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6% Utility Tax, Service Levels Dominate Race

A field of six vying for three seats is split over balancing budget. The disputed levy generates 30% of its general fund.


Background: Incumbent, appointed to City Council in 1991 and elected in 1992; served as mayor in 1995; worked as a volunteer in local schools; reestablished city's Fourth of July celebration; resident of La Habra for 39 years

Major issues: Upgrade railroad crossings; resurface city streets; improve parks and recreation facilities; keep residents informed; maintain number of emergency personnel

Jephthah Holley

Age: 20

Occupation: Student at Rio Hondo College, Whittier

Background: Graduated from Whittier Christian High School, 1994; La Habra resident for eight years

Major issues: Start a class to teach logic in local schools; expand local cable TV operation to create new channels and better service; cut city expenditures; bring business to the city

John C. Holmberg

Age: 39

Occupation: Owner of County Records Research, Santa Ana

Background: Elected to City Council in 1980, reelected in 1984 and 1988; served as mayor in 1984, 1988 and 1991; currently serves as Chamber of Commerce's "Shop La Habra" campaign and president-elect of the La Habra Boys and Girls Club; La Habra resident for 35 years

Major issues: Improve economic development through redevelopment projects; keep police and fire services as city's top priority in annual budget

Merciline La Porte

Age: 67

Occupation: Realtor in Whittier

Background: Member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and National Assn. of Realtors; holds cosmetology license and bartender's certificate; La Habra resident for 30 years

Major issues: Repeal 4-year-old utility tax; reduce wages of city employees; reduce and eventually eliminate youth programs and other services; abolish redevelopment agency; make city manager's job an elected post

Jonathan H. Wiegman

Age: 32

Occupation: Self-employed financial economist

Background: Buys and sells stocks and stock options. Honorably discharged from U.S. Army and Marine Corp Reserves; served as Army and Marine sergeant; master's degree in business economics from Cal State Fullerton; La Habra resident for 22 years

Major issues: Repeal utility tax; extend library hours by recruiting work volunteers; cut Police Department's DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) program; stop any expansion of city programs; refuse future pay raises for city employees

Source: Individual candidates; Researched by MIMI KO CRUZ / For The Times

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