice for the voiceless.

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