By Wayne Eggleston
I was on the city council for twelve years, elected three times, so I have a perspective of what qualities make for a good and a dedicated councilmember.
Putting residents first and listening to their concerns is paramount. Over the last few years we have had open space issues and a plan to build a commercial development on our beachfront, on land seized by eminent domain, to be used for public benefit (beachfront park and parking). Any candidate running for elected office must have gone through these issues in order to even be considered a viable candidate. Otherwise, they are “Mikes’ come lately material.”
Chris Hamm, our local hometown man, born and raised in San Clemente, is a firefighter stationed in San Clemente. He knows what village character really means and is on the General Plan Advisory Committee, appointed by city council, guiding our city’s vision. He speaks from his heart and has been through all the above issues. He as fought for our beaches, water quality, open space, and keeping our beachfronts free from commercial development. Chris Hamm is second on the ballot, but first for our residents.
Bob Baker, former Navy pilot and commercial airline pilot, is #1. Forget the other Bob Baker zero, as this was a fraudulent ploy by a developer to confuse voters. Dirty politics in our small town! Bob Baker #1 is a fiscal watchdog for your precious tax dollars and will not put up with government intrusion into your lives. The opposition has placed hit advertisements in newspapers with his voting record. Baker #1 takes this as a badge of honor as it demonstrates the above qualities. Baker #1 has lived through all the above issues and has been with the majority of residents time after time. Bob Baker #1 is last on the ballot, first for San Clemente.
Mike Mortenson, a business lawyer from the East Coast and Los Angeles, moved to San Clemente 2 1/2 years ago and resides in Talega. He seems to have one mantra—local businesses, more businesses. He supports local businesses so much; he bought his campaign signs in Santa Ana. You may have seen his signs on the Marblehead outlet site owned by the same developer who also owns the Citadel Outlet, the one with the monster digital signs along the 5 freeway. It seems reasonable to assume that those who place their signs in this location may be favorably disposed to vote for large monster signs along our freeway. He refuses to answer this issue.
He has stated that he wishes to represent Talega, but we do not have district elections, as city council members represent all residents in every neighborhood. Seems like a recipe for dividing the community. Mortenson is infamous for dancing around issues and doing a two-step depending upon the audience he is speaking to. His stock answer is that he will weigh all sides of the issue, using words like cost-base analysis and mathematics—sounds like “lawyer speak” to me.
Recently he stated that businesses are the anchors of San Clemente. No, Mr. Mortenson, the 68,000 residents are the anchors of this community, along with businesses. Businesses are vitally important and we all need to shop and dine in San Clemente. Mortenson has never lived through the issues like Hamm and Baker, living here 2 1/2 years. Mortenson is a developer’s candidate.
We have a very clear distinction this election. Support those who have lived through the issues and have a vision of protecting, preserving and improving this unique city or destroy what we have with a vision of Huntington Beach South. Vote wisely, as our town depends upon it.