3 Huntington Beach Council members walk out of meeting in protest

Huntington Beach City Council Members Natalie Moser, left, Rhonda Bolton and Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Pat Burns.
Huntington Beach City Council Members Natalie Moser, left, Rhonda Bolton and Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Pat Burns, listen to a speaker during a March meeting. Moser and Bolton walked out of Tuesday night’s meeting, along with Dan Kalmick, in protest of an item brought forward by Burns.
(James Carbone)
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The three minority members of the Huntington Beach City Council exited the dais and left the chambers early Tuesday night, in protest of an item brought forward by Mayor Pro Tem Pat Burns.

Dan Kalmick, Rhonda Bolton and Natalie Moser did not stick around to discuss the item, which sought to affirm the council’s commitment to the U.S. Constitution, specifically the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

When he learned of Burns’ agenda item, Kalmick satirically proposed one of his own, stating that water is wet and the sky is blue.


On Tuesday night, he called both items absurd and performative.

“I’m going to continue working to try to find solutions to these budget deficits that actually affect the day-to-day [lives] of residents, instead of national issues or silly issues like this,” Kalmick said from the dais Tuesday night. “Call me when you guys are ready to be serious and govern. I’m going home.”

He then withdrew his item and walked out of the City Council chambers. Bolton and Moser soon followed.

That left the conservative majority members alone to discuss Burns’ item, which they each voted for.

Burns said his item should be a bipartisan issue, which was instead turned into a “theatrical act of stupidity.” Just before the vote, he also muttered that the three council members who left were “pieces of s**t.”

“It’s just disgusting what’s going on in our whole country,” Burns said. “There’s too many idiots at the top that are screwing this up for many of us. By reaffirming this, it just says that Huntington Beach is going to stand and be strong with our very important foundation of the Constitution.”

His three conservative colleagues agreed, with Mayor Gracey Van Der Mark saying it was blowing her mind that Kalmick, Bolton and Moser, who each swore to protect and defend the Constitution, walked out on this item.

After Kalmick left the dais, Councilman Tony Strickland immediately went through what he considered accomplishments of the current council majority, including new police and fire department contracts, a reduction in homelessness and keeping the Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach.

“Let them leave, because quite frankly, we would actually get more done with four members than the seven that’s currently on this body,” Strickland said.

Kalmick responded to via text message to the Daily Pilot that he and his colleagues were by no means obstructionists.

“It shows they’re not interested in actually working together, in compromise of any sort,” he said. “And Pat’s [pieces of s**t] comment is unbecoming of a council member and he should be censured for it.”