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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.

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South Orange County Post-Election Roundup

Want the roundup of the local elections that impact South Orange County?  Here you go:

Orange County’s Fifth District has a new Supervisor in former Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett who defeated Laguna Niguel Councilman Robert Ming to replace Patricia Bates.  Bates easily defeated Ladera Ranch Civic Council member Gary Kephart and will represent the 36th District in the State Senate.  Congratulations to Supervisor Bartlett and Senator Bates!

In the hotly contested San Juan Capistrano City Council race, voters rejected the incumbent majority and voted a new majority to power.  Challenger Pam Patterson was the top vote getter and is joined by incumbent Derek Reeve and challenger Kerry Ferguson.  The three ran as a slate against the current majority and will now join Councilman Roy Byrnes to form a new four-person majority in San Juan Capistrano.  Incumbents John Taylor and Larry Kramer were voted out of office, and challengers Rob Williams, Jan Siegel and Stephanie Frisch finished in 6th through 8th position, respectively.  Reeve and Byrnes have been on the short end of a number of 3-2 votes during the last couple of years, and Reeve ran on the motto “Together, we can fight City Hall.”  Well, Reeve and his colleagues now are City Hall.  It will be interesting to see how they govern differently, particularly with a number of high profile issues pending before the Council.

In Rancho Santa Margarita, Mayor Pro Tem Brad McGirr, Mike Vaughn and Jerry Holloway were elected to the City Council.  Incumbent Jesse Petrilla finished fourth and was not re-elected.  Laurie Biehl, Don Chadd and John Webb finished 5th – 7th, respectively.  RSM voters also voted down Measure Z, a ballot initiative to rezone the former Nissan auto dealership site for general commercial use.  ”No” won with 54.3% of the vote.  If it had passed, Measure Z would have allowed the owners of the former Nissan dealership to build a commercial property on the site.  The commercial property would be financially more advantageous for the property owners, but would reduce the anticipated tax revenue to Rancho Santa Margarita from about $600,000 per year to about 10% of that amount (although in full disclosure, the auto dealership site has been empty for years with apparently little interest in using it for that purpose).  Note that candidates Petrilla, Biehl and Chadd would have likely voted to rezone the auto dealership site had they obtained a Council majority, so RSM voters were consistent in rejecting both.

Dana Point voted to fill three vacant City Council spots, with no incumbents running for re-election.  John Tomlinson was the top vote getter in the tightly clustered results, and he will be joined on the Council by Richard Viczorek and Joe Muller.  Following closely behind were Jody Payne (who finished in fourth place by just 65 votes at last count) and Alan Wickstrom (just ten votes behind Payne).  Rounding out the results are Nancy Jenkins, Harold Kaufman, Roy Divel and Chuck Rathbone.

In San Clemente, incumbents Tim Brown and Lori Donchak were easily re-elected and will be joined on the Council by Kathy Ward.  In Mission Viejo, challenger Greg Raths was the top vote getter for City Council and will be joined by challengers Ed Sachs and  Wendy Bucknum.  Incumbents David Leckness and Rhonda Reardon were not re-elected, finishing fourth and fifth.  Rounding out the voting were Desi Kiss, Steven Thornton and Grant Voss.

Voters re-elected Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Lynn Hatton in Area 7, defeating Julie Collier.  In Area 6, Gila Jones defeated incumbent Ellen Addonizio and in Area 4, Martha McNicholas defeated Craig Alexander.  All three winners are members of the “Children First” slate.

In an interesting footnote for Ladera Ranch politicos, former teenage Ladera Ranch Civic Council member Connor Traut won election to the Centralia School Board, serving schools in Buena Park, Anaheim and La Palma.

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