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.

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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