Three open City Council seats for November's municipal elections have drawn heavy interest, with 11 people taking out candidate papers since the filing period opened last week.
Candidates to date include incumbents Norman P. Murray and Victoria C. Jaffe.
"I think this kind of interest is terrific," said Councilman Robert A. Curtis, who is not up for reelection. "It's an indication that Mission Viejo residents are very interested in their local government and how to improve it."
In addition to the two incumbents, others picking up filing papers include Ray Carolin, Sue Withrow, Marilyn MacDougall, Ed Kearns, Sharon Cody, Alan Gallup, Joe Lowe and Gary Manley. Mayor Christian W. Keena said he probably will not run for council again and has not taken out papers.
Martin Schiesl, who also took out papers last week, apparently changed his mind about running and has returned them, members of the city clerk's office said.
The large turnout has been in part attributed to the community anger raised by last February's failed attempt to recall Councilman Robert A. Curtis.
The recall effort had the support of all three officials now up for reelection. And although it also received $350,000 from a single developer, it failed by approximately 70% to 30%.
Curtis declined on Monday to say if he will be working against the City Council incumbents.
However, commenting on the sharp divisiveness that has marked council politics since the city's incorporation two years ago, Curtis said the council is "fragmented and polarized. We need a cleansing election so voters can determine what direction they want the city to go."