Four seek to reclaim seats

Councilwoman announces plans to run for reelection

all three Board of Education incumbents file papers.

July 16, 2010|By Barbara Diamond,

Councilwoman Toni Iseman announced Monday that she will be running for reelection, and all three Board of Education incumbents — Ketta Brown, Betsy Jenkins and Theresa O'Hare — have filed papers seeking reelection to their seats.

Iseman is seeking her fourth consecutive term on the council.

"With the economic challenges and the changes in personnel at City Hall, a real working knowledge of the city is invaluable," Iseman said.

She sees the selection of a new city manger and working with the selection as central to the city's well being in the next few years.

However, raising public awareness of the threats to the environment has always at the top of Iseman's agenda. She was an early opponent of development in Laguna Canyon and took overt and covert action to promote her views.

Iseman was the "Phantom" of the canyon, planting anti-development, Burma Shave-type signs along the roadway, when the Irvine Company's huge "Laguna Laurel" housing and commercial development seemed inevitable. She served on the board of the Laguna Greenbelt Inc., created to acquire and preserve open space that culminated in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.


"Crystal Cove is an environmental victory and so is the Nix Nature Center in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park," Iseman said.

She cites as an accomplishment chairing the city's Waste Water Committee, which tapped the skills of the citizenry to resolve water quality issues and stop sewer spills.

Iseman championed greener construction at the Third Street Centers and the Dark Skies program to reduce the use of electricity; attacked hillside grading and construction of houses that do not fit into neighborhoods; and fervently supports residents' rights to the quiet enjoyment of the their homes.

Iseman has voiced opposition to low flying commercial flights out of John Wayne Airport, as well as buzzing private planes and sought stricter policing of illegally motorcycles as noise polluters.

She used all of her considerable persuasive powers to convince fellow council members to make the summer shuttles free to peripheral parkers in order to reduce air-polluting traffic of the down town.

But she has learned to temper her passion for the environment with hard-headed analysis of the "possible," even when it costs her.

One of her biggest disappointments was not being reappointed to the California Coastal Commission, due, she believes, to the opposition of former supporters in the Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club.

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