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Former mayors to run for City Council

Jill Hardy and Cathy Green were termed out two years ago, but they think their experience will help them in the race.

July 25, 2012|By Michael Miller

This year's Huntington Beach City Council race is starting to evoke a classic Oscar quip from Johnny Carson: "I see a lot of new faces, especially on the old faces."

Not that any of the candidates have had plastic surgery, necessarily. But among the 10 nonincumbents who will vie for three open seats in November is a pair of familiar contenders: former Mayors Jill Hardy and Cathy Green, who were termed out two years ago and declared their intention to run this week.

And though they're old faces in a sense, they get the same status as the new ones who will surround them on the ballot — meaning that they can again serve two consecutive terms, because they've been off the dais for one election cycle.

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What inspired Hardy and Green to put their names down again?

Both gave the same response: experience.

"It's something I've done before and can do," said Hardy, who teaches math at Marina High School. "If I can be there to help with the experience and knowledge I have, I think I could be a real asset."

Green, who was unaware of Hardy's plan to run until Friday, said she began entertaining thoughts of entering the race after friends urged her to run. Like Hardy, she stressed her years of handling city budgets.

"I started really looking at things," Green said. "In a time of crisis, whether it's in the family or city or community, all of us pull together and try to do the best we can. Hopefully, we can help make things better. Hopefully, I can use some of my expertise.

"I know we're in really, really tough times."

The city has announced or proposed several significant cuts over the last few months. In April, the Police Department announced that it would reduce patrol officers and respond to fewer accident calls.

Earlier this month, the council voted to draft an ordinance to eliminate members' health benefits and reduce expense allowances.

Like other California cities, Huntington also lost its Redevelopment Agency when the state abolished them in December.

When asked about her key issues as a candidate, Green named just one.

"To me, it's really the budget," Green said. "It really is the budget. Until you have that taken care of, everything else is going to be secondary."

According to Assistant City Clerk Robin Lugar, both Hardy and Green have pulled paperwork and filed 501 statements, which declare an intention to run. Alex Polsky, a lawyer and first-time candidate, also filed a 501 statement Monday.

Polsky, who said his background in business and mediation would help him on the council, plans to take a grass-roots approach to campaigning.

"You won't find me seeking to have my nominating papers signed by well-known names," he said. "You won't see me seeking endorsements. You won't see me asking for PAC contributions from anybody. I'm a fairly solid believer in not tainting the position by those kinds of obligations."

Two other candidates, Scott Schlegel and Kevin Kelter, have pulled papers but not turned in their 501 statements yet. The deadline to file paperwork is 5 p.m. Aug. 10.

The other candidates so far are incumbent Devin Dwyer, Planning Commissioners Erik Peterson, Barbara Delgleize, Blair Farley and Tim Ryan, Realtor Bruce Brandt, photographer Robert Wentzel and Los Angeles police Sgt. Jim Katapodis.

Councilman Keith Bohr and Mayor Don Hansen will be termed out this year.

michael.miller@latimes.com

Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

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