Name: Joe Shaw
Birth place: Anchorage, Alaska
How long have you lived in Huntington Beach? Seven years
Occupation: Small business owner
Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism from Cal State Los Angeles
Previously elected or appointed positions: Huntington Beach planning commissioner, Huntington Beach public works commissioner, Huntington Beach Charter Review commissioner; former planning commission liaison to Huntington Beach Environmental Board
Community organizations you belong to: Bolsa Chica Land Trust board member; Shipley Nature Center docent; Amigos de Bolsa Chica member; Save Our Strays member; Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce member
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Huntington Beach right now?
The ongoing budget shortfall is, of course, the biggest issue facing the city right now, and that’s why it’s important that we elect leaders with experience, who will address budget cuts intelligently. I have experience as a business owner and as a member of three city commissions, and I will bring my entrepreneurial spirit and extensive civic experience to City Hall. The other important issue is the current council’s lack of responsiveness to the residents, the neighborhoods and the community. Council members were elected to serve the community and listen to residents’ concerns. I will be responsive to our residents, and will communicate regularly with the residents of the city so they can stay informed of our decision-making process.
What is one decision in the last year the City Council got right and why would you have supported it?
The council made a good decision when they listened to the residents of the Ward/Aragon Circle neighborhood and overturned the Planning Commission’s decision to allow a large recreational vehicle storage park under Southern California Edison power lines near their homes.
What is one decision in the last year the City Council got wrong, or partially wrong, and why would you have voted differently?
There are several choices one could make on this question including their approvals of high density residences and increasing height levels in both the Beach-Edinger and Downtown Specific Plans, but there is one glaring lowlight.
I would have voted to reject the Hearthside project. Clear evidence was presented to the Planning Commission and to the council that the site has important cultural and archeological significance. Further, the project will also be too close to environmentally sensitive habitat. I would also have voted against changing the land use designation from open space to residential, as it has been zoned open space for nearly 30 years.
Our Coastal Element forbids development of the bluffs at Bolsa Chica, so the council and Planning Commission voted to violate that part of our local coastal Program. The council, at the very least, should have required an environmental impact report because of the significant impacts that the development will have on the Bolsa Chica bluffs. It’s mind boggling that city staff and both the Planning Commission and council were blind to the glaring evidence that an EIR was needed.