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Orange County Election '86 : San Clemente : Incumbents Replaced by Slow-Growth Advocates

November 06, 1986|Bob Schwartz

Voters have tossed out all three incumbents who were seeking reelection, replacing them with two candidates who advocated a slower pace of development and a city planning commissioner who did not make growth the focus of her campaign.

After a final count early Wednesday, voters ousted council members G. Scott Diehl, Kenneth E. Carr and Karoline Koester. Replacing them will be two slow-grow candidates, Brian J. Rice and Thomas W. Lorch. But the top vote-getter was Planning Commissioner Holly Ann Veale.

Veale, a former schoolteacher who is now a housewife, said she was surprised, but added: "There was a strong feeling that the council was not representing the concerns of the people. They thought I'm in touch, and I think that made the difference."

With the council now made up of Rice and Lorch--authors of a slow-growth initiative passed by voters last February--and remaining council members Robert D. Limberg and William C. Mecham, who strongly opposed their initiative, Veale is likely to become the swing vote.

Veale also opposed the initiative, but said she agrees with Lorch and Rice on certain issues. "Each time something comes up, I look at it separately. I'm right in the middle," she said.

Rice, a local dentist, called the victory "a second Measure B," referring to the initiative limiting new construction to 500 units per year in the city's undeveloped area. Rice said the new council "ought to work out well," especially if Veale follows her campaign promise of "listening to the current concerns of citizens."

"The two men left on the council should take heed of that," he warned. "If they think the city is being run as the people want, they are fooling themselves."

In another race, 57.5% of the voters rejected Measure F, which would have allowed residents to force neighbors to trim or cut down trees more than 15 feet tall that blocked ocean or hillside views.

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