Contact Us


Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

We have installed some new anti-spam software, and we are going to try again with open registration. Registration and sign-in information are available at the bottom of the far right column. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you may email us at



Six Candidates Seeking Four Open Seats on the Ladera Ranch Civic Council

The Ladera Ranch Civic Council is governed by seven elected council members, each serving a two-year term.  Six candidates, including all four incumbents, have stepped forward to seek the four open seats in this year’s LRCC election.  The candidates are:

  • Jett McCormick (incumbent, current Chair)
  • Jeff Hamilton (incumbent)
  • Joel Almeida
  • Mike Ellzey
  • Scott Weisgerber (incumbent, appointed)
  • Todd Stearns (incumbent, appointed)

Their candidate statements are posted on the LRCC website here, and we’ve reproduced an excerpt from each below the jump.  There is more information about each candidate on the Civic Council web site, so make sure you go and read each candidate statement in its entirety.

Jett McCormick (incumbent, current Chair)

The LRCC is an important organization to help address issues facing our community and advocates for Ladera Ranch. I am a founding member of the-Council and have serviced continually since it was founded in 2008. I am a strong believer that you should get involved if you want to make a difference.  The next two years are going to be important as the future-governance of Ladera Ranch starts to come into focus. It is important that we have consistent leadership during these discussions. I would also like to see the LRCC form new connections with other community groups and strengthen its relationship with the Chamber of Commerce, LARCS, and LARMAC. Communicating between these organizations is critical moving forward.

Jeff Hamilton (incumbent)

I am interested in our public safety here, improving the infrastructure, specifically providing healthy activities for our growing teen population, and providing our community the best quality of life. Two examples are the purchase of bicycles for the Sheriff’s Department that are used in Ladera Ranch, and improving the safety and traffic situation at Oso Grande Elementary School.

Joel Almeida

I’ve lived in Ladera Ranch since December 1999 – I was one of the First 50 to venture out here.  I’ve seen the community grow to where it is today and I want to participate more fully in the next stage of the community’s growth towards independence.  What type of community do we want to be?  Are we to be more like Coto?  More like RSM?  More like Mission Viejo?  I would argue that we want to be unique – it’s this uniqueness I hope to help create.

Mike Ellzey

My family has lived in Ladera Ranch since 2008.  We relocated to Orange County from Northern California to accept the appointment as CEO of the Orange County Great Park.  The easy answer to this section would be to say that I care about my community and want to serve.  That’s true enough.  But, I’ve always had those feelings.  I’m expressing interest at this particular time because I sense that an extraordinary moment in the structure of Ladera Ranch governance is upon us, and that the quality of our community’s development will be impacted in many ways over the coming years.  I would like to contribute meaningfully during this important chapter in Ladera’s history.

Scott Weisgerber (incumbent, appointed)

Personally I’d like to tackle the tough issues surrounding parking and traffic. I’ve seen this issue go unchecked in Ladera Ranch, and feel that it is a public safety issue that needs to be addressed. I’ve been watching the work that Councilman Hamilton has been doing with the Oso Grande traffic issue, and would look forward to working with him, the entire Council and community to address other issues on our roadways.  Additionally, I’d welcome the opportunity to work with community leaders in Ladera, OC Parks and  Rancho Mission Viejo to develop a clear plan for open space in and around our community. Recent public trail closures have brought this issue to the forefront with the many outdoor minded residents.

Todd Stearns (incumbent, appointed)

When I began serving on the Council, there were five things I hoped to work on: 1) Participate in county governance whenever possible by being a physical presence at meetings and events. Make sure Ladera Ranch is seen. 2) Encourage a greater degree of local resident participation in all events relating to our community. A key component of a successful Democracy has always been high levels of citizen participation and we have a great opportunity to increase engagement by a number of very talented/educated local residents. 3) Consider and explore ways to make Ladera Ranch an even better place to live (activities/physical modifcations/sustainability). 4) Work closely with our local organizations (LARMAC, LARCS, Merit, etc.) to build a coalition for success. 5) Fill all vacant retail business locations in Ladera Ranch and work to strengthen the local pre-existing ones.

The election is conducted online and is open to registered members of the Ladera Ranch Civic Council.  Voting begins August 28, 2014.

Comments are closed.