OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Hamilton’

Fountain Valley’s McCurdy Becomes 4th OC Councilman to Resign in 4 Months

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 15, 2018

Mark McCurdy, Josh Wilson, Steve Hwangbo, Jerry Slusiewicz

Recently resigned City Councilmen Mark McCurdy (R-Fountain Valley), Josh Wilson (R-Los Alamitos), Steve Hwangbo (R-La Palma), and Jerry Slusiewicz (R-Laguna Niguel)

In a continuing exodus of Orange County’s City Councilmen, Mark McCurdy (R-Fountain Valley) resigned this afternoon, becoming OC’s fourth City Councilman to resign in as many months.  Josh Wilson (R-Los Alamitos) announced his resignation on October 30, Steve Hwangbo (R-La Palma) resigned on November 30, and Jerry Slusiewicz (R-Laguna Niguel) announced his resignation on December 7.

Running a few months ahead of this group of resignations, Bert Hack (D-Laguna Woods) resigned on May 23 after suffering a stroke, and the Laguna Woods City Council appointed Joe Rainey (R-Laguna Woods) to fill the remainder of his term, which expires in November.  Hack had served on the City Council since the founding of Laguna Woods in 1999.   Additionally, voters recalled Andrew Hamilton (R-Lake Forest) on January 2 and elected Tom Cagley (R-Lake Forest) to fill the remainder of his term, which expires in November.  Hamilton had been first elected to the Lake Forest City Council in 2014.

Today: Mark McCurdy of Fountain Valley

In an email released by the City, McCurdy cited a new job outside of the area, writing:

“At this time, I find it necessary to secure employment outside the area, and having no other option, to effective immediately, step down from my position serving on the City Council. It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Fountain Valley and, for that I will always be grateful.”

Just six weeks ago, McCurdy had been passed over for Mayor by his Council colleagues despite the Fountain Valley City Council’s long tradition of seniority dictating that it was McCurdy’s turn to be Mayor; he had similarly been passed over for Mayor Pro Tem the year before.   McCurdy had previously served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2012 and Mayor in 2013.  First elected to the Fountain Valley City Council in 2010, McCurdy had been the top vote-getter in 2014 (which broke his tie in seniority with Councilman Michael Vo, who became Mayor six weeks ago).

The Fountain Valley City Council will decide whether to appoint a replacement Councilmember or hold a special election to fill the remainder of McCurdy’s term, which expires in November.

October 2017: Josh Wilson of Los Alamitos

In October, Wilson resigned from the Los Alamitos City Council citing a new job as a credit union executive in Montana.  Wilson had been first elected to the Council just 11 months earlier when he had been the top vote-getter, surpassing two incumbents and unseating Councilman Dean Grose.  In a statement released by the City, Wilson said:

“Reaching the decision to leave Los Alamitos was difficult. I am sincerely appreciative of the community’s support and I am proud of my service to the city. I have the utmost confidence that Los Alamitos will continue to thrive under the leadership of the City Council and the dedication of the city staff.”

The Los Alamitos City Council appointed Mark Chirco (NPP-Los Alamitos) in December to replace Wilson.  Chirco will serve until the November election, when voters will elect a replacement to serve the remainder of Wilson’s term, which expires in 2020.

November 2017: Steve Hwangbo of La Palma

First elected in 2010, Hwangbo was the top vote-getter in his 2014 re-election to the La Palma City Council.  A rumored Republican candidate for the 65th Assembly District to challenge Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), Mayor Pro Tem Hwangbo instead resigned from the City Council in November exactly one year to the day before term limits would have ended his Council service.  Hwangbo cited “personal reasons” according to a City press release.  He had been Mayor in 2013 and had been widely expected to become Mayor in 2018.  In an email to the Orange County Register, Hwango wrote:

“It was truly an honor and privilege to represent and serve fellow La Palma citizens for last seven years.”

The La Palma City Council appointed Kathy Flachmeier (NPP-La Palma) two weeks ago to replace Hwangbo.  She will be sworn into office tomorrow and will serve the remainder of Hwangbo’s term, which expires in November.

December 2017: Jerry Slusiewicz of Laguna Niguel

First elected to the Council in 2012, Slusiewicz had just been re-elected in 2016.  This year, Mayor Slusiewicz had challenged the legitimacy of a $410,000 contract overrun while he himself was accused of abusing his power as Mayor of Laguna Niguel to intimidate City staff and residents.  Consequently, the City Council threatened to remove Slusiewicz as Mayor.  Instead, he stepped down as Mayor in August but planned to remain on the Council.  However, in December, Slusiewicz resigned from the Laguna Niguel City Council after a bizarre incident in which his office window was damaged by an unknown object, possibly a bullet.  In a statement released by the City, Slusiewicz said:

“Serving the citizens of Laguna Niguel has always been a tremendous privilege and I am grateful to the taxpayers who twice elected me as their advocate. Yet my greatest commitment has always has been to my family and my highest honor serving as a husband and a father. Their safety is my top priority, and this has shaken us to the core. Considering the events of the last 48 hours, we have decided as a family that it would be unwise for me to remain on the City Council.”

Two weeks after Slusiewicz’s resignation, the Laguna Niguel City Council appointed former Mayor and current Orange County Board of Education Trustee Linda Lindholm (R-Laguna Niguel) to fill Slusiewicz’s seat until the November election, when voters will elect a replacement to serve the remainder of Slusiewicz’s term, which expires in 2020.  Planning to retire from public office by the end of 2018, Lindholm has already stated she will not be a candidate for either the Council seat or her Board of Education seat.

Posted in 65th Assembly District, Fountain Valley, La Palma, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lake Forest Recall Petition Fails To Qualify For Ballot

Posted by Greg Woodard on June 2, 2016

There will be no recall election in Lake Forest for Council members Scott Voigts, Dwight Robinson, and Andrew Hamilton.  The Orange County Registrar of Voters today rejected the recall petitions for failure to meet the required number of valid signatures.  The Registrar found that the number of required signatures to qualify for the ballot for each candidate fell over 1,000 signatures shy.

It was earlier reported here that the recall group’s second effort also failed.  Although the group served Voigts, Robinson, and Hamilton with recall papers after a City Council meeting, the group did not submit the proper paperwork to the Lake Forest City Clerk.

The recall group attempted a third time to recall just Voigts and Hamilton, but the group failed to properly submit recall papers to both the Council members, and the City Clerk.

The recall group’s efforts cost Lake Forest at least $85,000 to verify the signatures, but the additional $100,000 – $125,000 cost of a recall election was avoided by the failed recall petitions.


Posted in Lake Forest | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Before The Ink Is Dry On Their First Effort, Lake Forest Recall Group Serves Second Set Of Recall Papers On Councilmembers [Updated]

Posted by Greg Woodard on May 4, 2016

Lake Forest residents have been inundated over the past several months with signature gatherers, Council outbursts, and divisive rhetoric, as a group called Committee to Recall City Council Members Voigts, Hamilton & Robinson is attempting to recall City Council members Scott Voigts, Andrew Hamilton, and Dwight Robinson.

Two weeks ago, the group submitted approximately 8,200 recall signatures for each Council member.  The Orange County Registrar of Voters has not finished counting the votes to determine whether the group has met the requirement to force a special election in August, September, or October 2016.  Counting the votes alone will cost the city of Lake Forest at least $85,000.  If the recall is certified, the special election would cost the city at least another $100,000.

In a strange twist, although the Registrar of Voters has not said whether enough signatures have been gathered for the initial recall petition, the group served a second set of recall papers on Hamilton, Voigts, and Robinson after last night’s City Council meeting.

Andrew Hamilton, one of the recall targets, stated “Obviously, Adam Nick knows that the first recall didn’t succeed.  Why else would he have personally served me with another set of recall papers? That questions his ability to be looking out for taxpayers in Lake Forest when the Jim Gardner and Adam Nick-supported recall proponents knowingly submitted insufficient recall quantities of signatures.  This wasted $85,000 of taxpayer money due to their personal ambition.  What budget cuts are we going to need to make because of this?  We don’t need a perpetual recall in Lake Forest that continually wastes taxpayers’ money in spreading false accusations.  Adam Nick should stop his failed power grab and instead look out for the best interest of Lake Forest taxpayers.”

Jim Gardner, another current Council member who is supporting the recall, and has paid $30,000 to the group, said “I was told by the recall organizers that ‘the second petition was designed to show them [the Gang of 3] that we are not going away.  We will continue until they are gone.’  I think the recall supporters achieved enough signatures with the 8,100+ they already submitted, since they were verified by an independent agency.  But you can never tell what the authorities will say or do.  I was surprised  when the DA decided not to prosecute a resident who was accused of assaulting a recall supporter trying to gather signatures.  The video, just released, appears to clearly show the assault and eye-witnesses to whom I spoke also claimed that the assault was unprovoked.  So you can never tell what will happen, and I think the recall supporters are hedging their bets.”

To the residents of Lake Forest, get ready for Round 2.

[Update] Apparently, the pro-recall forces have failed in their second bid to recall Voigts, Hamilton, and Robinson, as Robinson confirmed that the recall petition was not timely submitted to the City Clerk.  While that does not prevent the recall folks from taking a third shot, it does call into question their organization when they cannot meet one of the most basic requirements for a recall effort.

Posted in Lake Forest | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nick is Nuts Newspaper

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 8, 2016

About six weeks ago, Bieber Communications prepared the “Nick is Nuts” mailer highlights an August article from the Voice of OC and a December article from the Orange County Register describing Lake Forest Councilman Adam Nick’s bizarre behavior and his effort to recall Mayor Andrew Hamilton and Councilmen Scott Voigts and Dwight Robinson.

This month, Bieber and the Nick is Nuts committee delivered a newspaper to the voters of Lake Forest compiling Nick’s numerous controversies:

  • The $250,000 cost of the recall to taxpayers, and Nick spending $100,000 on the recall
  • Nick’s numerous name changes
  • Petition circulators being paid $9 per hour
  • Broad coalition opposing the recall
  • Nick’s vote to get rid of the Sheriff’s Department, who provides police services to Lake Forest
  • Nick’s “cash, bribes, and rage” as covered by prior media articles
  • Nick’s campaign sign controversy
  • Nick claiming to have a CPA license when it appears the State of California has no record of him having one

Nick and his allies obtained the official recall petition on December 22 and have until April 20 to submit more than 8,000 valid signatures.

Here’s the mailer (click on any of the newspaper images for a PDF of the newspaper):

Lake Forest - Lake Forest News_Page_1 Lake Forest - Lake Forest News_Page_2 Lake Forest - Lake Forest News_Page_3 Lake Forest - Lake Forest News_Page_4

Posted in Lake Forest | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Nick is Nuts Mailer

Posted by Chris Nguyen on January 20, 2016

One of the more amusing pieces of mail in quite some time was left at the tables at Monday night’s Central Committee meeting.  Produced by Bieber Communications, the “Nick is Nuts” piece highlights an August article from the Voice of OC and a December article from the Orange County Register describing Lake Forest Councilman Adam Nick’s bizarre behavior.

The Nick is Nuts piece uses the articles to warn Lake Forest residents against signing the recall petition Nick is circulating against Mayor Andrew Hamilton and Councilmen Scott Voigts and Dwight Robinson.  By pointing out Nick’s strange behavior, the piece admonishes residents that signing the recall petition would let nutty Nick gain control of the Lake Forest City Council.

Even the disclaimer is fun due to the anti-recall committee’s name.  The disclaimer reads, “Paid for by Nick is Nuts, A Committee Opposing the Recall of Mayor Hamilton, Councilmembers Voigts and Robinson 2016.”

Nick and his allies obtained the official recall petition on December 22 and have until April 20 to submit more than 8,000 valid signatures.

Here’s the mailer (click on the mailer images for a larger PDF):



Posted in Lake Forest | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »