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O.C. Voters Face Tough Races, Bond Issues

October 27, 2002|Phil Willon | Times Staff Writer

Orange County voters on Nov. 5 will consider potentially historic change at Santa Ana City Hall, more than $804 million in school bond measures and a host of other decisions that will affect everything from their tax bills to the location of the next South County Home Depot.

Mayors in Irvine, Garden Grove and Westminster are seeking reelection, and in Anaheim a former state lawmaker and two council members are competing in a tough mayoral race. Voters in Irvine will decide whether to repeal a utility tax and voters in San Juan Capistrano will decide whether to clear the way for a 175-home development and high school.

Here are some of the top races and issues voters will decide on election day:

Santa Ana City Council: Three Seats

In Santa Ana, where 76% of the population is Latino, voters for the first time could elect a Latino majority on the City Council.

Four Latinos are among the 10 candidates competing for three seats on the council. The winners will join incumbents Claudia C. Alvarez, Jose Solorio, Brett Franklin and Mayor Miguel A. Pulido, who is running unopposed in his bid for a third term.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday October 31, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 13 inches; 494 words Type of Material: Correction
Orange County bond measure -- A story that ran in some editions of a voters guide published in the California section Sunday incorrectly reported that approval of Measure C on the Nov. 5 ballot in parts of Orange County, authorizing issuance of bonds for the Coast Community College District, would cost homeowners $24 per $100,000 of assessed property value annually. The bonds would cost $16.76 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

In Ward 2, in central Santa Ana, incumbent Lisa Bist faces challenger and political newcomer Jose Macias. Bist, 43, has focused on neighborhood improvements and code enforcement during her first term. She also supported downtown renovation and the Artists Village. Macias, a 25-year-old graduate of San Diego State, quit his job as a sales representative to run for office and wants to see more low-income housing and after-school programs, plus library improvements.

In Ward 4, the west-central part of Santa Ana, challenger Zeke Hernandez is trying to unseat incumbent Alberta Dolores Christy.

Hernandez, 56, is president of Santa Ana's chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens. He says he wants to cut wasteful spending and increase funding for roads, parks and recreation.

Christy, 57, said she will continue her focus on public safety and neighborhood improvements.

Six candidates are in the running for the seat representing Ward 6, which covers the southeast portion of the city.

Santa Ana development planner Mike Garcia, 30, said he knows how city government works. He is campaigning for stronger public safety, additional redevelopment and after-school programs.

Eleazar Elizondo, 30, ran unsuccessfully for county supervisor in 2000, getting 25,000 votes. The public-affairs consultant wants the city to have more after-school and day-care programs.

Also running in Ward 6 is Jennifer Villasenor, 24, a planner for the city of Rosemead who says she also supports after-school programs.

Robert L. Henson Sr., 68, is a retired aerospace worker and community activist who wants to see improved road conditions and a crackdown on city code violations, vagrancy and prostitution.

Stanley Fiala, 56, is the founder of EON, a company that seeks to stop the aging process. He said the city needs to move in a new direction and wants to make drug rehabilitation a law-enforcement priority.

Margaret Jeanne Flindt, a 42-year-old office manager, said the city needs to improve Santa Ana's image, its roads, sidewalks and soccer fields.

Santa Ana Unified School District: Ethnic Politics Emerge as Latino Leaders Battle

In Santa Ana, a city with one of the nation's highest concentrations of Latinos, ethnic politics and a smoldering battle between the city's most influential Latino leaders have laced this year's campaign for school board.

Trustees John Palacio and Nadia Maria Davis are among eight candidates running for two seats.

In the middle of the fiery campaign is a board member who's not on the ballot: Nativo Lopez, who is midway through his second term and the target of an ongoing recall campaign.

Lopez, Palacio and Davis are viewed by many as strong allies on the board, and their detractors accuse them of race-baiting by labeling any opposition to their policies--whether it be over bilingual education or where to build schools--as an attack on Latino working families.

The three say those charges are untrue, and describe themselves as politically independent community leaders who have some common interests.

Challenger Robert Munoz, a social worker, said he finds the ethnic politics repulsive, and said the board needs to look at the city as a whole. Including Munoz, four of the six challengers are Latino.

Other candidates for the board are retired teacher Nina C. Brazelton; former school board member Audrey Y. Noji, a college administrator; parent activist Roland Lujan; and city library commissioners Oscar Garza and Lupe Moreno.

Anaheim: 2 Insiders, 2 Outsiders Seek Mayor's Office

In Anaheim, four candidates are vying to replace Mayor Tom Daly, who is leaving office after 10 years because of term limits.

Two are City Hall insiders: council members Frank Feldhaus, 74, and Lucille Kring, 59. Two are outsiders: former Assembly Speaker Curt Pringle, 43, and former La Habra Police Chief Steve Staveley, 58.

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