2014 City Council Elections: Meet the Candidates

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2014 City Council Elections

On Nov. 4, Lagunans will head to the polls to vote for the candidates who will take three of five seats on the City Council. Two incumbents and five newcomers vie for the coveted spots—and to be the next change-makers of our great town. Here, get to know your contenders before the big day.


3 boyd Members_By Jody Tiongco-3KELLY BOYD (Incumbent)
Occupation: Retired

What are you most passionate about?: Making Laguna Canyon Road safe for bikers and pedestrians

Why are you the best person for the job?: [I’m a fourth-generation Lagunan, and] my history and knowledge of our community. [I use] common sense.






LBM_49_Around Town_Eli Grossman_By Jody Tiongco-1ELI GROSSMAN
Occupation: Retired

What are you most passionate about?: Hiring of a new police chief—from outside the cesspool that the Laguna Beach police have become—at a minimum, up to bringing in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for a clean sweep. … This decision will have the biggest influence on whether our local community advances by bringing back ethics and morals to our law enforcement officers.

Why are you the best person for the job?: I have the ethics and morals needed to be a good judge of character, which, sadly, is currently lacking in our elected and selected leaders.





DSC_5603 copyrt 2MICHELE HALL
Occupation: Community volunteer/lifelong resident/mother

What are you most passionate about?: I am passionate about my one-page mandate for renewal, which is a call for our town to unite in an effort to recalibrate the decision-making process at City Hall, which is often more controversial than the actual issues. So, even when we have differences, we can once again have a sense of fairness in our local government.

Why are you the best person for the job?: I am the first of my generation to run for City Council, and my proven strength is innovation and the ability to recognize a good idea or new approach that brings change for the better. I am not enmeshed in city bureaucracy or captive to partisan politics, so I don’t answer to special interests—just my conscience and the people I serve.

Website: michelehallforlaguna.com



DSC5951noOceanTONI ISEMAN (Incumbent)
Occupation: Professor of counseling services at Orange Coast College

What are you most passionate about?: Public safety and quality of life for our residents. Creative solutions for traffic and congestion are needed to ensure that Laguna remains the town we love in spite of the explosive development that surrounds us.

Why are you the best person for the job?: My history of effective problem solving—the free summer shuttle, police aides that direct traffic, limiting left turns on southbound Coast Highway. … I see problems; I seek practical, cost-effective solutions. Moving the utility poles off Laguna Canyon Road for public safety and double-decking ACT V [parking lot] to reduce congestion are on the table. I need to be there to ensure we move forward.

Website: toni4laguna.com


John Madison Headshot-3JON MADISON
Occupation: Owner of Madison Square & Garden Cafe/30-year resident

What are you most passionate about?: Parking and filling up the [approximately] 33 empty storefronts in Laguna Beach—[these] actually go hand in hand.

Why are you the best person for the job?: I bring a fresh, new insight to the city. I am not only a long-term resident, I am also a business owner. I can see the city’s needs from two perspectives: I have served on the Heritage Committee for the past 15 or so years, and so I do want to preserve our history and, at the same time, advance Laguna into the 21st century.

Website: madisonforcouncil.com




paul retouched photoPAUL MERRITT
Occupation: Trust administrator

What are you most passionate about?: Conserve city taxpayer dollars; enforcement of traffic laws and halting overdevelopment in our rural Laguna Canyon.

Why are you the best person for the job?: As a former elected official, planning commissioner and parks director [in south Orange County], I offer seasoned, practical and proven experience. For example, I filed the recent Laguna ballot petition that helped save taxpayers $35 million and defeat a four-story parking garage in downtown. Laguna is our masterpiece—as a council member, my duty is to protect our people and our city treasure. We need some new direction.

Website: paulmforcouncil.com


Occupation: Urban planner

What are you most passionate about?: Opening up City Hall. As our new City Council confronts many important future decisions, I want to dispel any mystery about how those decisions are made, and for residents to trust that I will listen carefully to the public debate and communicate responsive, transparent reasons for my individual votes.

Why are you the best person for the job?: In one word: experience. My 36 years in a public and private sector career in planning and economic development, and more than 13 years of community service on our city Planning Commission, are unmatched by any other candidate. I have a verifiable track record of tackling complex issues, managing large budgets and completing important projects. Most importantly, I am known for my ability to forge consensus by understanding all sides of an issue and identifying common ground before acting.

Website: voterobz.com 


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