Name: Fred Speaker
Birth place: Chicago
How long have you lived in Huntington Beach? About 40 years
Occupation: amall business owner: auto brokerage
Education: High school plus
Previously elected or appointed positions: Huntington Beach planning commissioner, city’s Finance Board, City Water Task Force Board, etc.
Community organizations you belong to: Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors multiple times, Huntington Beach Duck-A-Thon, active member
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Huntington Beach right now?
1. Manage the community with less income than last year without raising fees and taxes
2. Balance the agenda in this time of cut backs, service cuts and reduced public services with a hands on, basic common sense return to placing the tax payer first when looking at pet projects
3. Actively develop a city-wide economic development plan that goes beyond free bus rides to downtown and valet bike parking. This is a recession – do everything possible to save local businesses from going out of business, introduce real shop-at-home programs and, above all, stop studying things and start doing what it takes to save Huntington Beach.
What is one decision in the last year the City Council got right and why would you have supported it?
Stop the process that would have led to the conversion of the downtown library to a much larger and neighborhood impacting project (Triangle Park). The project was perhaps too big and too close to our residential community.
What is one decision in the last year the City Council got wrong, or partially wrong, and why would you have voted differently?
Raising the city portion of the public utility tax (electric bill) that gains for the city another $1 million in already over-taxed Huntington Beach - this was a mistake in my opinion. The “it's only 30 cents per home” argument falls on deaf ears when many local businesses were asked to pay thousands of dollar more in utility cost – all going to the city coffers.