The power of positive campaigning

Barbara Delgleize is full of ideas.

During an interview Tuesday, the City Council candidate often turned her head as she spoke, squinted her eyes and shifted positions. She gestured with her arms to express the passion and vision she has for Huntington Beach.

Delgleize, 61, who has served on the Planning Commission for four years, said Huntington Beach is already built out and the right council person will look for resources and opportunities within the city and maximize them.. She believes her decades of experience in real estate give her that edge.

As for whether she has the tenacity to see a project through? Well, she has run seven marathons.

"I'm very curious, and I love to learn, and I believe education is one of the greatest ways to lift all boats, lift a community, lift residents," she said. "People should vote for me because I'm passionate about wanting to do that for Huntington Beach."

Saying yes to a senior center at Huntington Central Park, reforming pensions, attracting new businesses, hiring more police officers and even legalizing fireworks is Delgleize's model because saying yes, she said, "gets the plans started, visions expanded and new ideas reveal themselves."

A plan for improved traffic, better signage in downtown, a master bike plan for the city and installing free Wi-Fi throughout Huntington Beach are among her goals should she be elected to the council in November.

Delgleize said traffic in Huntington Beach is not something the city can avoid, but a way to improve how residents and tourists get around, be it through a shuttle system or even something similar to Long Beach's On Board Buses, is in order.

"Everything we do from here on out will be impacted by traffic," she said "I believe we need to do something for the whole community to improve traffic."

Delgleize said Huntington Beach is one of the flattest communities in Orange County and would be a great place for a bike trail that connects South County to northern cities.

She also said better signage in downtown helping people get around would improve visitors' and residents' experiences.

"If you're visiting Huntington Beach, you should be able to take advantage of it," she said. "Why don't we make going around my community really easy?"

Delgleize said offering Wi-Fi in the city can improve prospective buyers' willingness to settle in Huntington Beach and could bring substantial revenue to the city.

"Fountain Valley was extremely proactive in having what they called a wireless information event at their City Hall for their residents to find out the truth about wireless, the impact and benefits," she said. "Why not make it great for our residents?"

Delgleize began her career as a broker 36 years ago. She had just gone through a divorce and had a young daughter, Megan, to raise when her boss told her she'd be good at selling homes because of her people skills. She now also owns Delgleize Property Management.

"I feel what I bring to the table is an understanding of what good development can do or bad development can do," Delgleize said.

She has long been involved with local organizations like the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce, Council on Aging and Marketing and Visitors Bureau, among others.

Her real estate experience has influenced her political aspirations, she said. But she was also affected by her grandmother and father, who had a love of politics and would talk about the issues of the day.

"If I learned anything from my father and grandmother, it's that we're about solutions," she said. "We want to get the job done."

But there's a price to politics. In August, Delgleize paid a $2,000 fine to the state Fair Political Practices Commission after fellow Planning Commissioner Mark Bixby filed a complaint showing she voted on Irvine-based Sares-Regis Group's housing and commercial project without disclosing the $520 donation the company had contributed to her unsuccessful 2010 City Council bid.

Delgleize said her campaign returned all contributions by companies that did business with the city when their donations were more than $250, but an error was made with Sares-Regis, and she took full responsibility the minute she learned about it.

She hasn't let this bump in the road stand in the way of her vision for the city and said she believes she's the right person to be elected.

She's landed the endorsements of local and state officials, including Mayor Don Hansen, Assemblymen Jim Silva and Allan Mansoor and Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

And although she supports Measure Z, which seeks to overturn a penny-and-a-half tax on $100 of assessed property value that goes toward safety employee benefits, Delgleize has landed the endorsement of Councilman Keith Bohr and former mayors Norma Gibbs and Shirley Dettloff, who are against the measure.

Bohr said he believes Delgleize will keep the city business-friendly to continue generating the funds needed to pay for services but added that he respectfully disagrees with her on Measure Z.

"I've know Barbara for quite a while," Bohr said. "I've been impressed with her involvement in the community, and unlike some candidates, it's not a recent thing."

Twitter: @MonaShadia

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