The man who unsuccessfully sued the City Council two weeks ago has
filed an appeal in a continued effort to force the council to put
before voters this November the initiative that would split
Huntington Beach into five council districts.
Superior Court Judge Dennis Sheldon Choate, last week, ruled that
the City Council did not overstep its bounds when it decided to put
off a vote that could eliminate two council positions until March
Joseph Jeffrey, a Huntington Beach resident, filed an appeal on
Aug. 22, the day after a judge sided with the council. Jeffrey said
he is encouraged by the fact that his appeal was accepted.
"Our request has not been denied, the city has been instructed to
respond to our complaint," he said.
Jeffrey contends that by delaying the vote, the council is going
against the wishes of the 22,000 registered voters who signed the
petition to put it on the ballot.
"The judge in my estimation should have seen what the city was
doing. Even if their action was legal, it was morally wrong," he
An appellate court judge will now either deny the appeal or decide
if oral arguments will be heard, said Richard Barnard, deputy city
While it is not exactly known when the appeals court will issue a
ruling, it is believed that it will be done soon so that the issue
can be resolved prior to the November election.
"They are not going to drag it out," Barnard said.
Councilwoman Shirley Dettloff is optimistic that the appeals court
will side with the council, she said.
"I think we got a very fair ruling," she said. "I think that the
reason it was fair was that having a later date allows citizens to
get all the facts."
-- Jose Paul Corona
Strand project to go before city board
The Huntington Beach Environmental Board will
hold a special meeting
tonight to discuss the draft of the environmental report for the
proposed Strand project, which is slated to replace the first couple
of blocks of Downtown.
The Strand would take nearly three acres of land Downtown bounded
by Main Street, Pacific Coast Highway, Walnut and 5th avenues and
convert the area into a retail venue with big-name stores, offices,
restaurants and a 152-room hotel.
A 397-space underground parking lot would also be built beneath
project if it's built.
The report was issued in July, and the 45-day public comment
period will expire next week, said Ricky Ramos, an associate city
When the public comment period ends and if the environmental board
has no questions or comments regarding the report, the plan will go
before the Planning Commission.
Last year, the group Citizens Against Redevelopment challenged the
deal between the city and developer CIM on three legal points. In
November, a court ruled in favor of the city on two disclosure issues
and in favor of the citizens group on the issue that a state
debt-limitation law was violated. The ruling forced the city to scale
back the project.
The project is not required to be forwarded to the City Council
for final approval.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in Room B-8 in the lower level
of City Hall.
Information: Associate City Planner Ricky Ramos, (714) 536-5271.
-- Jose Paul Corona
Conflict-of-interest bill passes into law
A bill introduced by Surf City Assemblyman Tom Harman that
strengthens conflict-of-interest laws for public officials was
approved by Gov. Gray Davis on Monday.
Harman, a former Huntington Beach councilman, proposed Assembly
Bill 1797 after former Mayor Dave Garofalo's conviction in January of
one felony and 15 misdemeanors stemming from conflict-of-interest
The bill specifies that any public official who has a financial
stake in a decision that goes before him or her for a vote must
completely disclose the exact nature of the conflict. After the
conflict is disclosed, that official must recuse himself or herself
from either discussing or voting on the matter. Public officials
would also be required to leave the room when the matter is being
discussed or voted on.
Possible conflicts of interest include stock holdings, real estate
ownership or personal income generated from a business operated by a
-- Jose Paul Corona
Mobile home dispute program created
Huntington Beach residents who live in mobile home parks and have
problems with their neighbors now have somewhere to turn.
The Huntington Beach Mobile Home Advisory Board has created the
Dispute Resolution Program, which provides residents with help in
solving park-related problems.
With 18 mobile home parks in the city, there is a high turnover
rate of park residents, and many of those residents don't know that
there is a Mobile Home Advisory Board, said Steve Holtz, city staff
liaison to the board.
Whether it's a problem with park management or neighbors, park
residents are often confused about whom to contact regarding
disputes, Holtz said.
"Residents don't know how to go about getting issues resolved," he
The board can help them resolve those issues, Holtz said. Mobile
home park residents are encouraged to attend the monthly Mobile Home
Advisory Board meetings. The board was created by the Huntington
Beach City Council to ensure a high quality of life for park
The Mobile Home Advisory Board is made up of mobile home park
residents, other types of residents and mobile home park owners.
Meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of every
month at the Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach.
Information: Huntington Beach Economic Development, (714)
--Jose Paul Corona
Youth shelter gets $190,000 for children
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher presented the Huntington Youth Shelter with
a $190,000 award that will help disadvantaged children pursue higher
The shelter was given the award by the California Department of
Education's Talent Search Program, which is designed to identify and
help youth with troubled backgrounds who have the potential to
succeed in higher education.
The goal of the program is to increase the number of students who
graduate from high school and enroll in college.
The Huntington Youth Shelter will prove academic, career and
financial counseling to students who plan to attend college. The
shelter will also help high school dropouts return to the school so
they can complete their education.
-- Jose Paul Corona
Civil War Days at Central Park
More than 300 soldiers are expected to go into battle this Labor
Day weekend when the Civil War Days come to Huntington Beach Central
The two-day event, a
living history and reenactment of the life and events that took
place during one of our nation's most defining time periods, will be
celebrated Saturday and Sunday behind the library.
Civil War Days volunteers will be dressed in period costume, give
demonstrations, set up camp and will do battle throughout park
On Saturday, camp opens up to the public beginning at 10 a.m. The
day's first battle will take place at 1:30 p.m. A living history
weapons demonstrations will be held at 2:30 p.m. with a second battle
to follow at 4 p.m.
A special twilight concert will follow Saturday's final battle.
Sunday's morning schedule will include church services at 8 a.m.,
camps will open at 9 a.m. and the first battle is set for 11 a.m.
A living history weapons demonstration will be given starting at
noon, and a second battle is set for 2 p.m.
All times are approximate.
A hot dog stand will be set up on both days, and donations from
sales will benefit the event.
Civil War Days is presented by the Huntington Beach Historical
Society and the city of Huntington Beach. The event has been staged
in Surf City since 1993 when it began on the grounds of the Newland
"It's a great day and our goal has been to bring a little bit of
history to Huntington Beach," said Huntington Beach Historical
Society President Kelly Rivers.
For more information call the Huntington Beach Historical Society
at (714) 962-5777.
-- Mike Sciacca
Housing groups receive federal funds
A total of $1.6 million in Community Development Block Grant
funds, provided by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban
Development, was doled out to 11 Huntington Beach groups who serve
Programs funded were Project Self Sufficiency, the Oak View
Community Center, the Huntington Beach Community Clinic and Adult Day
Services of Orange County.
But there was not enough to go around this year. Some of the
programs that will do without this funding source are the Orange
County Council on Aging, the Boys and Girls Club and local parks.
--Jose Paul Corona