On July 6, my wife and I attended our first Huntington Beach City Council meeting, and it was truly an eye-opening experience. As members of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, we wanted to lend our voices to those opposing the proposed rezoning of five acres of parkland near our house, so that the bankrupt developer, Hearthside Homes, could build condominiums on it.
As we waited for hours for this agenda item to come up, we were exposed to the incredibly immature and selfish behavior of most of the council members (with the exception of Jill Hardy, who was always polite, well-informed and gracious). Based on what we heard and observed, the worst offenders were the hostile Keith Bohr and the sarcastic Don Hansen, but the others were not far behind. Bohr is unfailingly hostile, and Hansen seems to revel in sarcasm to witnesses he disagrees with.
The one witness who got their approval, to the point where they nearly spread-eagled themselves across their desks, was the vice president of the development firm, Hearthside Homes, who was given much more time than anyone else. While all of the others who testified were held to strict three-minute limits, he was allowed to speak at length, and his arrogance showed through, as though he was annoyed that he had to defend his project at all.