Tempers Rise in Costa Mesa

Councilman Steve Mensinger (Appointed) - Costa Mesa, Photo: Chris Prevatt

Voice of OC reports today on an altercation between appointed Costa Mesa City Councilman Stephen Mensinger and school teacher Joel Flores over the planned outsourcing of city jobs.

An English teacher at Estancia High School said he will file a restraining order against Costa Mesa City Councilman Stephen Mensigner after the two were involved in a heated verbal exchange at fun run event over the weekend.

Joel Flores, 38, filed a police report Saturday alleging that Mensinger “chest bumped” him during an argument between the two men. Flores said Mensinger became enraged after he criticized him for his endorsement of the outsourcing plan.

“I was in shock that my bringing a verbal engagement would result so quickly in his physically accosting me,” Flores said.

Mensinger denies the allegation, saying no physical contact occurred. He labeled Flores, who is the coach of the school’s surfing team coach, as the instigator.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

There is never any excuse for violence, or threats of violence, to resolve disputes such as the one facing the residents of Costa Mesa, city workers, and their elected and unelected leaders. The best way to calm things down would be for the City Council, including Mensinger, to take a step back, rescind the layoff notices, and work with city employees and their unions to resolve the current and long term budget concerns. The city workers have demonstrated time and time again the willingness and desire to be part of the solution. While they want to be at the table, they don’t want to be the only item on the menu.