HUNTINGTON BEACH : Group Rethinking Stand on Candidate

Save Our Parks, a grass-roots environmental group, announced it is re-evaluating its support of Linda Moulton-Patterson for the City Council after she said she is no longer supporting a parks initiative appearing on the Nov. 6 election ballot.

During a candidates' forum Tuesday night at City Hall, Moulton-Patterson said she is not voting for Measure C in the Nov. 6 election. Measure C, placed on the ballot by Save Our Parks, would prohibit the city from selling or leasing any park or beach land without a citywide vote.

Measure C also has language that would forbid any new "building larger than 3,000 square feet in floor area or . . . any structure costing more than $100,000 within any city-owned or operated park or beach."

Moulton-Patterson, in an interview Wednesday, said she is not voting for Measure C because "I'm somewhat concerned about the $100,000 limit." She said that the city may have good projects in future years that could not be built, without a citywide vote, because of that limitation.

But she emphasized that she remains "strongly supportive of the spirit of Measure C, which is to prevent any sale or long-term lease of park and beach land." She said she opposes Measure D on the Nov. 6 ballot because "it still would allow lease of parkland." Measure D was placed on the ballot by the current City Council majority as an alternative to the Save Our Parks initiative.

Moulton-Patterson, Mark Porter and incumbent Councilwoman Grace Winchell all were endorsed by Save Our Parks earlier this year in the City Council race.

Debbie Cook, a spokeswoman for Save Our Parks, said Wednesday, "We're reevaluating our support of her, but we haven't found a better candidate to endorse.

"We're sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. We hope this doesn't indicate how she will stand on other issues."

Cook said that before being endorsed, Moulton-Patterson had given Save Our Parks a signed statement of her support for the parks initiative.

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