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4 Council Incumbents Facing 7 Challengers

October 23, 1998|LESLEY WRIGHT

City Council candidates are focusing on streets, sewers, children and seniors as dominant issues this year.

Four incumbents are running to keep their seats.

Generally, they said they would continue building up the city's sales tax base and repairing the city's infrastructure: aging streets and sewers so dilapidated that residents complain regularly.

The incumbents--Ralph H. Bauer, a retired chemist; Shirley S. Dettloff, a publisher of educational materials; Dave Garofalo, a newspaper publisher; and Peter M. Green, a biology professor--are facing seven challengers.

All four have pledged to build a senior citizens center and sports playing fields.

They point to reduced crime rates, development projects such as Pier Plaza and the soon-to-be expanded Waterfront Hilton, as well as their environmental credentials, as reasons for voters to keep them in office.

Planning Commissioner Bob Biddle, a 45-year-old businessman, said he would be more open to neighborhood concerns. He would have stopped a proposal to build a Wal-Mart on the vacant Crest View school site before it became an issue, he said.

High school teacher Diane Benge Lenning, 51, said current council members give too much weight to interest groups and influential developers and businessmen, instead of listening to a true cross-section of the communities.

Another candidate who believes much of the city is ignored is Connie Boardman, a 40-year-old biology professor. She said that downtown should be inviting to residents as well as tourists and that Huntington Center could be vastly improved.

Two challengers, Ben Ventresco and Thom Doney, said the lack of representation is so bad the city should split into seven electoral districts.

Ventresco, a 43-year-old business owner, said he would be better at getting action on issues, such as the infrastructure problem, without all the studies and consultants.

The council members are simply too old to understand the concerns of young families, said Doney, the 36-year-old vice principal of a Christian school. He also wants to cut the money spent on consultants and concentrate on streets, sewers and sports fields for youth.

The remaining two candidates, Tim and Julie Devine, who could not be reached for comment, filed a $25-million complaint against the city in February.

They contended that the Police Department is rife with Satan-worshipers who are harassing them. The city's Risk Management Office denied the claim in March, and the Devines have not appealed the action.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Huntington Beach Council Candidates

Seven residents are challenging four incumbents for their seats in the Huntington BeachCity Council election. Candidates Julie Devine and Tim Devine could not be reached.

Ralph H. Bauer

Age: 68

Occupation: Incumbent; retired chemist

Background: Former trustee of Ocean View and Huntington Beach Union High School districts; former planning commissioner; member, Chamber of Commerce, Amigos de Bolsa Chica, Bolsa Chica Land Trust and Huntington Harbor Property Owners Assn.; 34-year resident of city

Issues: Wants more and better retail enterprises in the city, including expanded hotels; would enhance neighborhoods by providing more playing fields and fighting plan to put bridges across Santa Ana River; wants to continue work to decrease crime and improve sewer and water system

*

Bob Biddle

Age: 45

Occupation: Businessman, owns group tour company and clothing line company

Background: Planning commissioner; past president of Huntington Beach Tomorrow, a citizen watchdog group on development issues; member, Bolsa Chica Land Trust

Issues: Wants to find a balance between environment and development issues; believes council should put focus back on public safety and service issues; would be more responsive to neighborhood issues and problems of residents

*

Connie Boardman

Age: 40

Occupation: Professor of biology, anatomy and physiology at Cerritos Community College

Background: Former president of Bolsa Chica Land Trust; member, Crest View United, a group opposed to putting a Wal-Mart on the closed Crest View school site; has appeared on KCET's "Life and Times" and Channel 3 to discuss Bolsa Chica issues

Issues: Would work to save Bolsa Chica Mesa from development; supports revitalization of Huntington Center and opposes allowing Wal-Mart to move onto abandoned Crest View school site; wants to give representation to a broader range of residents

*

Shirley S. Dettloff

Age: 63

Occupation: Incumbent; publisher of educational materials

Background: Named 1998 Conservator of the Year by Bolsa Chica Conservancy;

member, California State Coastal Commission; former planning commissioner; former chair, Orange County Harbors, Beaches, Parks; Orange County Sanitation District director; director, Boys & Girls Club; past president of Amigos de Bolsa Chica; past president of American Heart Assn. chapter; chairwoman, Children's Task Force

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