For years, Barbara Delgleize has been a well-known face around Huntington Beach.
The planning commissioner and Realtor, who is making her first run for City Council, has a moving van that she lends to nonprofits and other groups around town for free. Among those who have used the van are Colette's Children's Home, Amigos de Bolsa Chica and even high school bands and sports teams.
The vehicle, which sports Delgleize's smiling face on the side with the slogan "The Best Move You'll Ever Make," is hard to miss.
Delgleize, a New York native who has lived in Huntington Beach since 1974, is confident that her high profile will benefit her in November. And if she wins, she expects her knowledge of the community to serve her on the dais.
"My biggest asset is that I know how to get things done," Delgleize said. "And if I don't know, I know someone who knows."
In a field of 20 candidates, who range from longtime public servants to relative unknowns, Delgleize is among the most established contenders for the four open seats on the council. Of the three planning commissioners in the race, she is the newest, having been appointed in January 2009 by Councilman Don Hansen.
However, she was a well-known quantity in Huntington long before then, having served as president of the Orange County Assn. of Realtors and chairwoman of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce and on committees for the city's centennial and infrastructure.
In 2007, she won the chamber's Athena Award, which honors accomplished businesswomen who have contributed to the community. Delgleize won the award in part for her lending of the moving van and for helping to raise money to build a home for a disabled veteran in San Juan Capistrano.
Dick Harlow, a member of the chamber's board of directors, is among those supporting Delgleize in her campaign.
"I think it's great that she's even running, because I never expected she would do that," he said. "I've always found her to be very helpful, just a good personality. I think she has all it takes to be a council person."
As a councilwoman, Delgleize said, she would push for economic development. She praised the recent plans to bring a Costco and Whole Foods Market to town and said one of her dreams for the city is to install a trolley or other public transportation system to connect neighborhoods.
In addition, Delgleize supports Measure O, the November ballot measure that would set aside more money to be spent on immediate infrastructure needs. And she added that officials shouldn't take the recession as an excuse to set plans on the backburner.
"In down times like this, this is when you plan," she said. "This is when you lay out visions, so when the money starts rolling in, you have a plan."