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Huntington Beach City Council members respond to recall effort

Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr is one of five City Council members targeted in a recall effort.
Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr, pictured during the City Council meeting on June 1, is one of five City Council members targeted in a recall effort.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Five Huntington Beach City Council members who were served recall paperwork on June 3 have responded.

Mayor Kim Carr, Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Delgleize, Mike Posey, Dan Kalmick and Natalie Moser all had a week to respond after a group calling itself Save Surf City issued them with notices of intent to circulate recall petitions during the last City Council meeting.

Save Surf City also sought to recall newly appointed member Rhonda Bolton, but she cannot be recalled at this time since she has yet to serve 90 days in office.

City Councilman Erik Peterson, a conservative, was the only one the group did not target.

Now that each of the five have filed their responses with City clerk Robin Estanislau, Save Surf City has until Aug. 20 to file with the clerk’s office proof of publication of the notice of intent in a local newspaper. They also must file two blank, correctly formatted petition forms for each council member, Estanislau said in an email.

If Estanislau approves the form of the petitions, she will notify the group of a 160-day timeline when it would have to gather the signatures of up to 15% of registered Huntington Beach voters who approve the recall(s). That number, recommended by the Registrar of Voters, is expected to be just more than 20,000 people.

If the petitioners collect the required number of signatures a recall election will be triggered.

Carr wrote in her response to the recall that her commitment to preserve and protect the beachside community has never been questioned. She blamed the recall effort on “failed City Council candidates from previous elections and unethical social climbers.

“I have never once voted for a high-density project in my entire career,” Carr wrote, addressing one of the primary reasons given by the Save Surf City group for the recall effort.

Dan Kalmick is one of five City Council members that a group called Save Surf City is attempting to recall.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

She also reminded voters that a recall election would cost an estimated $1 million, money the current council saved by appointing Bolton instead of calling for a special election to vacate the seat opened when Tito Ortiz resigned on June 1.

Delgleize, one of two Republicans in the recall effort along with Posey, noted the strides the city has made in public safety and homelessness.

“This recall effort seeks to divide us using fear and hate,” she wrote. “Reject this effort and show that we’re united by love of all things Huntington Beach.”

Posey stated that naming him in the recall effort was a political stunt, noting that he voted to appoint Gracey Van Der Mark, a conservative who finished fourth in last year’s election that seated Ortiz, Kalmick and Moser on the dais. He also said he believed this recall was not about policy differences, but instead a reaction to election results.

“As I’ve stated many times, the battle against high-density development is in Sacramento and not in City Council,” Posey wrote, adding that in June he voted to oppose state-mandated housing requirements at the Orange County Council of Governments.

Kalmick asked voters not to support the recall, saying he has been supporting the residents and small businesses of Huntington Beach since joining the City Council. He added that if trends hold, he plans on bringing forward tax cuts to residents and businesses.

Moser also highlighted the balanced budget, as well as the hiring of police officers and firefighters and introducing new mental health and substance abuse services.

“Yes, there continue to be challenges in H.B.,” Moser wrote. “State development mandates are concerning, and we are finding better ways to limit impacts, maintain our beach community’s character and protect the city from expensive, unwinnable lawsuits. The decisions we’ve had to make are not easy, but the current hate-fueled recall narratives are like a cancer for our community. I’ve survived worse. And I will never back down from doing what is right.”

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