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Council, school board incumbents qualify for ballot

Board of Education election over as only incumbents are running. One challenger in the council race.

August 12, 2010|By Barbara Diamond, coastlinepilot@latimes.com

The Laguna Beach Board of Education race is over almost before it began.

With only the three incumbents in the race for the three seats on the board, incumbents Betsy Jenkins, Theresa O'Hare and Ketta Brown are deemed elected and their names will not even appear on the ballot, the registrar's office said.

The three incumbents running for reelection to the City Council have one challenger: Emanuel Patrascu.

Patrascu has positioned himself the anti-establishment candidate.

"I am excited to be the only candidate fighting against the status quo and challenging the three incumbents," he e-mailed the Coastline Pilot.

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The incumbents think their experience in guiding the city through good times and bad in recent years is an asset, as indicated by their statements of qualifications.

With their track records open to public scrutiny, the incumbents point to accomplishments during their terms in office.

"Due to careful budgeting and long-term planning, we [Laguna Beach] are in a strong economic position," Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman stated. "Laguna Beach has weathered this nationwide financial crisis because of good decisions made by this council."

Iseman takes great pride in the free trolley service that benefits the residents and visitors to Laguna Beach and the environment by reducing vehicle traffic in the core of the city.

She stated that continuity on the council is vital in the face of the uncertain economy, a new city manager to succeed retiring Ken Frank, water shortages, state mandates and budget limitations.

Councilman Kelly Boyd, who helped establish a task force that dealt with homeless issues and restored the use of beaches and parks to the community, is a fourth-generation Lagunan and downtown business owner.

"I am easily accessible at my place of business and committed to serving all Laguna Beach residents," Boyd stated.

His goals are revitalizing the business community, establishing artist-live work projects, assuring resources for the fire, police and marine safety departments, and creating a tree ordinance that preserves views.

Mayor Elizabeth Pearson cited as major accomplishments the construction of the Susi Q and Community Center on Third Street and the restoration of Bluebird Canyon after a devastating landslide, financed in part by voter-imposed temporary half-cent sales tax that was retired two years before the sunset date.

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