Steve is an experienced leader in private, public and nonprofit sector endeavors. He was elected to the Costa Mesa City Council in November of 2012 and was appointed Mayor in 2014.

In an effort to shine a light on public employee labor negotiations, Steve authored the revolutionary Civic Openness In Negotiations (COIN) ordinance. The COIN ordinance has redefined the expectation of City transparency with the taxpayers.

In 2011, Steve was appointed to the City Council to fill a seat vacated after a council member’s resignation. Steve serves as the council liaison to the Investment Oversight Committee, the Costa Mesa Conference and Visitor Bureau and the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees. From February 2009 to December 2010, he served as a Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner.

Steve’s professional career spans more than 31 years as a business leader in the real estate industry. Steve worked in executive positions with:

  • Arnel Management Company
  • The Bethany Group
  • SunCal Companies

Steve is currently President of Mesa Management, a diversified real estate management and development company with assets throughout the state of California.

Beyond his current public service, Steve is deeply committed to many public and community organizations, including Board appointments as follows:

  • The South Coast Apartment Association
  • Costa Mesa United
  • OC Vector Control
  • The South Coast Metro Alliance
  • Girls Inc.
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • The Orange County Sheriff’s Department
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council
  • Costa Mesa Pop Warner
  • Estancia Sports Boosters Club
  • Costa Mesa Conference and Visitor Bureau
  • Financial Advisory Committee

Steve is a USC alumnus and member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Steve is married with two sons and is a 30-year Costa Mesa resident. When he is not serving the people of Costa Mesa or working in his avocation in real estate he enjoys youth sports, hunting, fishing and woodworking.


Fiscal Discipline:

  • Approved the City’s balanced budget, without the use of reserves.
  • Prevented use of City reserves set aside for disasters, by revising budget policies
  • Initiated the pay down of Costa Mesa’s $221 million unfunded pension liabilities for the first time in City history.
  • Saved the City of Costa Mesa approximately $1.3 million annually by creating a mutually beneficial agreement with the City of Huntington Beach, for Police helicopter service which provides more available airtime response hours.
  • Saved $1.2 million annually by restructuring the Police Department while continuing to maintain the same number of police officer service hours to the community and increasing number of patrol cars on the street.
  • Saved the City of Costa Mesa $2.5 million by restructuring the Police Department while maintaining the same number of service hours to the community. Moved the 911 dispatch management to the Costa Mesa P.D. to enhance coordination and communication. Supported the Costa Mesa Police Chief development and implementation of new deployment schedule that increased the number of personnel supporting 911 emergency calls.
  • Developed the “COIN” (Civic Openness in Negotiation) initiative, to ensure transparency of the City financials & dealings for public viewing
  • Costa Mesa City website won the Sunny Award from the Sunshine Review, for maximum website transparency an honor given to only 2.3% of government websites.
  • Worked collectively with City officials to establish a daily video show called the “Costa Mesa Minute” which provides information updates on city business and events.
  • Initiated the first City of Costa Mesa annual Mayor’s Celebration Dinner, known as “The Art of Leadership” recognizing leaders and difference makers in our community, this event has raised $10’s of thousands of dollar for local schools based Costa Mesa.
  • Helped to repair & rebuild a strong relationship with our school trustees & superintendent resulting in major improvement in Costa Mesa schools.
  • Moved forward with the implementation of the Neighborhood Improvement Task Force, a groundbreaking multi-departmental effort to fundamentally address and significantly reduce Costa Mesa’s biggest challenges; the homeless, problem motels, parolees and rehab houses.
  • Voted to create an auditor program to measure performance annually to review the operation and efficiency of multiple service areas, ensuring taxpayer dollars are disbursed resourcefully.
  • City of Costa Mesa won the top award from the Orange County Taxpayers Association for being good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars
  • Explored the viability of outsourcing 19 City services, in an attempt to improve services and reduce costs. This process is ongoing, but so far, the results have been promising. For example, a proposal by a private jailing company (used by Irvine & Beverly Hills) estimated the City could save about $600,000 annually.
  • City of Costa Mesa street sweeping was outsourced, providing the City with savings of approximately $1million annually!
  • Created a business friendly environment that has led to the several corporations moving their HQ and division offices to Costa Mesa such as VANS “off the wall” bringing hundreds of good paying jobs to our community.
  • Established pension reform as a City of Costa Mesa top priority
    • For the first time, budgeted a pay down of the City of Costa Mesa unfunded pension liabilities
    • Engaged outside experts to educate the City Council, staff and community about the extent of the pension fiscal problems

Innovative Solutions:

  • Created the ground-breaking transparency program, the “COIN” (Civic Openness in Negotiation) initiative, which allows residents to stay informed as much as legally possible, pertaining to discussions about fiscal ramifications regarding the net increase in costs, both unfunded and funded.
  • Saved the popular “Recreation on Campus for Kids” (ROCKS) program from elimination by securing a new parent endorsed fee program.
  • Partnered with Lions Fish Fry organizers to galvanize the storied community tradition
  • Saved the Snoopy Christmas House, a beloved Costa Mesa Tradition for 46 years, by partnering with residents and hosting the event at the Costa Mesa City Hall

Infrastructure Investments:

  • Created 5-year financial projections for the first time in the City of Costa Mesa history, providing planning tool to fund infrastructure improvements. First City Council to quantify all unfunded upgrades and replacements.
  • Initiated the largest residential road restoration in a fiscal year since 1975. This fiscal year the City of Costa Mesa spent nearly $7 million on residential road restorations. Next year an additional $7.5 million will be spent on residential road restorations.
  • Since 2012 the City of Costa Mesa has made a Capital investment of $83,945,925 for the City’s infrastructure improvements.
    • Miles of roads repaved – 59.1
    • Sidewalks replacement – 635,508 square feet
    • Dilapidated alley’s replaced – 6.3 miles
    • Curbs and gutters replaced – 29 miles
  • Worked hard over the past few years, driving a reformation on the Westside. Once a cornerstone for dilapidated, worn-out buildings that were no longer serving the best interests of the community are being replaced with newer, more modern residences. On 17th Street we have seen a renaissance of restaurants and stores open up:
    • Pitfire Pizza
    • Green Leaf,
    • Mendocino Farms,
    • Chick-fil-A
    • In & Out Burger
    • Tabu Shabu to name a few.

The Triangle has been completely reformed and is now a destination center for people not only from Costa Mesa, but all over Orange County.