By Jim Shilander
The San Clemente Times is kicking off its election coverage this week. In this Presidential election year, it can be easy to forget that local elections carry a lot more impact in San Clemente itself. With two seats on the city council up for grabs, and a number of important development issues upcoming, the look of the city, the future of the downtown and other properties may be affected by the makeup of the council.
The pressure to improve the city’s economy was made all the more important two weeks ago with the announcement of layoffs at San Onofre. With the shape and scope of the Marblehead development still uncertain and the city working on a general plan that may change the rules for development downtown and elsewhere, how the city recovers may change. It’s already a unique race, with two candidates of the same name running, necessitating a first of its kind method for choosing ballot position.
In the coming weeks, we will feature a number of question and answers with the candidates for all offices, including Capistrano Unified School District Board members and local water district boards. We will also be including weekly updates as they happen. We begin this week by printing the candidate statements of all the council candidates (Note: 0 Robert “Bob” Baker did not file a candidate statement with the city. In the interest of fairness we have included a statement from him, but this statement will not appear on the ballot).
The following are the unedited candidate statements as submitted to the City Clerk’s office.
Chris Hamm, Firefighter:
During these difficult times it is important that we elect council members that are looking out for the well-being of the community and not outside interests. As a small beach community we have the unique opportunity to structure open space and revitalize our town to suit the needs of residents and neighbors.
As a member of the Forster family, my ancestors have resided in San Clemente for generations. I was born and raised in San Clemente and graduated from San Clemente High School. I have grown up on our beaches and participate in community events. I am a Firelighter in Talega and I serve on the General Planning Advisory Committee for the City of San Clemente. I have planned numerous charity events in SC including toy drives and fundraisers for Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
As a city council member I will find traffic solutions that ease congestion. I will make decisions that maintain our “Village by the Sea” character. I believe that people live in our town because of our unique beach atmosphere. As a homeowner in San Clemente, I know that our small town feel is very important, and I will work hard to ensure the integrity of our community.
David Clegg, Retired Business Man:
I practice traditional fiscal conservative values in both my personal and business life. I believe that water conservation should not be punished by voting in higher rates for residents as we have recently experienced.
As a resident and property owner in California since 1977, I believe that controlled and sustainable business growth can provide tax relief to residents while also improving the beauty of our community.
I hold a BS in Business Administration and now retired after a successful career of over 30 years with VF Corporation. My many years of experience in all aspects of business management, combined with my current management of my real estate investments, makes me uniquely qualified to assist in guiding the City of San Clemente. I will work to strike a balance that manages our growth and development while concurrently improving sustainable local job opportunities and the economy of our community overall.
I will work to maintain the beauty of our village by the sea community by promoting improved beach maintenance, benefiting residents and visitors alike.
As a outsider to local political scene, my leadership is not affected by any outside influences. My sole allegiance is to the residents and community of San Clemente.
Jim Dahl, Retired Fire Captain:
I have been a 49 year resident of San Clemente. With my wife Alice we have raised two children. Jim a Special Officer with the Orange County Sheriffs Department and daughter Ingrid who works for a mortgage company and we have 5 grandchildren living in San Clemente.
I retired as a Fire Captain with OCFA after 36 years of service in 2009. 15 years ago you elected me to City Council.
In the ensuing years I have championed your causes with responsible determined leadership. I share your concern for the issues that are shaping the future of San Clemente. I have worked to enhance Fire/ Paramedic Service and Police Protection, Rail Safety Quiet Zone, Gang Enforcement, Parks, Traffic Circulation, Code Enforcement, Historic and Coastal Preservation, Ocean Water Quality, Business opportunities and affordable Senior Housing. The Centennial General Plan, restoration of the Ole Hanson Beach Club, Beach Restrooms and the completion of Courtney’s Sand Castle with a balanced budget are high on my list of priorities.
I have placed a high priority on requiring high quality, sustainable development in our community. These issues will continue to guide us in the future and with your vote I will continue to “Move San Clemente Forward”
Mike Mortenson, Business Attorney/Father:
I’m running for City Council to strengthen San Clemente economically, while preserving and enhancing the qualities that make San Clemente one of America’s best beach towns.
I believe in practical, common-sense leadership that unites our community. As a fiscal conservative, I will ensure San Clemente runs efficiently, while still providing the highest level of service to our residents and businesses.
I will work to promote and support investment and responsible economic development. It’s critical that we secure San Clemente’s long-term fiscal health by supporting local businesses and attracting new ones.
Because nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety, I will work tirelessly with our public safety agencies, city officials and our fellow residents to make San Clemente even safer for all.
As a life-long surfer, I believe that protecting our beaches and ocean is vital to our community. To that end, I will support sand replenishment and water quality improvement programs.
Finally, I believe that we must preserve and enhance San Clemente’s historical sites and districts by encouraging investment and adaptive reuse.
I am a Leadership San Clemente graduate. Numerous San Clemente leaders, including Mayor Jim Evert, support me and I hope you will too.
For more information, please visit www.mikemortenson.com.
1 Robert “Bob” Baker, Councilmember/ Retired Aviator:
Our top priority must be residents first… not the interests of out of town developers. During my four years in office I have helped stop overdevelopment and traffic gridlock from ruining our quality of life. I voted for sound development projects, like Target, Courtney’s Sandcastle and the new Ralph’s market.
I have always voted to keep our fiscal house in order. San Clemente currently has the highest bond rating possible. Let’s keep it.
Special interests and PACS will try to influence this election by throwing money at candidates. I didn’t accept campaign contributions of more than $99 in 2008 and I won’t in 2012.
My wife Pam and I are 20+ year residents of San Clemente. Our children graduated from San Clemente High. I support the Boys and Girls Club, Little League, Triton sports, the San Clemente Educational Foundation and Casa Romantica.
I retired as a commercial airline captain in 2008 flying transpacific routes. I graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. I served in the US Navy and flew the F-4 Phantom jet fighter from the USS Roosevelt making 170 carrier landings.
Vote for me and you’ll get a voice of reason & continued fiscal responsibility.
0 Robert “Bob” Baker, Businessman (Note: The SC Times asked Mr. Baker for a statement for the sake of fairness. However, he did not provide one to the city, and it will not appear on the ballot):
For the past 4 years, I have been frequently asked if I was the City Councilman Bob Baker. I am not. The other Bob Baker consistently votes against issues that I agree with, like the Sports Hall of Fame Wall at the new aquatics center, building a handicapped bathroom at Courtney’s Sand Castle playground and renewing the lease on Sunday Farmers Market on Del Mar. I have lived in San Clemente for 47 years and I graduated from San Clemente High School. As a child, I went to the Miramar Theater to see movies and I learned to surf near North Beach. I have a keen interest in cooperative and positive progress for that part of town. I am concerned about the impact the toll road will have on the community. The careful and orderly process of redevelopment in the older parts of town will bring jobs and increased sales and property taxes income for the city. I live with my wife, Barbara, and my autistic stepson. I am an Account Manager for The Hillman Group, a company in the hardware industry.