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Voter Guide 2000

City Council, Mayoral Candidates in Orange County

November 05, 2000

Constance "Connie" Underhill

* Age: 57

* Occupation: Incumbent, administrator

* Background: Placentia Chamber Citizen of the Year 1987; received the PTSA Unit & Council Honorary Service Awards; Placentia-Yorba Linda School Board trustee; is an Orange County Vector Control board member; sits as the Placentia Recycling Committee director; has served on City Council and as mayor (1998-99)

* Issues: Supports redevelopment of underutilized areas to attract more tax revenue into the city; wants to reduce substandard and overcrowded housing through aggressive code enforcement

Maria Moreno

* Age: 46

* Occupation: Incumbent, administrative assistant

* Background: Member of Chamber of Commerce; member of the Orange County League of Cities; worked as chair of Orange County Housing Commission (1988-99); member of the Orange County Sanitation District; council member since 1988; served as mayor in 1992

* Issues: Supports further reductions in utility tax and continued business and economic development to create more tax revenue; argues for a responsible redevelopment of blighted areas and revitalizing the Santa Fe commercial area

David E. Ramos

* Age: 70

* Occupation: Retired

* Background: 30-year Placentia resident; planning commissioner for the past three years; served with U.S. Navy in Korean War; member of the El Dorado High School Hall of Fame Committee; bachelor's degree in business administration, real estate broker's license and a California teaching credential in adult education

* Issues: Supports gradual elimination of the utility tax; supports term limits for council members; believes in modernizing and expanding the community center

Don Shepherd

* Age: 43

* Occupation: Landscape contractor

* Background: Former law enforcement officer; 19-year Placentia resident; business owner for 24 years; has served on Heritage Committee Executive Board; worked as El Dorado High School Choir Prism chairman for four years; leader of Rose Drive Friends Church

* Issues: Supports investing money from Orange County bankruptcy; believes in the need to attract new businesses; feels that many community facilities need upgrading and that law enforcement needs better funding so officers can tackle gangs

John D. Penner

* Age: 42

* Occupation: Small-business owner

* Background: Holds a bachelor's degree in finance and investments from San Diego State University; founder of Preserve Our Past; has worked as a soccer and Little League coach; member of the Chamber of Commerce, Founders Society and Neighborhood Watch

* Issues: Supports updating General Plan; favors building a community center, greater promotion of Old Town Placentia area


Two Elected

Josh Coats

* Age: 25

* Occupation: Credit union supervisor

* Background: San Clemente High graduate

* Issues: Improve traffic circulation; reduce urban runoff by working with surrounding cities; build a new high school

Jim Dahl

* Age: 57

* Occupation: San Clemente fire captain

* Background: A 36-year resident of San Clemente; San Clemente firefighter since 1971; board member of Coastal Animal Services Shelter; member of Orange County Professional Firefighters; member Orange County Fire Benevolent Assn.; member of Sister Cities Assn. of San Clemente; member of Dana Point Yacht Club; member of City Council (1997-98)

* Issues: Wants to place priority on requiring high-quality, responsible development; enhance fire and police protection, code enforcement, historic preservation, including Casa Romantica; preserve the coast; improve water quality and sand replenishment; ensure rail-corridor safety; revitalize downtown; build new senior center and fire station complex.

Stephanie M. Dorey

* Age: n/a

* Occupation: President of Restore the Shore

* Background: Co-founder of Derail the Trail and helped lead the grass-roots effort that halted the controversial coastal trail project and resulted in "less-is-more" rail-safety project; elementary school teacher for 15 years; chairwoman of the Blue Water Task Force committee of the Surfrider Foundation

* Issues: Wants to protect the quality of life at the beach and in town; stop toll road; approve only responsible growth; maintain city's village character; uphold aesthetic and environmental standards; push for a new high school; focus on promoting the success of downtown businesses; encourage citizen input early in decision-making processes

Gary R. Hartung

* Age: 49

* Occupation: Businessman

* Background: President of Marblehead

Homeowners Assn.; member of Chamber of Commerce; board member of Ole Hanson PTA; member of Site Improvement Council; coach and referee of youth sports

* Issues: Ensure that San Clemente continues to be a safe and healthy place to live; allocate significant funds to parks, recreation, beach enhancement and safe-beach access; support balance between growth and infrastructure; beautify older parts of town; promote better school facilities

Dan Hensley

* Age: 33

* Occupation: Clerk at Sav-on and Ralphs

* Background: Graduate of San Clemente High School

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