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Hardy says she's an advocate for residents

Former councilwoman runs for her third term with a platform of protecting the environment, opposing development and more.

October 31, 2012|By Michael Miller
  • Jill Hardy is a candidate for Huntington Beach City Council.
Jill Hardy is a candidate for Huntington Beach City Council. (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

For years in the last decade, it was a common line in Huntington Beach City Council stories:

"The council voted 6 to 1, with Jill Hardy dissenting."

Hardy, who served on the council from 2002 to 2010 and is running again this year, often did not speak for the majority on the dais. A casual observer might think she was playing the devil's advocate. She would call herself the residents' advocate instead.

Hardy cast the lone "no" vote on the new Downtown Specific Plan, which lays out rules for the future of the city's prime commercial hub, and Pacific City, a massive seaside development that has stalled since getting the council's go-ahead. She differed on the Ridge development project, which seeks to build houses on an area some consider environmentally sensitive.

That last vote, which came after residents spoke for hours against the development, still makes her grimace.

"Everyone probably knew it was a losing battle, but at least they had one person who said, 'I hear you,'" Hardy said Monday in the living room of her Surf City home.

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And this year, evidently, many people around town have heard Hardy. As the Marina High School math teacher runs for a third term on the council after being termed out for two years, she has racked up endorsements from the city's fire and police associations, HB Neighbors President David Rice, Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn. leader Kim Kramer, Councilwoman Connie Boardman and many others.

If Hardy wins election this year, she plans to push for the same things she championed in her first two terms: protecting the environment, fighting for green space, opposing development if residents see it as an encroachment on their lives. And while she often found herself on the losing end of lopsided votes in the past, she doesn't expect that always to be the case this time.

She often agrees, she said, with the philosophies of Boardman and Joe Shaw, who were elected in 2010. And she noted that she shares endorsements this year with several more conservative candidates, indicating that they may find common ground on specific issues. (Fire and police also endorsed Billy O'Connell and Jim Katapodis; Women in Leadership favored Hardy and Barbara Delgleize.)

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