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South Orange County Election Recommendations

Here are our recommendations for some of the South Orange County local races. There aren’t a lot of liberals in this so we had to pick the more sane among the candidates.

Laguna Hills: Melody Carruth and Barbara Kogerman. This council desperately needs reform, and we think Barbara Kogerman is the one to bring it. Though Carruth has been on the council since incorporation, she has shown indications of independence and we believe she is willing to work with Kogerman as an agent for change.

Mission Viejo: the candidates in Mission Viejo fall into 3 categories — the crazy conservatives, the sane conservatives, and the also-rans. Those who watch Mission Viejo politics know the brand of crazies in that city are different from elsewhere. It’s not that they’re conservative or liberal, pro- or anti-union, or anything else that’s readily identifiable. They’re basically just opposed to government and would like nothing more than to fire a giant disruptor beam at city hall. Chief among the crazies are Rhonda Reardon and Brian Skalsky, with runner-up Neil Lonsinger. Our recommendations: sane conservatives Trish Kelley, Rick Sandzimier, and Dave Leckness.

San Clemente: San Clemente’s council deals with all the usual issues that come before cities, but most residents are divided over the candidates’ positions on a single issue — the North Beach or Playa Del Norte project. Our endorsements will satisfy no one, as we recommend Lori Donchak, Joe Anderson, and Brenda Miller.

South OC Community College District:

South OC Community College District, Area 2: T.J. Prendergast
South OC Community College District, Area 4: no recommendation
South OC Community College District, Area 2: Marcia Milchiker

Capistrano Unified School District:

Up until 4 years ago Capistrano Unified was led by an autocratic superintendent and a school board who never questioned his advice or authority. That board was rightfully ousted, and the superintendent resigned. A promising new superintendent was recently hired, but the board members themselves seem stuck in an anti-parent, pro-litigation rut. They call themselves “reformers” but we have yet to see any evidence of positive reform. Our recommendations for CUSD are as follows:

Capistrano Unified School District, Area 4: Saam Alikhani
Capistrano Unified School District, Area 6: Martha McNicholas
Capistrano Unified School District, Area 7: Lynn Hatton

Recall Election, Capistrano Unified School District, Area 3: YES
Capistrano Unified School District, Area 3: John Alpay

Recall Election, Capistrano Unified School District, Area 5: YES
Capistrano Unified School District, Area 5: Gary Pritchard

Measure H, trustees to be elected by area: YES


  1. South OC South OC November 1, 2010

    And for Aliso Viejo? Phil Tsunoda for City Council.

  2. J Stephens J Stephens November 1, 2010

    From San Clemente:
    No way for Miller. She doesn’t know how to be on a team. She’s a grand stander who has to disagree when everyone else has worked through issues. She’s an embarrassment.
    Jim Evert is the third vote. We need someone like Jim who can work well with Joe and Lori to make progress in San Clemente. He’s been on a City Council and Planning Commission before in his last hometown. He spent 30 years with IBM and his volunteered/served as an officer for the Ocean Insitute, Rotary, Friends of the Library, Cabrillo Playhouse. He’s a doer.

    • lindalu lindalu November 1, 2010

      Brenda Miller is on a constant rampage, not a good thing for governing. We need someone with real world experience and she doesn’t have it. Ask any of the other Planning Commissioners who (tried to) work with her. Why wasn’t her term renewed? She belittles everyone. She represents a negative minority; “no” to everything. She is noisy and disruptive – we need leadership!!!

  3. Steven Swartz Steven Swartz November 1, 2010

    Brenda Miller is a really poor choice for endorsement. We need someone that is not inclined to bend or break the rules like Jim Evert. Jim would never consider tampering with election signs as Miller has admitted to doing.

    Support for the candidate with high moral standards and proven leadership, like Jim, is preferred.

  4. jancee jancee November 1, 2010

    Not sure where you came up with Brenda Miller as one of the most sane of the San Clemente City Council candidates, but this is someone who was arrested for stealing signs in the last campaign. And she constantly tells lies to get people to vote her way. The most sane and experienced candidate to go along with the 2 incumbents is Jim Evert. 15 years as a City Councilman and Planning Commissioner, heavily involved in the community for years giving back to children and the environment. He’s got my vote!

  5. M. G Dennis M. G Dennis November 1, 2010

    Evert over Miller without a doubt. Solutions are needed. Ms Miller has based her entire campaign on one issue; Playa Del Norte. She’s been against this plan or perhaps the people who submitted the plan, since day one. “No” is easy to say. But it’s rarely followed by anything positive. Keep her working on the bike and ped planning for the city. Get Jim Evert on council where a keen(and open)mind are needed.

  6. Jim Rutter Jim Rutter November 1, 2010

    You have it right with Evert, Donchak and Anderson. Where on earth did you find a rational reason to include Miller. We need a council that represents a rational approach to running San Clemente. Jim Evert, Lori Donchak and Joe Anderson get it and will provide a balanced approach to the myriad challenges facing San Clemente. This is not a one issue election by any means.

  7. Susan Ford Susan Ford November 1, 2010

    It is troubling that you would endorse Brenda Miller. Her campaign and claims are not based on facts and have only represented a negative position to any and all issues. I would also question the integrity and character of someone who would blatantly remove opponent’s signs from private property without permission.
    Jim Evert is the perfect choice with his experience in leadership, his high level of character and his desire to work on behalf of this town’s success.

  8. Denise Denise November 1, 2010

    Thanks, Chris.
    Hoping to make it to hear you speak next Wednesday night at the South OC Dems meeting in San Juan.

  9. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski November 1, 2010

    Chris — you overlooked Pierre Gilbert in Laguna Hills. A solid choice.

Comments are closed.