*Corrected from original version (see next page).
Anyone else hope someone switches the seating cards at the next Orange County Mayors Breakfast so that Tri sits next to Tita? Tri Ta became Westminster's first Vietnamese-American mayor and, he claims, the first in the country to win a mayoral seat via the voters rather than appointment. Meanwhile, Teresa "Tita" Smith, Catholic Charities of Orange County's director, fought off a challenge from fellow veteran council member Jon Dumitru to win the Orange mayoral race. As Tri and Tita clang juice glasses at our fantasy mayors breakfast, let's look at five sets of big losers Tuesday night.
The Five Best Wins for Democracy in Orange County Last Night
OC Weekly 2012 Election Guide: South Orange County Community College District
The Five Least-Deserving, Non-Incumbent Winners in Orange County Elections Last Night
Guys with Name Recognition: The Mexican already gave the deets on Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva pulling the Assembly seat out from under Chris Norby (R-Any North County Anger Management Class), and the surprising defeat of Larry Agran in Irvine's mayoral race. But others who have enjoyed the sweet nectar of political power found themselves unelected Tuesday. Current Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang, a cog in the Agran political machine and star of the Democratic Party and Korean-American community, lost badly in his bid to unseat Congressman John Campbell (R-CarMax). In the Trustee Area 7 (Rancho Santa Margaritaville) race for the board that governs the South Orange County Community College District (Irvine Valley and Saddleback of Mission Viejo), former board leader John S. Williams, who went on to shame as Orange County public administrator/public guardian, came in third to Timothy "Tim" Jemal. The same college district's former chancellor, Raghu Mathur, came in fourth in the race for two Laguna Hills City Council seats, which were won by Andrew Blount and Dore Gilbert. Finishing just more than half a percentage point behind Gilbert was former San Clemente police chief Bill Hunt, who has been mentioned as Fullerton's next top cop and who previously came in third in the last Orange County sheriff's race won by incumbent Sandra Hutchens.
Friends for Fullerton's Flamin' Future: Voters not only rejected Chevron's development plans for Coyote Hills (as Gustavo also mentioned in his post; damn, leave scraps much, boss?), but they pooh-poohed a measure that could have made it easier for those tinder-dry hillsides to go up in flames. The referendum to allow safe-and-sane fireworks in the city after a 22-year ban was rejected by 52 percent of the electorate. Guess those deep-pocketed firework makers in Rialto will have to shop their campaign contributions to another jurisdiction in the bosom of rolling hills.
[*Corrected (thanks, Ed) due to this reporter's ignorance that voting yes on a measure with "ban fireworks" in the title meant you were voting to allow fireworks. Hmm, wonder if any actual voters were confused by that also?]
Friends for Fullerton's Non-Flamin' Future: Voters rejected Chevron's development plans for Coyote Hills (as Gustavo also mentioned in his post; damn, leave scraps much, boss?), but they cleared the way for those tinder-dry hillsides to go up in flames. The referendum to allow safe-and-sane fireworks in the city after a 22-year ban was approved by 52 percent of the electorate. Guess those deep-pocketed firework makers in Rialto will now shop their campaign contributions to the next jurisdiction in the bosom of rolling hills..
Those Who Don't Give an FF: Way back in 1973, the City of Orange designated in its general plan that 110 acres of ridgeline would be open space and low-density development. JMI Real Estate later won City Council approval to build thirtysomething residences up in what is known as Orange Park Acres, but subsequent city documents only reflected that the land had been set aside for open space. The council amended the general plan to correct the error, preservationists got a voter referendum onto the ballot to challenge the amendment, and the council went along. A trial judge, siding with JMI, rejected that election, but an appeals court later stayed that decision, allowing the vote to go on Tuesday. Well, voters rejected the amendment, 56.2 percent to 43.8 percent. Their rationale? Orange needs more open space. Low-density development? Not so much. Meanwhile, the city attorney opines none of this matters, JMI can fire up the 'dozers.
Those Who Wanted a Lil' Sumpin-Sumpin for Their Public Service: Measure HH, also known as "The Eliminate City Council Pay and Benefits" initiative, was approved by Tustin voters 68.3 percent to 31.7 percent. It eliminates an $853 per month stipend for council members, as well as their ability to enroll in city medical, dental, retirement, life insurance and Medicare programs. It was estimated, depending on the degree of benies being sucked up by the individual member (some of whom opted out), that the goodies cost $182 to $18,634 per year. Don't sweat it, city leaders, there's always Obamacare.
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Half the Candidates Named Bob Baker: The sixth place finisher in a San Clemente City Council race for two seats was Bob Baker. So was the second-place finisher. Incumbent Councilman Bob Baker will be joined on the dais by firefighter Chris Hamm, the southernmost Orange County city's top vote-getter (and not to be confused with Mad Man Jon Hamm). The other Bob Baker is not exactly licking his wounds, as he had not campaigned due to the prospect of confusing voters. But he could not get his name removed from the ballot, so he was listed as "0 Robert 'Bob' Baker," while the incumbent was "1 Robert 'Bob' Baker." Mrs. Robert "Bob" Baker better check who's in bed with her tonight.