Attorney Picked to Fill Huntington Beach Council Seat


The City Council on Monday appointed local attorney Thomas G. Harman to fill the seventh seat on the council.


The seat was vacated earlier this month by Jim Silva, who now serves on the County Board of Supervisors.

The council received 39 applications from residents interested in being appointed to the vacancy. Council members last week selected the 11 finalists who were interviewed Friday for the two-year term.


After casting nine ballots Monday night, four council members came to a consensus to select Harman, 53, who has had a private practice in Huntington Beach for 20 years. Councilwoman Shirley S. Dettloff cast the swing vote.

Harman, who did not attend the council meeting but watched the selection process on cable TV at home, said he was honored.

“I’m particularly pleased to fill the seat of Jim Silva, who I’ve known and respected over many years. I hope to fill his seat in a responsible and appropriate manner. “

Harman, a 22-year resident of Huntington Beach who has been active in civic and charitable activities here for years, is the immediate past president of Huntington Youth Shelter and a former president of the Huntington Beach Rotary Club. He also was the co-founder and first president of Huntington Beach Tomorrow, the city’s largest activist group which deals with a variety of issues. He has never run for City Council.


Councilman David Sullivan said Harman is “extremely qualified and competent, and I think we will benefit from having an attorney on the City Council.”

Harman is expected to be sworn in this week by the city clerk so he can attend a special City Council meeting on Saturday.

The contenders were Floyd G. Belsito, an attorney; Kenneth Bourguignon, a builder; Jack A. Bowland, retired business executive and graduate school economics instructor, and Gary C. Gorman, a firefighter engineer and Planning Commission member.

Also, in the running were Philip S. Inglee, a bank president and chief executive officer and current Planning Commission chairman, and Tom Livengood, a college administrator and Planning Commission member.


Others were Susie Newman, a former Planning Commission member and downtown restaurant owner; Roy H. Richardson, who is semi-retired and a former Planning Commission member; Haydee V. Tillotson, a businesswoman and planning commissioner, and Phil Zisakis, a small-business owner.