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Orange County Digest

A Special Election Preview : Coastal : Irvine Voters to Rule on Direct Election of Mayor

November 01, 1987

Irvine voters will decide Tuesday whether to directly elect their mayor, while residents in Costa Mesa choose between receiving property tax rebates that would average $66 each and letting the city keep the money for street and road improvements.

School board races are also on the ballot in Huntington Beach and Irvine. Voters in Newport Beach will decide whether residents of the 72-home Beacon Bay colony--who live on city-owned tidelands--can double the length of their 25-year leases, making it easier to obtain home-improvement loans.

Voters in Costa Mesa and western Newport Beach will select two new board members in the Mesa Consolidated Water District, which serves 22,000 customers.

Irvine will become the sixth city in Orange County in which voters elect the mayor directly if Measure E is approved Tuesday. Led by Mayor Larry Agran, proponents say that would make the office of mayor one of the most visible and powerful posts in the city, directly accountable to the electorate.

"It is an American tradition to elect your own leaders," said Agran, who believes the measure will eliminate the "back-room wheeling and dealing" that occurs now when council members pick the mayor.

Opponents argue that separating the mayor's office from the rest of the council on the ballot will lead to a full-time, salaried mayor. The mayor now receives $600 a month, as do the other council members.

The opponents also say it would violate the spirit of the two-term limit on council members to allow an individual to serve on the council, then be elected mayor and then run again for the council. Councilwoman Sally Anne Miller said residents adopted the two-term limit to reduce incumbents' reelection advantage and ensure that new people have a chance to win council seats.

Those opposed to Measure E have raised more than $14,530 in contributions, much of it from out-of-town developers, for the campaign to defeat it. Proponents have raised about $4,062, including a $2,021 loan from Agran.

If the city's 47,931 registered voters approve Measure E, the first mayoral election will be in June, 1988.

Measure C on the ballot in Costa Mesa is the first attempt by an Orange County city to override the so-called Gann limit on government spending. The Gann limit restricts the amounts both state and local governments can spend. It has resulted in a $2.1-million surplus in Costa Mesa because tax revenue there

has grown faster than the Gann limit allows spending to increase.

Voters must now decide whether the city should give a rebate to property owners or use the money on road improvements.

The issue has generated little debate in the city, although City Council members Dave Wheeler and Mary Hornbuckle oppose the ballot measure, saying property owners should get the money.

If voters agree, the rebates would appear as credits on 1988 property tax bills.

School board races in Irvine and Huntington Beach have centered on spending issues and how to stretch dollars to raise teachers' salaries and maintain school property.

One seat is being contested in the Coast Community College District, which serves the Newport Beach-Costa Mesa-Huntington Beach area. In Trustee Area 4, incumbent Conrad Nordquist has two challengers: Hal Roach of Huntington Beach, a college administrator in Los Angeles, and Paul G. Berger of Costa Mesa, a businessman who formerly was principal at Marina High School in Huntington Beach.

COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT

Trustee Area 4, Governing Board, Elect One

Hal Roach

College Administrator Conrad Nordquist

Incumbent Paul G. Berger

Businessman/Educator HUNTINGTON BEACH UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

Governing Board, Elect Two

Joan J. Hoffman

Parent, Teacher Janine Asai

School Business Consultant Linda Moulton

School Board Member Charmayne Bohman

Psychologist, University Professor HUNTINGTON BEACH CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

Governing Board (Full Term), Elect Two

Karen O'Bric

Governing Board Member Gary W. Nelson

Incumbent Merle Moshiri

Parent/Community Volunteer Thomas E. McKnight

Businessman Sara Derrick Borzcik

Parent, Scout Leader Governing Board (Short Term), Elect One

Robert J. Mann

Educator, Parent, Homeowner Jerry A. Matney

School Administrator IRVINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT Governing Board, Elect Three

Gordon G. Getchel

Incumbent Mary Ellen Hadley

Incumbent Chris King

Community Services Commissioner Tom C. Wilson

University Administrator, Educator Helen T. Cameron

Incumbent MESA CONSOLIDATED WATER DISTRICT

Division 2, Director, Elect One

Harry S. Green

Businessman H. Jack Hall

Incumbent Division 3, Director, Elect One

Charles L. Ropp

Customer Service Supervisor Trudy Ohlig

HMO Coordinator Mike McLaughlin

Lawyer COSTA MESA MEASURE

Appropriations Limit Increase, Measure C

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