In coming years, Sullivan moved on to fight other battles, especially the high cost of public-employee pay and pensions.
Sullivan was one of many who became appalled over a then-little-known process called "spiking," in which public employees inflate their final salaries in their last years on the job in order to collect larger pension checks.
And when it was learned that one of the largest of the pension spikers was former Huntington Beach Police Chief Earle Robitaille, Sullivan's job as public watchdog got stickier. The reason?
Robitaille was at that time a sitting member of the Huntington Beach City Council.
That didn't stop Sullivan, though, who would take to the podium each council meeting and stare down the ex-chief in a battle royale between the two that would spill over the printed pages of the Independent and other local media for weeks to come.
That public dogfight helped push Sullivan, a dentist by trade, into politics and onto the City Council for two terms.
On the council, the battles continued with public employees as Sullivan attempted to watch the public purse strings and duked it out often with employee unions. A pretty good softball player in his own right, Sullivan often threw figurative fastballs at former councilman and now convicted felon Dave Garofalo, known for his shady deals.
And Sullivan played a major role in the preservation of the Bolsa Chica wetlands and the limited development that is being allowed there now.
After taking two years off because of term limits, he was back again and probably would have handily won reelection if he hadn't decided to step away from the action this summer.
We salute Dave Sullivan for having the courage to fight for his principles and say the tough things that needed to be said, even when it was difficult and unpopular to do so. Huntington Beach, especially its taxpayers, is certainly better off because of Sullivan and all he did to mind the store while he was in office.
We wish him all the best and thank him for his many years of dedication and caring for his adopted hometown of Surf City.
See you down the road councilman; we're honored to have you as a friend.