Below a painting of George Washington and beside one of his son's
brightly colored toys sits a redrawn map of Huntington Beach sits on
Baugh's office desk.
The document, which shows a map of the city carved into five
sections with clean, bold lines, has proven a source of great
controversy over the past year.
Baugh brought to the March 2004 ballot the Fair District
Initiative, a measure that could drastically change the structure of
government in Surf City. Since the idea reared its head in 2002, it
has split the city and inspired many heated debates on the City
Baugh's plan calls for the city to be divided into five districts,
each with one council member elected from within that community to
represent that community. The plan would also reduce the number of
City Council members by two and impose term limits.
Baugh, a bulky man with an easy smile and friendly disposition,
looks younger than his 41 years.
His Boardwalk Huntington Beach home is large and lavishly
decorated. A natural swimming pool, complete with waterslide and
straw umbrella shading nooks, wends through his yard, which has
served as a hot spot for various political gatherings.
Colleagues praise Baugh for his strong convictions, sharp
intelligence and high level of professionalism.
"He presents a very attractive package of being affable as well as
being professional," Rohrabacher said. "He has a solid conservative
philosophy that he really believes, but he is flexible enough to be
practical in achieving those goals."
Baugh believes that, under the districting plan, council members
would develop an intimate knowledge of their section of the city and
be more accessible to their constituents.
"At least you'll have someone to go to and lodge your complaints
and then hold them accountable to action," Baugh said.
The initiative would create a sense of balance that he said is
lacking in the current system.
"Every neighborhood deserves to be represented," Baugh said. "Vast
portions have either never had representation or haven't been
represented for many years."