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Mailbag: Tito Ortiz’s departure from H.B. council is a shot in the arm

Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz resigned from the City Council on Tuesday.
Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz resigned from the City Council on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The clock finally struck 12 on Tito Ortiz’s Cinderella-like civic career when he resigned under the weight of increasing criticism and scrutiny of his brash behavior and actions on the City Council. Yes, his reputation took an MMA-style beating, but he largely brought it on himself, and many in local government and the community are glad to be rid of him. Let’s hope the City Council does a commendable job of appointing a replacement that is actually strong on community service and willing to work with others to better the city. If the Latino community wanted a hero to serve on the City Council and eventually become mayor, they have to look no further than Oscar Rodriguez who placed well in the 2020 local election and is a paragon of virtue compared to Ortiz. Many of my friends and neighbors of all political persuasions are sick and tired of unqualified “celebrities” using their fame and fortunes to blaze into public office without a clue or a care about serving the citizenry. Let’s hope Ortiz‘s replacement is more concerned with duty than dilettantism.

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz resigned blaming everyone for what he considered ill treatment. But it is clear that Ortiz was not aware what the job entailed, and while he may have believed that his colleagues on the City Council were against him he may not have been aware that the majority of them are also right-wingers like him but kept it to themselves and were responsible enough to wear masks and keep social distances. Mr. Ortiz’s departure will be beneficial for the city.

Richard C. Armendariz
Huntington Beach

Threats and crass comments are an unfortunate component of today’s culture. As much as I object to Tito Ortiz’s denial of science, his reactionary politics and his grandstanding, and as pleased as I am to see him resign from the Huntington Beach City Council, I wish him well and trust that we as a city can go forward toward the creation of a more civil community wherein our residents can live in harmony and with peace and tolerance for one another.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

Local environment suffers loss in advocate’s death

In a great loss for the environmental community, Cindy Black passed away in late February after a long illness.

Everyone who knew Cindy would agree that she was one of the most passionate, driven and focused environmental activists ever in this area. She deeply cared about protecting wildlife habitats. While she was involved with several environmental groups, Cindy would often carry on by herself, if necessary, when she believed an issue was important. While she had a great sense of humor, protecting nature came before winning a popularity contest.

Cindy worked tirelessly, alone at times, to restore habitat at Talbert Nature Preserve. Cindy not only advocated that the habitat be restored with native vegetation but that the native vegetation come from local seeds.

She was deeply committed to Fairview Park and keeping it as natural as it could be and walked her beloved Nana daily throughout the park.

Cindy served on the Banning Ranch Conservancy’s board of directors for many years and worked extremely hard. She wasn’t afraid to speak up to protect all things in nature, often being the lone vote of dissent when she thought we were deviating from our mission.

Cindy regularly ran the Banning Ranch Conservancy’s booth at the Fish Fry. Cindy documented a burrowing owl on the NMUSD surplus property at the end of Whittier Avenue and fiercely protected this bird, guarding its location, even from wildlife officials. She spent countless hours visiting the local state oil drilling office to obtain records on the numerous oil wells on Banning Ranch.

Anyone who loves the natural areas in the Newport-Mesa area has Cindy Black to thank for her love of everything natural and environmental.

Terry Welsh
President, Banning Ranch Conservancy

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