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From the Campaign: Mortenson Would Judge Commercial Signs Case-by-Case

San Clemente City Council candidate Mike Mortenson's campaign manager, Bill Hart, says every proposal would be considered without bias.

The following is a press release from Bill Hart, the campaign manager for Mike Mortenson.

San Clemente City Council candidate Mike Mortenson stated his position regarding commercial signage at the proposed Marblehead development.

Mortenson said he has been consistent in his statements about potential future signage, some of which could be visible from the I-5 freeway.

“I will evaluate any future application for signage on its own merits and will give strong consideration toward its effect on San Clemente’s surf-village image as well as its impact on the residential neighborhoods above the freeway.”

City officials are periodically given ethics training that emphasize the importance of impartiality. They also warn of the consequences if an official demonstrates bias prior to the review process. Mortenson’s position is based on the City’s possible future obligation to conduct an unbiased public review process.

Mortenson, a business attorney, explained that public officials would be ethically and legally bound to give any future application for commercial signage fair and unbiased consideration. If an official demonstrates bias toward the signage before the fact, even during an election campaign, then that official might have to recuse himself from the decision.

Otherwise it could be ruled a breach of the City Council’s duty to provide an impartial public hearing and expose the City to litigation and possible reversal of decision.

“Subverting the public hearing process is counterproductive because it gives the applicant legal leverage and could undermine those of us who truly want to protect the public’s interest,” Mortenson said. “It is irresponsible to decide any issue before a formal application has been submitted and all of the facts are on the table.”

There is currently no application for commercial signage at the Marblehead development. However, some City Council candidates have made the commercial signage at Marblehead a central issue of their campaigns.

Consequently, the potential for signage has repeatedly surfaced as a topic in public and private forums.

Larry Corwin October 05, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Dan I wonder how it is this little surrogate committee has such a complete list of Baker's voting record? I mean verbatim. Hate flyer verbatim. Dahl's record has been front page news for years yet you are unfamiliar with it. In my many years, I can't remember ads dedicated to the destruction of a candidate. A campaign of hatred. And how far did that hatred go? Putting up a candidate with the same name who doesn't run a campaign, council papers signed by Jim Dahl and measure A supporters including Mortenson's campaign manager's wife. No outrage over voter deception by oh my goodness, Baker voted against trollies. Mr. Bane, you have the right to remain silent.
Dan Bane October 05, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I'll waive my right for you. It's verbatim because I quoted it. Seemed pretty straight forward to me. I don't hate Baker No. 1, I disagree with him. How is a factual flyer about voting records of all Councilmembers hatred? That hyperbole goes a little far don't you think?
Bill S October 05, 2012 at 03:25 AM
I agreed with every No vote that has taken place. There have been plenty of Yes, votes too. A true fiscal conservative has the balls to vote No and go against the grain. Apparently even a War Veteran can be attacked if he opposes the mighty Yes on A crew. I really hope everyone sees what Dahl and Mortenson have turned this campaign into. They are running attack ads like it is a presidential campaign. It is a city council seat. Wow. I think you people are just getting the normal citizens pissed if you ask me. Keep in mind, NO vote for the Toll Road is more powerful than Dahl and MOrtenson's Yes I like the Toll road responses. Dahl and MOrtenson are for the Tolll Road and they wanted to Give Away North Beach. Mortenson called it ugly. He thinks our North Beach is a dump. I think he is ignorant for his letter that he wrote after being in town for less than a year. What a kook.
Bill S October 05, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Mortenson's letter to North Beach... http://www.sanclementetimes.com/2011/02/17/letter-lets-be-honest/ Apparently he has high regard for North Beach and the people that call this home. Guess what, it is my home and I like it the way it is. The Mira Mar Theater is the problem and Bob Baker and Chris Hamm know that.
Bill S October 05, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Mortenson and Dahl stand for giving away Precious city land that is extremely valuable and was taken by Eminent domain. They were both big Yes on A fans, which the city overwhelmingly voted NO on.
Bill S October 05, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Lets summarize: Dahl (Dull) and Mortenson want the Toll Road to go into Trestles. They wanted to give away our North Beach, and they have HUGE signs on MarbleHead land with approvals from the Big Wig developer where 100s/(Hundreds) of Millions will be made. Follow the money and it leads to Dahl and Mortenson's backers. How else can they afford big ads in the papers already. Don't let them fool you. Mortenson wants Costa Mesa south down here.
Moonshine October 05, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Jonni - Mortenson is not a "kook" I believe there is a policy against name calling and personal attacks. And being called a name by you??? You sitting on your computer all night posting nonsense, while there was a debate going on?! Maybe you should have attended, you would have likely learned something. I care about this city and took the time to go to the forum, it was worth my time. What an applause Mortenson got at the end!!
Oswald Junior October 05, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Jonni, If you were at the debate tonight you would know Mortenson's stance on the 241. Totally against the toll road going into Trestles, near Pico, or anywhere that has a negative impact on San Clemente. Lets all stick to facts.. You are right about this being a city council seat, has more effect on your daily life then a presidential election. Baker supporters started their hatred and vitriol toward Mortenson the minute he started gaining traction. It started after the first debate and Baker supporters have been relentless. Baker's supporters vitriol pisses people off, as does his voting record.
David Weber October 05, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Jonni, if you agree with every no vote that Baker has made, that makes you Captain Kook...no to banning smoking in public parks, no to farmer's market, no to handicap accessible bathroom at Courtney's Sandcastle...everything you say is a joke because none of it is based on fact...there's a huge difference between fact, opinion, and overall ridiculous theories, the latter being your go to...but the overall majority opinion is that Baker's voting record is terrible...
Bill S October 05, 2012 at 09:31 PM
David, you are the one wrong. Each vote has well documented reasons. You are spinning half truths to try to make a point. Smoking in parks: is unenforcable and I don't like City Council sticking noses in things we all own. Our basic rights are eroding... Should City council really tell us where to smoke? Next they are goint to tell me that I can't drink soda in a park. NOTE: Dahl was against the smoking ban too, although he finally voted yes. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/smoking-312370-city-parks.html Farmers market and Bathroom votes: Bob is a true fiscal conservative and questioned the revenue and cost(s). #1Bob was a fiscal conservative council member before Mortenson ever moved to San Clemente. http://www.ocregister.com/articles/-295364--.html so are my facts wrong now?? Get your facts straight David. I know too much about these votes and pay attention. I am not supporting any 2 year resident. I will support the real fiscal conservative; #1Bob Baker and the real local Chris Hamm. Dahl's time needs to be up. He has been on the wrong side of way too many issues. Toll Road, North Beach, Ralphs, Nuclear plant and so on... Dahl needs to go too.
Larry Corwin October 05, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Oswald, I have heard the debate and while Mike said a politically correct statement, the incomplete nature of his statement provides ample proof that just 2 years living in san Clemente is not sufficient to be qualified to make informed decisions. Let me provide proof. The toll road HAS been approved to Cow Town Road (Ortega Highway in San Juan) with Jim Dahl's yes vote. Therefore if the road were to travel south any further, it would terminate in San Clemente. If Trestles is out, where else can it terminate? In San Clemente, that's where. So had Mike been informed and prepared he could have stated, I am against the toll road terminating in San Clemente because of the negative effects and I believe it should remain permanently terminated at Ortega Highway where all San Clemente citizens can easily access it via the La Pata connection. The best of all worlds. San Clemente access to 241 for those who want it and none of the ill effects of bringing into town. This again is my concern in not having experienced leadership at City Council.
Moonshine October 05, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Jonni- There are many laws in our parks. You should look into a few... This is just one that needed to be added for the safety of our children, and ourselves. Please while researching the laws all need to abide by in city parks, look into the harmful effects of second hand smoke. Also Jonni- If Baker is soooooo fiscally conservative. Why does Mike Mortenson have the endorsement from the Republican Party- they are a pretty conservative group, wonder why they passed up giving Bob that endorsement? I have been to 2 of the 3 forums, and Baker rolling his eyes at every comment Dahl and Mortenson make is both childish and off putting. No wonder this guy can only say "NO" such a negative person. I would be shocked if I ever saw a smile instead of a smirk or eye-roll... And speaking about his negativity... I haven't heard one idea he has had?! Any positive outlook on our city and it's future for me as a resident? Complaining about signs, and wasting most of forum minutes on 0 vs 1 BB. I'd like this gut to turn his frown upside down and throw an idea out there, one that may benefit our city.
Oswald Junior October 05, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Larry, Ok, so the toll road has been approved to end in San Juan. Those are the current facts. You’re dealing in hypotheticals by asking 'if’ it were to travel any further south. We can't start playing the what-if game. Based on what has been stated by Mike, he will not support the toll road ending at Trestles or any other place that would have a negative impact on San Clemente. More importantly, I'm not concerned with the fact that Mike has lived in San Clemente for 3 years. What I am concerned about is Chris Hamm and his qualifications. He has talked about living in San Clemente his whole life and going to SC high school, did he go to college? Has Chris Hamm, or Baker for that matter, ever started a business? Have they created jobs? The only qualification Chris seems to think he needs is life-long residency. How does being a union employee qualify one to help lead a city to success where business is critical? I also want to know what Baker and Hamm actually support. All I've heard is a lot of NO's. I have listened to every debate and have yet to hear them give me an idea on how to improve our City. It sounds like Baker and Hamm’s only idea is to say NO to everything and turn off the Amber Alert signs. Larry, you may not agree with Mike’s approach, like a stronger economy, but you can’t argue the fact that Mike is smart, has more relevant experience and is more qualified.
Larry Corwin October 05, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Nothing hypothetical here, but to your point, let me state it even more clearly; Mike says NO to toll road termination at Trestles. Yes? Toll road approved to Cow Town (Ortega Hgwy) Yes? Any movement of the toll road from it's present location at Cow Town puts termination point in San Clemente. Yes? So it appears you support toll road at current approved termination point OR you support termination in San Clemente. Yes? Is there another possible we have missed? I find it amazing how we can start a conversation on Mike's position on the toll road and it winds up an attack on Hamm or Baker. "WE ALL BUNDLE" "PUPPY"
Dan Bane October 06, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Larry, Mike stated pretty unequivocably last night at the debate that he did not support the termination of the toll road at Pico. I guess your folks did not bring you up to speed. Next topic please. Now Hamm's qualifications, that is a topic to explore. Other than firefighter and life long resident of SC, I haven't heard much. Like I said, Chris is likeable and a nice guy. And yes, Chris has been relatively well-spoken at the debates. But that does not get the job done. There's got to be some policy and substance there. I have heard none.
Moonshine October 06, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Larry, I will let Oswald reply on your Toll road questions. But regarding a conversation turning into an attack, and "bundling" I'm sure you can see the Baker and Hamm supporters doing the same thing? But doing so in a much more personal, nasty, and untruthful way. Multiple people saw individuals cutting down a Mortenson banner the other night, an approved banner- is that not an attack, and a vicious and ILLEGAL one?? That was no conversation about a toll road gone bad, that was just some people of San Clemente gone bad. I received an e-mail from Chris Hamm today, that clearly he sent around for supporters, not sure how it fell into my lap... In this e-mail Chris talks about Mortenson almost as much as himself, maybe more. How is a letter asking for support turned around into a letter focused on ONE of your opponents. He just "bundled" Mortenson right in! At least he got his name out there, hopefully people will go to www.mikemortenson.com to see for themselves why Chris is so threatened and why he writes so much about him...People see thru these tactics, the attacks, the rolling of eyes from Baker at forums... People don't want to be associated with people like this, that vandalize and roll eyes and attack attack attack, most of the time with incorrect facts and statements.
Larry Corwin October 06, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Listen Moon, there is absolutely no tolerance in our system for voter misbehavior. Taking signs, floating bogus candidates etc. have no place in our democratic system and those participating in that activity is likely breaking the law. I can't tell you how offensive this is. But when it becomes tit for tat before long, it's completely out of control. Having a bogus candidate on the ballot was wrong but does not justify sign denigration. Sign removal does not justify half truth attacks on voting records and on and on it goes. It all needs to stop and allow the interested voter to read the blogs, hear the candidates and decide for themselves. I don't want to speak for Chris, Bob, Mike or anyone else. Negative campaigning seems to be the landscape in state local and federal levels. I am sorry it has become that but those that run the negative path, run the big risk.
Oswald Junior October 06, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Larry, I am not going to repeat myself as to what Mike has stated as his stance on the toll road. I am also no longer going to engage in a debate with you about a non-issue. If and when there is a plan up for consideration for the toll road to continue past San Juan - then we can discuss it. So, yes, you are talking in hypotheticals. When you are ready to discuss the candidates, their qualifications and the real issues that San Clemente is facing in the next few years, I will be here.
Larry Corwin October 06, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Sorry Dan, topic not done. Two choices; Does Mike Mortenson support the toll road termination at Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano or does he favor termination in San Clemente. There is no other position so lets hear it. San Juan? or San Clemente. Really simple question. FYI, I believe Chris Hamm and Bob Baker prefer the 241 toll road NOT terminate in San Clemente.
Larry Corwin October 06, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Oswald, strong economy?? Really?? Leave that rhetoric to the national debate. I'd be very curious to hear Mike Mortenson specify how he can bring a strong economy to San Clemente. You sure he didn't mean to run for US Senate from California. Mike Mortenson v. Diane Feinstein. Mortenson's got my vote!
Dan Bane October 06, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Larry, Is there another potential plan other than Pico for SC? If there is, I'm sure Mike opposes that too. (but I don't believe there is) Trestles seems out (I'm pretty sure Mike is opposed that too). If there is no other potential termination point proposed in SC, I'm pretty sure the topic is done. Not sure where you want to go with this, especially when the SC City Council has absolutely no vote in this regard. But you have your answer. Any more windmills you want to battle?
Kathleen Ward October 06, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Oswald, Bane, Moonshine, etc., none of you are talking about the real issues as long as you keep up with the mantra of singularly stating what Bob Baker voted no on without what the no was actually about. It's not like he didn't want the Farmers Market or a restroom for Courtney's Sandcastle. Yet that is exactly what you present as fact and want to keep using as your argument. You are the ones that are not using real facts for this debate. I wouldn't agree that the Toll Road is a non-issue. When the city council for San Juan voted to extend the road to Cow Camp and connect to Ortega, it was with the intent that the road not terminate there. One councilwoman even expressed her concern that with the feeling in San Clemente, that extension of the road would never be built. TCA wants this road, ideally, to terminate in San Clemente. So this is not a non-issue. The signage for the outlet mall is not a non-issue. These are very big concerns of the residents of San Clemente. We want to know how our future city councilman feel about these issues and don't need to hear there's no proposal so we don't have to talk about them.
Erin Khamis October 06, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Kathleen, the fact is, Baker did indeed vote NO on extending the Farmer's Market permit. His rationale was the FM was paying too little rent. In a booming economy, he may be right, in the worst economy since the Great Depression, he couldn't be more wrong. In our current economic times, we need to make it easier to do business! Raising rent in a bad economy is terrible policy, period. Plus, the Farmer's Market is not just a benefit to the vendors of the market itself. For example, every time I go to the Farmer's Market with my family, we always eat breakfast on Del Mar, and often shop at a few of the stores. It's a huge benefit to the downtown businesses! We've exhausted the 241 issue...even though the SC city council would have absolutely no vote on the extension, Mortenson has made it VERY clear that he does not support an extension into Pico, Trestles etc...Let's talk about issues that the council actually does have a say in. Or we can talk about a city council member's past votes...like voting NO to banning smoking in public parks, because everyone wants their kids choking on second hand smoke right?...no to a handicapp accessible bathroom at a park designed for children with special needs...no to a sports hall of fame...the list goes on and on...and it's NO, NO, NO! As a resident of San Clemente, I expect more from a city council member!
Kathleen Ward October 06, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I appreciate more of an explanation on your thinking about the Farmers Market. But you are still on the blanket no votes without any reasoning behind a vote. Baker couldn't support extending the contract at such a low price. He wasn't taking your market away from you. So if you are against his no vote on the contract for the handicapped restroom at Courtney's Sandcastle, you are for us getting gouged by a contractor at more than $500 per square foot? Who is the true fiscal conservative here? There are no votes on city council all the time on contracts presented to them. That means a better contract has to be produced. Bob Baker never said no to a handicapped restroom. That's why this is ridiculous.
Kathleen Ward October 06, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Mike Mortensen finally made a statement about extension of the Toll Road to Pico, which I'm sure he knows Talega residents would not support that road cutting through their neighborhoods. However, the question posed to him was about the Toll Road terminated at Trestles. He did not answer that question.
Moonshine October 06, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Kathleen- The vote on the Farmer's market was to extend it for 3 more years. Baker voted NO. We hear his "excuse" he voted no because he wanted to raise rent in a HORRIBLE economy, which makes NO sense. What if Baker got his way and raised the rent and the FM vendor declined and couldn't afford it due to the harsh economic times? Same goes for Courtney's sandcastle, he voted NO on the proposed plan, yes, he said it was too expensive, but what if no volunteers ever surfaced like he wanted? Or no better plan presented itself? Then no bathrooms and no farmers market?! Bob Baker has poor excuses for his voting history. Baker's hypothetical "what if's" could have left us with no FM and no handicap bathrooms. And as a mother, don't get me started on his NO vote to ban smoking in parks... Sorry Kathleen, his reasons have been sad excuses, based on being "fiscally conservative." The decision to let people smoke near my child at a park, denying handicap children bathrooms at a handicap park, and trying to take away a farmer's market for us to support our community by buying locally, and bringing hundreds every weekend to our downtown shops and restaurants, that is far from fiscally conservative. That's just plain bad for our city, in a plethora of ways. I'm glad he was the minority, as he usually is in votes, and that he didn't get these NO's, Thank you to our other council members who voted YES for these issues: for our kids, our families, and our community of San Clemente!
Kathleen Ward October 06, 2012 at 07:35 PM
You really think Bob Baker was denying handicapped children a bathroom? This rhetoric is still ridiculous. I'm trying to have a debate with you on issues. Real ones.
Moonshine October 06, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Yes. He said that they could use the ones in the new pool facility, rather than paying what he thought was too much money for one at the park. It's a busy park, and it would be unsafe to ask any kids, handicapped or not to exit the park walk thru a parking lot and go into the aquatic center. I'm glad he was outvoted.
Moonshine October 06, 2012 at 11:20 PM
He also voted NO to recycling cans on the beach NO to leasing the concession that sits there vacant He also does not support our Downtown Business association, nor does he support the Chamber of Commerce. How is this man still pulling the wool over people's eyes that he cares about San Clemente and the people that live here?? Dahl has been Mayor 3 times. Baker ran once and lost. Mortenson is endorsed by our current mayor and 4 previous Mayors. I AM VOTING MORTENSON & DAHL, no need to debate any longer, the NO's from Baker speak for themselves!
O Captain! My Captain! October 15, 2012 at 04:31 AM
I'm voting for Mortensen for sure. I'm also voting for Steve Lang for CUSD school board. Good businessman with no political favors to repay. (www.stevelang4cusd.com) On the other hand, check out how his opponent, John Alpay, has voted time and again to cut instruction time, increase class sizes, and waste money hurting teachers and the district. (www.whoisjohnalpay.com)

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