Election 2016: Huntington Beach City Council race has 10 in the running

Ten people are vying for three available seats on Huntington Beach's seven-member City Council in the Nov. 8 election.

High-density development, public safety and government transparency have been among the hot-button issues for the group of candidates, which includes one incumbent, a former mayor, three planning commissioners and five newcomers.


The candidates are, in the order they appear on the ballot:

Lyn Semeta


Age: 56

Professional occupation: Business and real property transactional attorney

Education: Huntington Beach High School; UCLA, bachelor of arts; University of San Diego School of Law, juris doctorate

Time lived in Huntington Beach: Went to Huntington Beach High School and moved back to Huntington Beach in 1996.

Previous public service: Vice chairwoman, Huntington Beach Planning Commission; member, Huntington Beach Design Review Board; member, Huntington Beach Investment Advisory Board; appointed by Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel to Cal Optima Board selection panel; board member, workshops co-chair, Huntington Beach Art League; volunteer, Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee Islanders Group, Cruise of Lights commentator; mentor, Orange County Regional Center Parent Connection (for special-needs families); parent liaison, West Orange County Consortium for Special Education; co-founder, God's Special Children program for children with autism at St. Bonaventure Church; chairwoman, San Diego County Bar Assn. Community Services Committee and homeless subcommittee chairwoman; mediator, Bar Assn. attorney/client fee dispute Panel; pro bono attorney for Vietnam Veterans Standdown for Homeless Vets; co-founding pro bono attorney, Superior Court temporary restraining order clinic for battered women; founding co-chair, Women's Resource Fair for Homeless and Battered Women; panelist, Far West Regional Women in Law Conference; president and treasurer, Gaslamp Quarter Foundation

Immediate family: Husband Rich, daughters Kristen, 24, and Lauren, 21

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Assure that future development in Huntington Beach preserves our suburban beach culture, is compatible with surrounding neighbors, does not cause undue traffic congestion or spillover parking problems and allows for discretionary review and opportunity for citizen input. I'll represent the citizen majority that opposes more high-density apartments.

2. Streamline permitting processes and reduce fees and regulations on businesses to stimulate investment in our economy that expands our tax base to meet ongoing expenses.

3. Increase transparency and opportunity for citizen engagement and involvement in city government.

Ron Sterud

Age: 44

Professional occupation: Financial advisor

Education: Some college, UC Riverside; Certificate in Financial Planning, American College

Time lived in Huntington Beach: 36 years

Previous public service: Current Investment Advisory Board member

Immediate family: Wife Krista

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Stop high-density development.

2. Work to lower unfunded liabilities.

3. Prevent Poseidon [desalination plant].

Mark Rolfes

Age: 53

Professional occupation: Vice president of sales, Pelican Products Inc., Torrance

Education: Bachelor of science and business administration with a minor in marketing, Towson State University, Towson, Md.

Time lived in Huntington Beach: 19 years

Previous public service: Currently on board of directors of the Los Angeles City Fire Foundation; previously active in Ocean View Little League, Best Coast Girls Lacrosse Club and Cub Scouts

Immediate family: Spouse Dominique, son Matthew, 19, and daughter Anna, 15

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Work more successfully at funding the unfunded liabilities. This can be done by increasing revenue to the city by growing business.

2. Improve the environment in the city and relationship to City Hall for business owners in Huntington Beach.

3. Develop a plan to address the housing issues and alternatives to high-density development.

Jill Hardy

Age: 45

Professional occupation: Teacher and councilwoman

Education: Bachelor of arts, economics/mathematics (UC Santa Barbara); master's, economics (Cal State Long Beach)

Time lived in Huntington Beach: Fourth-generation resident — family moved to H.B. in 1926

Previous public service: Three terms on the City Council, including serving twice as mayor; Planning Commission; began volunteering on city boards during high school as a member of the Huntington Beach Youth Board

Immediate family: Husband Greg Moore, children Kalissa, 9, and Alec, 5

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Continue to protect open space, including preserving Rodgers Park for community services.

2. Continue to fight against high-density developments.

3. Continue to work with the City Council and city staff to address the city's unfunded liabilities.

Amory Hanson

Age: 19

Occupation: Student

Education: High school diploma

Time lived in Huntington Beach: 19 years

Previous public service: None

Immediate family: Dr. Amy Hanson, mother; Dr. Stefan Hanson, father

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Build an event center.

2. Keep the Michael Rodgers Seniors' Center as public land.

3. Hire more police officers and firefighters.

Mariann "Mare" Ettorre

Age: 60

Professional occupation: Certified public accountant

Education: Two years of master's coursework in taxation; bachelor of science in accounting

Time lived in Huntington Beach: 27 years

Previous public service: Former board member and treasurer for Mothers Against Drunk Driving; 11-year board member, secretary (executive committee) and finance committee member of a nonprofit; member of advisory panel – AICPA Journal and Tax Journal; member of Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade board for two years

Immediate family: Daughter who is a senior and cheerleader in high school

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?


1. Address and move some action forward on homelessness, safety and crime in Huntington Beach.


2. Address pension costs and unfunded liabilities.

3. Poseidon [desalination plant] and possibly the Shopoff land purchase.

Edward Pinchiff

Age: 54

Professional occupation: Business owner; Huntington Beach planning commissioner; attorney

Education: Bachelor of science in accounting from Pepperdine University (1985); juris doctorate from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law (1988)

Time lived in Huntington Beach: Nearly two decades

Previous public service: Current chairman of the Huntington Beach Planning Commission; previous liaison to various city boards and committees, including the Historic Resources Board, Sunset Beach Area Committee, Downtown Economic Development Committee and Southeast Area Committee; member of the city General Plan Advisory Committee and previous member of the Subdivision Committee; volunteer with numerous community events; member of board of directors of various charitable and nonprofit organizations; current vice president of Huntington Beach Council on Aging; volunteer with Project SHIP (Senior Home Inspection Program); member of Huntington Beach Elks

Immediate family: Two children

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Oppose high density and preserve the small-town character of Huntington Beach. We are Surf City USA, not Los Angeles.

2. Respect the community, making sure its voice is heard and working with the community to achieve its vision for Huntington Beach.

3. City Hall must be transparent, and I will have an open-door policy to meet with residents any time on any issue.

Joe Carchio

Age: 79

Professional occupation: Retired business owner

Education: Attended Seton Hall University

Time lived in Huntington Beach: 35 years

Previous public service: Huntington Beach mayor and councilman

Immediate family: Six children (two step)



An earlier version of this article stated that Carchio and Judith Rossner were engaged. They are not engaged.


What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Create jobs; help start-up businesses expand. A positive climate for existing business. This will increase needed revenue in our city.

2. A commitment to the basics of government to fix and maintain parks, trees, sidewalks and streets. These are amenities we hold so precious.

3. City planners have rules on what can be built. If builders play by the rules, I'm here to help. No high density.

Karen Leighton

Age: Not stated

Professional occupation: Registered nurse

Education: Bachelor of science, nursing

Time lived in Huntington Beach: 34 years

Previous public service: Volunteer for the California State Board of Registered Nursing; hospital committees for medication safety and multidisciplinary quality improvement

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Promote slow, sustainable growth. Huntington Beach is evolving with the changing times and the rest of California.

2. Foster small business in Huntington Beach. Small business contributes to the diverse economy significantly.

3. Maintain our open spaces for our families and visitors to enjoy. I would encourage the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors' Center land be used as a park with the possibility of a community center.

Patrick Brenden

Age: 57

Professional occupation: Retired small-business owner

Education: Bachelor of science, business/finance (USC)

Time lived in Huntington Beach: 22 years and five months

Previous public service: Huntington Beach Planning Commission (current); H.B. Public Works Commission (past); H.B. General Plan Advisory Committee (past); H.B. Charter Review Commission (past); H.B. Blue Ribbon Pavement Panel (past); Orange County Water District Ocean Desalination Citizens Advisory Committee (past); Bolsa Chica Conservancy Advisory Council (current); Boy Scouts of America Orange County Council board of directors (current); Host Lions Club of Huntington Beach (current); Kiwanis Club of Huntington Beach (current); H.B. Chamber of Commerce board of directors (immediate past chairman); Boy Scout Troop 1 Scoutmaster emeritus; St. Bonaventure Catholic Church Parish Council (past); Golden West College Patrons (current)

Immediate family: Wife Antoinette, son Trevor, 23, daughter Nicolette, 21

What are three things you hope to achieve if elected?

1. Keep our community safe, maintain excellent public safety and reduce crime.

2. Preserve the character of our community through sensible development. Keep high-density development out of our neighborhoods.

3. Improve our quality of life with innovative solutions to reduce traffic, decrease homelessness and control sober-living homes.

Twitter: @BrittanyWoolsey