Tag Archive | "Joe Shaw"

Commentary: Three Stooges Take Over Huntington Beach City Council


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Have we got a great show for you?

Hell yes!

Welcome to the Huntington Beach City Council/Three Stooges Comedy Hour.

First, there’s the crowd’s favorite, (Curly with hair) Joe Shaw, the council member who loves to be melodramatic and thinks it is his right to speak out of turn at council meetings whenever his feelings get hurt, which is pretty often.

Second, there’s (Moe without hair) Don Hansen, the council bully who thinks that he is 1) the mayor (he’s actually the mayor pro tem); and, 2) that he is smarter than everyone else. He has the social conscience and testosterone level of Napoleon Bonaparte, William F. Buckley and Sen. Joseph McCarthy combined. Watch out for his sarcasm, condescension, and scary glares.

Third, there’s (Larry) Devin Dwyer, the council member who thinks that being a brat, using potty language and insulting the city attorney, who has ten times his intellect, is witty and funny. Just like a little school boy seeking attention, he loves to brag about his childish misdeeds with that trying-so-hard-to-be-cute (gag me with a spoon, please) grin of his. Read the full story

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Joe Shaw: gay, but not the ‘gay councilman’


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

After being sworn in last Monday for his first term on the Huntington Beach City Council, Joe Shaw, who is openly gay, said he wasn’t surprised that he was elected.

“When I first came to Huntington Beach with my then partner eight years ago,” he reminisced in his acceptance speech , “we opened a business downtown and at once we were warmly embraced by the people of downtown, our customers and people from all over the city.”

Shaw says he and his partner were accepted “unconditionally and without judgment” and that “I looked at this beautiful city and its wonderful people and knew I had found a new home.”

Surf City does offer domestic partner benefits for city employees, but its citizens also reelected Dana Rohrabacher, one of the most homophobic representatives in Congress, by overwhelming vote margins for the past several decades.

Rohrabacher opposes marriage, adoption and military enlistment rights for openly gay or lesbian adults and he favors amending to the Constitution to define marriage as an act to occur between men and women only.

Rohrabacher’s anti-gay views might not be openly shared by most of his Surf City constituents, but they still hold sway in Orange County Republican politics and, at least indirectly, in Surf City politics.

One of the main reasons that the Orange County GOP didn’t endorse Barbara Delgleize—who lost fourth place in the city council election to Shaw by a handful of votes—is that she supports the right to same-sex marriage, according to reports in the Republican blog Red County, including one written by OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh.

Robert Gentry, who served on the Laguna Beach City Council 1982 – 1992, was the first openly gay elected official in Orange County, but Shaw is the only one currently holding office in the county.

Shaw will concentrate on being the “best councilman I can be,” not the “gay city councilman,” he said. But he believes that his victory should provide hope to others.

“I must acknowledge it,” he said, “because it will make a difference in many peoples’ lives to know that this is possible in Huntington Beach and Orange County. It does get better.”

Lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered people want the same things in life that everyone else does, Shaw said, explaining the broader significance of his victory. “We want good schools, safe and well maintained streets, clean water and air, and abundant open space,” he said.

For his first-term priorities, Shaw hopes to tackle the city’s tough financial problems. “First, we have challenging financial conditions ahead of us. We have made some difficult cuts and will likely have to negotiate more. I intend to be fiscally prudent without harming our ability to provide our essential services,” he declared.

Not harming “essential services” is the obligatory mantra of even the most hawkish fiscal reformers on the city council, and those services are usually defined as police, fire and infrastructure, which includes just about everything a city government provides.

Protecting those services won’t be easy under the ongoing recession—likely to be exacerbated by plans to cut a $25 billion state budget deficit and federal tax cuts for the rich proposed by Obama and the new Congress—with little hope for state or federal bailout money for cities across the country.

Shaw’s goals for Surf City’s future are optimistic, however, including a proposed 25-year mobility plan designed to accommodate future development with alternative modes of transportation, “including buses, trollies, trains and bike ways.”

Shaw seeks to develop a more sustainable city by encouraging projects like the Community Garden set to open soon in the southeast portion of the city and he will try to encourage new business creation through deregulation, making sure that “all of our citizens are treated as valuable customers by the city.”

Shaw also announced that he will reappoint Blair Farley to the Planning Commission. Farley, who narrowly trailed Delgleize in the election, campaigned with Shaw and co-victor Connie Boardman as part of Team Huntington Beach.

Photo: Arturo Tolenttino for the SCV

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New City Council: Priorities and infrastructure


By John Earl
Surf City Voice 

The Surf City Voice recently asked the new and continuing members of the Huntington Beach City Council what their priorities will be in the next year and how they will handle the issue of infrastructure funding for the city. Keith Bohr, Don Hansen, Matt Harper, and Joe Carchio did not respond.

Question 1: As a new, reelected or continuing city council representative, what will your top priorities be in the coming year?

Joe Shaw: Obviously, making sure we stabilize our city’s budget is the most important thing we can do in the short term. We need to make sure we can continue to provide the best services we can at the level we can afford during this recession. We need wise planning to ensure that short term cuts do not jeopardize our future.

Devin Dwyer: A recession can be a great opportunity for government to evaluate what services are absolutely necessary and what services we can no longer afford to provide in a declining economy. I see our most basic needs as Public Safety and Infrastructure. Public Safety is 51% of our General Fund budget. Since this is the largest use of public funds we need to surgically remove any waste without compromise to our citizen’s safety. The first item that comes to mind is our pension system. The idea that any person should be retiring at 50 is ridicules. Airline pilots are mandated to retire at 60 and now they allow 65 if there is an accompanying pilot aboard less then 60. Second is the idea of defined benefit. The public sector no longer provides a defined benefit in there compensation package. They provide some sort of 401K that both the employee and the employer contribute too. I propose a second tier for new hire benefits. This would help secure those employees with the more generous benefits that currently work for us at the same time new employees would contribute more towards the new 401k program and the city would contribute as well. And those on the more generous benefits need to contribute more towards their pension.

There was a time when public employees were not compensated well so to make up for it the city used benefits to compete with the private sector for staff. Today that is not true. You will find that compensation at our city for Public Safety employees when measured with private sector jobs is not only competitive but many out side government feel excessive.

Infrastructure had no champion until I came along. Each Council Member has an appointee to the Finance Board. Our Finance board has been complaining for a decade that our infrastructure was in decline and if we did not spend more in the near future we are headed for trouble. This has fallen on deaf ears until I and the Charter Reform Committee pointed out that we have greater than a billion dollar need with less than half that we can pay for. I was saddened by the Public Union’s spending more than $ 100,000 to defeat Measure O. There inability to see our citizens needs over there own was atrocious. I will rally my fellow Councilmember’s to support budgeting more every year towards infrastructure for the next few years I am on council.

One of the ways out of our plight is to bring more businesses to Huntington Beach. These new businesses will help generate tax dollars that could help pay for items that we have grown accustomed to our city providing. I will continue to work hard through all my business connections to fulfill this priority.

And as I have shown as one of my priorities is to talk straight to the public. If there is one thing I hate about politics its spin! If I think something is “Horse Shit”. Then that’s the way I’m going to characterize it!

Connie Boardman: My first priority will be to make wise budget decisions to arrive at a balanced budget while preserving important city services. I will work to continue the search for funding sources for infrastructure projects to solve water quality issues, repair streets and sidewalks, and to provide public safety needs such as traffic lights.

Question 2: Given the defeat of Measure O, how should the city council decide its budget priorities, including infrastructure, and what steps should be taken to deal with public employee pensions?

Devin Dwyer: See above.

Connie Boardman: Devoting 15% of the general fund revenue to infrastructure and not counting debt service toward the 15% did not become part of the City’s Charter. However, there remains in place a policy of allocating 15% of the general fund money toward infrastructure projects. We have a huge back log of infrastructure needs, and I am sure funding infrastructure projects will be a high priority with the new council.

There is a need for pension reform, I think everyone on the council realizes this. We can certainly learn from the experiences of other cities. I am interested in working with representatives of the unions, the public, and the city administration in developing a workable plan to make sure we can continue to offer sustainable, and affordable retirement benefits to the employees.

Joe Shaw: I believe we must still prioritize infrastructure given the enormous backlog we have. I believe we can work with our public employee unions and city employees to find solutions to the pension crisis.

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Fred Speaker: Crotchety Council Candidate Zips Lips Over Budget Slips


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Huntington Beach Planning Commissioner Fred Speaker is no doubt one of the leading candidates from the pack of 20 locals running for one of four open City Council seats on the November 2 ballot.

Speaker—in his own words—is a “fiscally responsible” and “pay as you go” candidate who as an experienced small businessman knows “how to balance a budget” and who promises that he “won’t treat taxpayer dollars any less carefully.”

He recently received the endorsements of the City’s two most powerful unions, the HB Police Officers Association and the HB Firefighters Association.

Speaker is also expected to get the full endorsement of the Orange County GOP in a vote to take place Monday, according to publisher Chip Hanlon writing on his blog, Red County.

Red County is the voice of Orange County’s Republican partisans who hope to get “real” Republicans in office and do their part to take back control of America—by following the tenets of “revolution” proclaimed by Party leader Scott Baugh.

The union and OCGOP endorsements combined with the PAC money and campaign donations that they will generate will make Speaker a “virtual shoe-in” on election day, says Hanlon.

But Hanlon and other Red County revolutionaries are wondering what Speaker has done to deserve an endorsement and why more credible Republicans like council candidates Billy O’Connell and Barbara Delgleize have been rejected by the OCGOP.

Hanlon explains that those two leading candidates were denied their endorsements because Delgleize supports gay marriage and abortion rights for women and O’Connell gave campaign money to a few Democrats in the past.

One of the underlying problems with the Speaker endorsement, however, is that it would violate one of Baugh’s most important revolutionary decrees: the Party shall oppose union backed candidates. Read the full story

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Just In: Former Mayor Connie Boardman runs for HB City Council


In a major event that is likely to change the dynamics of the upcoming election for city council, former councilmember and mayor Connie Boardman has announced at the 11th hour that she is running for city council, becoming the third member of a slate that also includes Joe Shaw and Blair Farley.

The following announcement is from the slates official website:http://teamhuntingtonbeach.com/index.php/page/C7/29/

Former Mayor Connie Boardman announced today that she was running for Huntington Beach City Council and was joining candidates Joe Shaw and Blair Farley to form Team Huntington Beach.

“I am running because I believe the current council is just not listening to the residents of Huntington Beach,” Boardman said. “Together with Blair Farley and Joe Shaw, we’ve created Team Huntington Beach to provide voters with a choice for real change.”

Boardman was spurred to run after the council’s recent decision to change the land use designation of a portion of Bolsa Chica from open space/parkland to residential. Boardman, like Farley and Shaw, believes the city needs to pay more attention to its neighborhoods and residents.

“The city has a deficit of parkland, yet the council just voted to turn five acres of it into housing in the most sensitive ecological area in the city,” Boardman said. “It’s no surprise there are four neighborhood groups currently suing the city. They aren’t listening.”

Boardman, a professor of biology at Cerritos College, served on the City Council from 2000-2004, and was mayor in 2003. She is currently the President of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust. Farley is IT Director at Mariners Church, and is the Chairman of the HB Planning Commission. Shaw is a small business owner who has served on three city commissions.

Connie Boardman

Connie Boardman enters the race for Huntington Beach City Council.

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Huntington Beach Election: City Council Candidates Question (2) Infrastructure


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

This is the second of a series of questions posed by the Surf City Voice to all of the announced candidates. The question this time is about infrastructure and more specifically a proposed revision to Section 617 of the Huntington Beach City Charter that the city council recently voted to place on the November ballot.

The Surf City Voice tries to put challenging questions before the candidates in the hope that both the questions and the candidates’ answers will shed more light on important city issues and increase the voters’ chance to know who and what they will be voting for.

Political candidates often avoid challenging questions in their attempt to control the flow of information and limit their risks from public exposure. But we thank those candidates who took the time to consider the question and disclose their views to the voters.

The background to the question, the exact question asked of each of the candidates and their exact answers follow.

Readers are encouraged to leave their own comments or questions at the end of the questionnaire. Read the full story

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Question #1: City Council Candidates Speak Out on the Ridge


By John Earl
Surf City Voice

On July 6, 2010, the Huntington Beach City Council voted 5-1 to approve rezoning from open space/park to residential for a hotly disputed 5 acre patch of land on the Bolsa Chica upper mesa and to accept a Mitigated Negative Declaration for a 22 unit housing development proposed by California Coastal Communities (Hearthside Homes) for the site–instead of a more rigorous Environmental Impact Report.

To many Native Americans, the entire area is a holy site that should be left alone out of respect for their ancestors. To preservationists it is also a place of natural wonder linked to the Bolsa Chica wetlands ecosystem that should be kept natural to help maintain the city’s already limited open spaces.

The current owner of the site says that Native American burial remains and artifacts are unlikely to be found there and that the project will not have significant impacts on cultural or environmental resources that can’t be properly mitigated for.

The following question was submitted to every Huntington Beach City Council candidate as the first in an ongoing series to be published between now and the day before election in November, 2010.

On July 6, 2010 the Huntington Beach City Council will consider an appeal of the city planning commission’s approval of rezoning 5 acres of land on the upper Bolsa Chica mesa (known as the Ridge) from open space/park to residential and its approval of a Mitigated Negative Declaration for a 22 unit housing development on the site.

If you were an elected member of the city council, how would you vote (or how would you have voted if you answer after the city council meeting) on the appeal of the Huntington Beach Planning Commission’s decisions (noted above) on the Ridge site? Would you vote (yes) to uphold the appeal in whole or in part? Explain which part of parts of the appeal you would uphold or not uphold and the reasons for your decision in each case.

The following candidates submitted answers in the requested format within the deadline requested. Readers are encouraged to post their responses to any of the answers posted by the candidates, to ask them questions, challenge or praise them. Candidates may answer readers and post questions for other candidates as well. Please keep all comments within the spirit of constructive debate and keep your comments to the issues.

Respondents are listed in alphabetical order. Read the full story

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Joe Shaw Runs for City Huntington Beach City Council


Joe Shaw announced his candidacy for the Huntington Beach City Council on Oct. 24, 2009 at the home of former mayor and city council member Debbie Cook. The OC Voice was there to record the event, joining a house full of supporters, including another former mayor/council member, Connie Boardman, League of Conservation Voters representative, Gus Ayer, HB city planning commissioner Blair Farley, who is also running for city council (with Shaw’s endorsement, and others. Shaw has lived in the city a relatively short time but wasted no time in getting involved in the thick of the city’s most important issues, starting as a founding member of the Downtown Business District and providing the initial idea and inspiration for Surf City Nights, a Tuesday event (4-9 p.m.) that closes off downtown to auto traffic and offers a farmers market and a wide variety of street entertainers, a welcome change for HB residents who have avoided the beer mall atmosphere, complete with bull-riding, barfing drunks, brawling drunks, urinating drunks, and drunks who drive recklessly at high speeds through nearby residential areas (including, in full disclosure, right outside of this writer’s home on many occasions) that occurs generally after 9 p.m. every night, especially on weekends and during the summer. Shaw has also been an on (when not campaigning) and off-again columnist for the OC Voice. He also served as a city planning commissioner and currently serves on the city’s charter review committee. More information is available on his campaign website at: http://joeshawforhb.com/joeshawforhb/Issues.html

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