Live from OC GOP Endorsements Committee: Round 2
Posted by Chris Nguyen on August 30, 2016
We are live from the OC GOP Endorsements Committee, who will make recommendations to the full Central Committee for endorsements on August 31 (i.e. tomorrow). The Endorsements Committee also met last week to make recommendation for August 31.
Endorsements Committee Members present are:
- Chair TJ Fuentes
- Peggy Huang
- Jeff Matthews
- Baron Night
- Thomas Gordon (delayed in traffic)
Endorsements Committee Members Jeff Lalloway and Mary Young are not present.
First up is Dana Point City Council.
Michelle Brough was born and raised in Orange County. She worked in Washington, DC for the US Senate Banking Committee and then the US Department of the Treasury. She came back to OC with her husband, Bill, settling in Dana Point. She was a Dana Point Planning Commissioner and member of the state Board of Accountancy. She was a Saddleback Foundation Board member. She is involved in other nonprofits. She is an investment advisory attorney. She wants to make Dana Point a desirable place to attract her children back after they graduate from college. She objects to the Dana Point Council candidates’ anger calling for more government, pointing to the recent ballot measures in the city.
Night asks how many other candidates there are.
Fuentes says there are two Republicans, two Democrats, and an NPP.
Mike Johnson disrupts the meeting when he accidentally plays a CNN video and is briefly unable to stop it.
Night asks about the candidate anger Brough referenced in regard to the measures.
Brough further elaborates on the ballot measures.
Huang asks Brough for more details about the land use issues in Dana Point.
Brough gives an example of one-way streets in the Dana Point Town Center and efforts to increase pedestrians rather than drivers. Brough argues they failed to develop a parking management plan. She notes the Coastal Commission demanded such a plan. Brough says she is a 100% property rights person. She prefers to follow the zoning code rather than grant variances. She says it is better to change the zoning code for everyone rather than granting individual variances.
Huang asks about pass-through taxes in Dana Point.
Brought wants private people to get together to solve problems without government intervention. She cites the example of a Virginia city that did this.
Matthews asks about plastic bag bans.
Brought says plastic bag bans are a stupid idea.
Night moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Brough.
BROUGH RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 4-0-3 FOR DANA POINT CITY COUNCIL (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)
Next up is Fountain Valley City Council.
Steve Nagel was elected to the council in 2008 and top vote getter in 2012. He was a Fountain Valley firefighter from 1977-2005. He speaks of various service clubs he is involved in, like the Rotary and Boys and Girls Club. He was elected to the Central Committee in 2010 and is leaving in 2016 due to time obligations with SCAG, OC Sanitation District, and League of Cities.
Night asks why Nagel signed the No New Taxes pledge after voting to put a sales tax increase on the ballot a month before.
Nagel says he is opposed to tax increases and has voted to cut city expenses while also opposing Council stipend increases, but losing on a 2-3 vote. He says 27 employees have been cut from Fountain Valley. He says he has cut medical. He says there are three tiers of pensions for Fountain Valley firefighters. He refinanced city pension obligations to save several million dollars. Nagel says the reserves may be gone by 2021. He says the ballot measure is up to the voters. He says he does not wish to cut public safety.
Night questions why Nagel signed the No New Taxes pledge.
Nagel argues he hasn’t voted on the measure yet.
Huang asks if there is a sunset in the sales tax increase measure.
Nagel says it sunsets in 20 years.
Huang asks about the increased medical calls.
Nagel says there are three units in the FVFD, with one paramedic unit. He explains that cutting a paramedic unit would cause mutual aid to refuse since FVFD could not reciprocate. He says mutual aid is like-for-like equipment. He says OCFA would cost more than keeping FVFD.
Matthews asks how many seats are up and the affiliations of the candidates.
Nagel says there are two seats up, and he believes at least three Republicans.
Matthews says there is no perfect Republican. He says Nagel is a good conservative and councilman.
Matthews moves and Huang seconds to recommend Nagel for endorsement.
Night argues voting to put the sales tax measure on the ballot violates the No New Taxes pledge. He offers a substitute motion for neutrality.
Fuentes says he has a difficult time voting against someone who the electorate put on the Central Committee.
Huang argues that the sunset provision is key for her on the sales tax measure. She also notes the broad cuts made by Nagel.
NAGEL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-1-3 FOR FOUNTAIN VALLEY CITY COUNCIL (Night dissenting, with Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)
Next up is Mayor of Garden Grove.
Steve Jones was elected to the city council in 2008 and 2012 after being appointed in 2007 to Janet Nguyen’s vacancy. He was Chairman of the Planning Commission when appointed. Garden Grove is his hometown, and he views this as community service. He is unopposed for mayor. He wants to focus during the election on city transition and bringing people together. He notes this year, Garden Grove is expanding its City Council from 5 to 7 and having districts, so there will be many new faces.
Night asks about Jones donating to Democrat Bruce Broadwater.
Jones says he cannot recall and Broadwater was key to Jones being appointed to the City Council.
Huang asks about the Garden Grove city deficit.
Jones says there is a $4 million structural deficit after the abolition of redevelopment, which started as a $6 million deficit which they have chipped away. He is working on new development to bring in new revenue. He persuaded the unions to be patient while the city improves its finances.
Night asks about Bao Nguyen’s involvement with marijuana shops.
Jones supports being passive until the state ballot measure on marijuana is dealt with but notes the city already has a ban.
Matthews asks Jones to clarify him being unopposed.
Jones states he is the only person on the ballot.
Fuentes moves and and Matthews seconds recommending Jones for Mayor of Garden Grove.
JONES RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT (4-0-3) FOR MAYOR OF GARDEN GROVE (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)
Next up is Huntington Beach City Council.
Fuentes notes three other candidates were recommended for endorsement last week.
Mark Rolfes is a 19-year resident of Huntington Beach who grew up in East Baltimore, Maryland. He has been married for 22 years with two children. He has worked for the same company in sales for 19 years. He says dysfunction and lack of communication by the Council is harming the city. He states he has met with the police chief, neighborhood assocation, fire union, realtors, and Poseidon to learn about the issues in the city. He is endorsed by a Navy Seal and the NRA. He has a CCW. He calls for honesty, ethics, and visibility from Councilmembers.
Night asks Rolfes why he is opposed to the Poseidon project.
Rolfes objects to the contract lasting 50 years and is concerned it will raise water rates. He calls for more water conservation. He says he is not necessarily opposed to desalination. He wants more research done.
Night asks about him switching from Democratic to Republican in 2014.
Rolfes says Maryland is a Democratic state, and Republican primaries didn’t matter. He says he is more philosophically aligned with Republicans.
Night asks about pensions for public safety.
Rolfes does not want Councilmembers making deals in closed session and then attacking public safety in public. He is unhappy that firefighter salaries are public.
Huang asks for examples of three philosophical changes Rolfes had in his part switch.
Rolfes points to his views on the Second Amendment. He asks for more time to answer the question later.
Huang asks about development in Huntington Beach.
Rolfes says high-density development works in San Francisco but doesn’t work in Huntington Beach. He calls for better planning and solving the housing shortage but objects to the Council’s current approach.
Fuentes asks about his lack of involvement in the party or in campaigns.
Rolfes says he has delivered signs for candidates before. He says he has been very busy at work, but work is slowing down, and he is considering retiring. He says he has helped Erik Peterson.
Matthews agrees with Rolfes on Poseidon’s contract length. Matthews suggests looking at homelessness. Matthews praises the party switch but asks for responses to Huang’s question. Matthews urges Rolfes to volunteer for the party or campaigns regardless of the result of the endorsement or the election.
Rolfes calls for a stronger military with better supplies and equipment, along with more attention to military casualties. He says he supports legal immigration but calls for reform on illegal immigration.
Fuentes feels no endorsement should be recommended due to four Republicans running for three seats. He feels better about Rolfes’s stance on Poseidon. Fuentes moves for neutrality for all three seats.
Huang says Rolfes is new to the process and wants to explain it. She says the full Central Committee still has to act regardless of what the Endorsements Committee does.
Night is unhappy with the Poseidon stance but good with everything else. He moves to recommend Rolfes along with the prior three. Huang seconds.
ROLFES RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-1-3 FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY COUNCIL (Fuentes dissenting with Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent)
Next up is La Habra City Council.
Fuentes notes there are three Republicans and three Democrats running for three seats.
Tim Shaw is a husband and father. He has been on the Central Committee since 2012. He has been on the City Council since 2008. He has been a Republican since the age of 18. He points to numerous Republican elected officials he has worked for. He even worked directly for the Republican Party. He has a master’s degree and teaches political science at Rio Hondo College. Ed Royce, Bob Huff, Ling-Ling Chang, and Shawn Nelson have endorsed the whole slate.
Dawn Holthouser is active in the community and the RWF. She is a La Habra Planning Commissioner.
Tom Beamish was appointed to the Community Services Commission in 1997. Then, he became a Planning Commissioner in 2000. He was elected to the City Council in 2004, re-elected in 2008, and unopposed in 2012. He is a small business owner. He is in a rock-and-roll band. He golfs.
Night asks about Beamish accepting police union money for his campaign.
Beamish says he is honest and fair with the police union, but his main reason is he implemented pension reform via meet-and-confer with the police union.
Night questions why Beamish signed the union-free pledge but notes Beamish was forthcoming about the donation on his questionnaire.
Fuentes encourages Beamish to get more involved with the party by getting help from Shaw.
BEAMISH, HOLTHOUSER, AND SHAW RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 4-0-3 FOR LA HABRA CITY COUNCIL (Gordon, Lalloway and Young absent).
Next up is Lake Forest City Council.
Francisco Barajas became a Republican after watching his parents struggling their way into the middle class against government regulations. He interned for Supervisor John Moorlach and ACC-OC. He works for Communication LAB, where he assists the Orange County Taxpayers Association.
Fuentes notes Barajas is trying to unseat Republican incumbent Adam Nick, who has attempted to recall Republican councilmembers, including the OC GOP’s Local Elected Official of the Year.
Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds to recommend Barajas for endorsement.
BARAJAS RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR LAKE FOREST CITY COUNCIL 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway and Young absent).
Fuentes moves and Night seconds to recommend Don Wagner for Mayor of Irvine. He is in Sacramento for the end of the legislative session.
WAGNER RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR MAYOR OF IRVINE 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).
Next up is Placentia City Council.
Rhonda Shader is running for one of two open seats. Many community leaders encouraged her to serve. She has a passion for Placentia. She is active in the RWF at the local and state levels. She phone banked for many Republicans from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Young Kim. She is in a business PAC and steered money to Republican candidates.
Ward Smith is a native Placentian who graduated from Placentia schools and went to local community colleges. He spent 34.5 years working for the Placentia Police Department from police officer up to Police Chief. He speaks of law enforcement and the importance of public safety. He is active in his church and in a nonprofit for the developmentally disabled. He says he is concerned about the direction of the Council majority, including Mayor Jeremy Yamaguchi.
Chris Bunker and his wife bought a home in Placentia with only $500 left after closing escrow. He works in accounting and is a CPA. Bunker attacks the Council majority for allowing marijuana dispensaries after the embezzlement problem. He speaks of organizing to oppose the marijuana dispensary ordinance. He calls the Council majority leaderless and incompetent. He wants to run for fiscal integrity and economic development.
Tom Solomonson is a businessman and Placentia Planning Commissioner. His wife is a teacher. Their children went to Placentia schools. He was in sales until he bought a Placentia business in 2007. He attacks the Council majority for its sales tax actions and marijuana dispensary actions. He wants to “return Placentia to greatness.”
Night asks about sales tax increases.
All four say they oppose a sales tax increase.
Night asks Shader about being endorsed by Jennifer Fitzgerald. Night accuses Fitzgerald of voting for Democrats.
Shader says Fitzgerald and she know each other from the Fullerton Economic Development Commission.
Huang notes the lack of minutes online in Placentia. She asks Solomonson about how he voted in the marijuana issue on the Planning Commission.
Solomonson is uncertain but believes he voted no.
Huang asks Bunker about transparency.
Bunker states the city council acted on marijuana dispensaries under the guise of closed session anticipated litigation. He also wants a stronger public safety perspective.
Huang asks about Smith’s law enforcement background in the context of the budget.
Smith argues that much of the budget goes to other services. He states Placentia has a three-tiered system for police pensions. He spoke of public safety, public works, and community services as the three legs of the budget stool. He wants greater involvement from the school district and nonprofits. He objects to elected officials being at the labor negotiating table.
Huang asks about Shader’s involvement in Placentia.
Shader speaks of being a team mom for her son’s baseball team and being involved in her daughter’s schooling. She speaks of being involved in Placentia non-profits.
Matthews asks about how many Republicans are running for how many seats.
OC GOP Executive Director Julian Babbitt says seven Republicans (including incumbent Jeremy Yamaguchi) are running for three seats.
Fuentes asks Smith about the labor negotiation process.
Smith says City Councilmembers have been appearing at labor negotiations when he feels only the official negotiators should be present.
Night asks Smith about the marijuana dispensaries.
Smith says he opposes them strongly.
Huang moves and Matthews seconds for neutrality.
NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA CITY COUNCIL 4-0-3 (Gordon, Lalloway, and Young absent).
Next up is Placentia City Treasurer.
Fuentes argues for delaying consideration because the Republican incumbent is going to apply.
Huang and Night call for hearing the endorsement tonight since the next Central Committee is tomorrow.
Matthews wishes to delay, as the next Central Committee after tomorrow is September 19.
Fuentes moves and Matthews seconds to delay the vote.
Gordon arrives. Fuentes recaps for Gordon.
Night moves and Huang seconds to hear the candidate. The motion passes 3-2 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting).
Placentia City Treasurer Candidate Scott Nelson has served on City Council since 2007. He is an insurance broker. He turned a multimillion-dollar budget deficit into a positive fund balance. Nelson opposes expanding the powers of the City Treasurer and attacks the Council majority. Nelson blames the Treasurer for not catching the embezzlement.
Gordon asks about Nelson signing the No New Taxes pledge after voting for a sales tax increase in 2014.
Nelson argues that it is incorrect.
Night asks why Nelson didn’t see the embezzlement.
Nelson argues he wants to reform the Treasurer process to better catch that.
Night asks if Nelson would support making the Treasurer appointed.
Nelson says it is part of his platform.
Fuentes asks Nelson about campaign budget and endorsements.
Nelson says he will raise $10,000.
Night asks how many people are running.
The Committee says there are two Republicans running for the seat and no one of any other party.
Night moves and Gordon seconds for neutrality.
Gordon says the Council minutes show that Nelson voted for the sales tax increase.
Huang blasts the Placentia City Clerk for the lack of minutes from 2016.
Matthews says he supports the motion for now but wants to hear from the incumbent at the next meeting.
NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR PLACENTIA CITY TREASURER 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent).
Next up is Capistrano Unified School District, Trustee Area 5.
Jake Vollebregt is the Deputy City Attorney for Aliso Viejo and works at Best Best and Krieger. His daughter is starting kindergarten in Capistrano Unified School District. He graduated from San Clemente High School in 2001. He says the $889 million school bond is not the answer. He attacks the incumbent for being closely aligned with the unions, who got a 4% pay raise and bonus. He notes the incumbent is a liberal Democrat who ran for Clerk Recorder and Senator.
Gordon marvels at Vollebregt’s age and accomplishments, calling him an “overachiever” admiringly.
Night suggests investigating if the Capistrano Unified bond is a capital appreciation bond. He notes that because money is fungible, having a bond frees up the general fund for benefit increases and administrative overhead.
Huang moves and Gordon seconds recommending Vollebregt.
VOLLEBREGT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR CAPISTRANO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEE AREA 5 (Lalloway and Young absent).
Next up is Mission Viejo City Council.
Brian Goodell has been in the city for 45 years. He’s a Community Services Commissioner and businessman. He is married with three children who all graduated from Mission Viejo High School and from college. He was Mission Viejo’s first Olympian, winning two gold medals in swimming. He supports property rights and small business.
Trish Kelley previously served on the City Council. She reduced the pension formula, cut staff, and helped end a Mello-Roos tax. She helped lead the city to be one of the few with a AAA credit rating and as the safest city in America of its size. She improved community facilities. She is endorsed by a litany of Republican elected officials (nearly every official who represents Mission Viejo).
Alex Naghibi speaks of having a Ph.D. and an LL.M. He works in finance, has been a realtor, and has been a law school graduate. He says he is in favor of business and opposes taxes. He wants good judges on the bench. He says he is pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment. He says he is a Republican and will always be a Republican.
Cathy Schlicht said Brian Goodell has a PAC that has taken significant union money that attacked Schlicht. She accuses Frank Ury, Wendy Bucknum, Trish Kelley, and Brian Goodell are in league with the unions to stop her. She says she is the only incumbent in good standing. She says she was a community watchdog and is still that. She speaks of volunteering for the Republican Party. She attacks getting grant money for city programs. She attacks Trish Kelley.
Gordon asks how many seats are available.
Babbitt says there are two.
Gordon asks Naghibi about a fundraiser he held with Panahi. Naghibi states he simply appeared at the restaurant to speak to the manager. He says he does not support him.
Night asks Naghibi why he says he has been registered since 2000 but the Registrar record shows 2012.
Naghibi says he mailed his voter registration in as a Republican during law school in 2000.
Night asks about Naghibi being a lawyer.
Naghibi clarifies he works in a law firm, has a JD, and has an LLM, but he failed the California state bar.
Huang asks about Measure D in 2010 on housing density.
Schlicht says private citizens created Measure D. She supported it because homeowners around the golf course objected to a development. She wants to keep Mission Viejo low density. She says the city meets its state requirement for high density.
Naghibi supported Measure D.
Kelley worked to defeat Measure D and attacks it as ballot box zoning. She says the area is still a golf course, as the developer left due to public outcry.
Goodell opposed Measure D. His background is in real estate, and he opposes ballot box zoning.
Schlicht interrupts that Mission Viejo is built out.
Fuentes moves and Gordon seconds to recommend Schlict.
Night says he has received both good and bad emails about all four candidates. He speaks of opposing ballot box zoning. He leans toward neutrality.
Huang is also concerned about ballot box zoning, citing Yorba Linda’s Measure B. She warns how difficult it is. She says Yorba Linda is 95% built out.
Schlicht attempts to interrupt Huang but is quickly ruled out of order by Fuentes.
Huang notes many Central Committee members oppose ballot box zoning. She speaks of the Yorba Linda recall attempt over density votes.
Matthews is opposed to ballot box zoning. He is leaning toward neutrality.
Fuentes says in all likelihood, the whole committee opposes ballot box zoning, but this does not outweigh her body of work.
Night flips toward Schlict, as he is persuaded by Fuentes’ arguments.
SCHLICHT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL (Lalloway and Young absent)
Night moves and Matthews seconds for neutrality on the non-incumbents.
NEUTRALITY ON NON-INCUMBENTS RECOMMENDED FOR MISSION VIEJO CITY COUNCIL 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent)
Next up is Yorba Linda Water District.
Richard Collett is difficult to hear. He is a long-time resident of Yorba Linda. He is an incumbent water board member. He speaks about some technical water things that this blogger didn’t catch. He speaks about the Yorba Linda Water District recall being launched by the people who launched the failed Yorba Linda City Council recall.
Andy Hall is a husband and father of three. He is a professional civil engineer and has done extensive work with water supplies. He is familiar with regulations from Sacramento and regional agencies. He speaks about Yorba Linda’s water supply.
Night asks about how many Republicans are running.
Babbitt clarifies that there are three Republicans and one Democrat running for two seats.
Gordon asks about the water rate increase in Yorba Linda.
Hall says he supports it.
Collett says he voted for it. He explains that the state forced them to reduce their water sales to ratepayers by 36%, so the rate increases are necessary.
Gordon asks about YLWD reserves.
Collett says the Grand Jury actually blasted YLWD for not having enough reserves at $5 million.
Night asks about bonds at YLWD.
Collett says there were two capital improvement bonds totaling $39 million.
Night asks about Collett’s salary.
Collett says he collects $150 per meeting and averages seven meetings per month.
Night asks about the salary of the YLWD General Manager.
Collett says it is $186,000, which has not been raised since 2003.
Night asks about the size of the budget.
Collett says it is $60 millon.
Night argues that executive salaries are too high and that board stipends should be lowered.
Collett says YLWD has the lowest 10% in water district compensation.
Fuentes asks about endorsements.
Collett says he is endorsed by Gene Hernandez.
Hall says he entered the race fairly recently.
Collett notes the third Republican has only been a Republican for about 18 months.
Matthews asks how many YLWD employees there are.
Collett says there are 83 employees.
Huang praises the job Collett has done with the 36% reduction.
Huang moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Collett for endorsement.
COLLETT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT 5-0-2 (Lalloway and Young absent)
Huang moves and Matthews seconds recommending Hall for endorsement.
HALL RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT FOR YORBA LINDA WATER DISTRICT 3-2-2 (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting, with Lalloway and Young absent)
Next up is North Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 7.
Ryan Bent speaks of his wife and children. He is on his city’s Library Board. He lists various community involvements. He entered the race when he found out the incumbent wasn’t filing. He is passionate about education and is a graduate of Fullerton College, which is part of the district.
Fuentes clarifies that Bent is the only Republican running against a Democrat.
Gordon asks if Bent is a ram.
Bent confirms he went to Colorado State.
Gordon moves and Fuentes seconds recommending Bent for endorsement.
BENT RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 5-0-2 FOR NORTH ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT TRUSTEE AREA 7 (Lalloway and Young absent)
Next up is San Clemente City Council.
The committee notes there are four Republicans (including two incumbents, Bob Baker and Chris Hamm) and one Democrat for two seats.
The committee defers since they are running early, and Councilman Baker was told he could call in at 10 PM.
Next up is South Orange County Community College District, Trustee Area 3.
Since Kimberly Clark is not present, the committee defers to the next meeting.
The committee is out of candidates, so they return to San Clemente. They reach Mayor Baker at 9:45, as he is at a city council meeting. The city is discussing Council districts, but they are on a short break, so Mayor Baker can call the Endorsements Committee.
Dan Bane is a native Texan who grew up in Missouri and has been a Republican since birth. He played baseball at Missouri and went to Pepperdine Law School. He is 35 and a new partner with Sheppard Mullin. He has been on the City general plan advisory committee and was on the OCTA advisory committee. He is concerned about the soaring price of litigation in the city. He wants to increase business friendliness. He says there is a $5,000 fee for businesses to apply to put plants in front of their window. He blasts the San Clemente sign ordinance for burdening business.
Bob Baker has been on the Council for eight years. He speaks of the city’s high quality of life. He says districting would be damaging to the city, even calling it “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.” He opposes sober living homes. He opposes short-term rentals. He is concerned about marijuana legalization. He is concerned about Prop 56 liberalizing criminal laws. He speaks of supporting Bill Brough, Pat Bates, Diane Harkey, and Darrell Issa. Baker served in the U.S. Navy.
Gordon asks Baker about his opposition to vacation rentals in residential zones. Gordon considers it a property right issue for the owner.
Baker argues that it violates the property rights of the neighbors.
Gordon asks wouldn’t it be better to just ticket people for specific violations.
Baker agrees with Gordon’s comment.
Night asks about sober living home.
Baker says he is trying to limit them.
Night asks about marijuana legalization.
Baker says he is very opposed to marijuana legalization and will do everything he can to make it difficult for marijuana in San Clemente. He then leave to return to the Council meeting.
Bane says he opposes sober living homes, which needs changes in law. He opposes banning short-term rentals. He also wants to use conditional use permits to stop marijuana in San Clemente.
Huang asks about the comment that Baker made about pushing for legisatin to have a public hospital.
Bane opposes it as spot zoning. He says the city rezoned as both a hospital and an emergency room, which led to the closure of Saddleback Memorial Care this year, which led to a $43 million lawsuit. Bane wants to fix this issue since his professional background is in land use law. Bane notes he forgot to mention earlier that he is endorsed by the
Matthews wanted to know Baker’s stance on TOT.
Matthews asks Bane a techical question about sober living homes.
Bane explains that having more than six people in a sober living home must be in a commercial zone. He wishes the city had adopted an ordinance that had withstood the test of courts rather than inventing a new ordinance.
Fuentes asks about the measure to increase the San Clemente TOT. He wanted to ask Baker about it.
Bane says he opposes the measure.
Fuentes says Baker is in a disadvantaged position because he had to hang up the phone.
Fuentes wishes to stay neutral because the committee didn’t get to ask a number of questions to Baker.
Night asks Bane about signs in San Clemente.
Bane describes all sort of types of signs that are unobtrusive and would have been better than banning signs.
Night moves and Fuentes seconds neutrality.
Gordon says Bane is spot on regarding freedom and liberty. He points to private property rights. He is baffled about neutrality when only two people are seeking endorsements for two seats when Bane hits holes-in-on and hits it out of the park. Gordon says Bane is batting .500 while Baker is on injured reserve. (Gordon is pulling out a lot of sports analogies.)
Huang asks why the committee couldn’t just take no position on Baker and recommend endorsing Bane since that would still be an available endorsement.
Night amends his motion based on Huang’s arguments. Night moves and Gordon seconds to recommend Bane for endorsement and to be neutral on Baker.
Matthews asks whethe the other two Republicans have sought endorsements.
San Clemente resident Jim Bieber calls Chris Hamm the “Bernie Sanders of San Clemente.” He says Hamm refused to fill out the questionnaire of the Chamber of Commerce, replying that he didn’t care about their endorsement.
BANE RECOMMENDED FOR ENDORSEMENT 3-2-2 FOR SAN CLEMENTE CITY COUNCIL (Fuentes and Matthews dissenting with Lalloway and Young absent).
NEUTRALITY RECOMMENDED FOR BAKER 5-0-2 FOR SAN CLEMENTE CITY COUNCIL (Lalloway and Young absent).
The committee adjourns only seven minutes behind schedule.