SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Gene James
San Clemente should remain the beautiful beach town we enjoy and love; I want to protect it from some of the most critical issues this town has ever experienced: the huge increase in chronic homelessness, criminal transients, the service-resistant mentally ill, loss of our hospital, terrible water quality at our pier, Sober Living Homes and out-of-control STLUs in residential communities, and now the threat of Permanent Supportive Housing for transients and addicts with no long-term accountability.
We need to knock down the roadblocks that prevent law enforcement from protecting our citizens. Additionally, the looming threat of the toll road and the Transportation Corridor Agencies, tons of radioactive canisters just feet from our precious ocean and beaches, and the loss of $18 million from our general fund over the past three years require our immediate attention. These issues impact taxpayers, business owners and hard-working families.
I spent 20 years with the U.S. Army Military Police specializing in law enforcement, investigations and crime prevention, have run a $20 million business unit specialized in risk mitigation for a large corporation, and I currently consult in the private sector on security and crime prevention matters. Additionally, I am an adjunct professor in leadership and criminal justice.
The OCGOP and recent candidate for governor, John Cox, have endorsed me; however, I’m most proud to be endorsed by Mayor Pro Tem Dan Bane and Councilmember Laura Ferguson. In the short time they’ve been in office, they resolved the potential $43 million hospital lawsuit against the city and have been role models as “servant leaders.” Both have taken San Clemente in a new direction by being proactive, listening to residents and treating all with unprecedented respect.
My wife, Emmanuelle, and I moved to San Clemente and discovered we lived next to a sober living facility. Rather than give up, we worked with Code Compliance every day. Perseverance paid off, and they moved. When I spoke about these problems at City Council in 2016, it fell on deaf ears. San Clemente residents deserve a voice—I care and I am committed to changing our city government so that all residents are heard.
As your next City Councilmember, I will be part of the New Leadership Team dedicated to representing everyone in San Clemente. My goal is to use my experiences in the private sector, military and criminal justice system while working with Dan and Laura to improve the safety, security and quality of life in our town. I have been outspoken at our county board of supervisors, knowing they sit on valuable resources that would address chronic homelessness. I speak regularly with city council and Chief Manhart while actively trying to mitigate the issues with the homeless encampment. I look forward to continuing this work as a council member.
Despite the problems before us, I believe San Clemente has a bright future. I’m asking for your vote. By working together, we’ll find solutions while practicing the Art of the Possible.