Huntington Beach

The new council’s 4-3 splits

THREE of the four members of the new Huntington Beach City Council majority are (left to right) Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark, Mayor Tony Strickland and Councilmember Casey McKeon. Not pictured is Councilmember Pat Burns.

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

A raise for City Attorney Michael Gates was not the only action the sharply-divided Huntington Beach City Council took on Tuesday evening.

The council voted 4-3 – with the four newly-elected council members in favor – for giving Gates a raise from his hourly rate of $117.43 to $140, effective immediately and with a 3 percent automatic annual pay increase.

Gates is elected by voters and not hired by the city council, as is the practice in most cities. Gates was re-elected on Nov. 8 and campaigned with the four new councilmembers: Mayor Tony Strickland, Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark and Councilmembers Pat Burns and Casey McKeon.

Also on Tuesday night, the council voted 4-3 – with the same supporters and opponents – in favor of:

  • an amendment to the city’s code enforcement process that bars anonymous complaints;
  • an increase in the campaign contribution limits for city office from $500 to $4900 per person (individual, business entity, committee or political action committee, according to the state Fair Political Practices Commission).
  • challenging the state’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment in which cities across California are required to zone for – but not necessarily build – a certain number of housing units in an effort to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.

Those in the minority on those votes were Councilmember Dan Kalmick, Natalie Moser and Rhonda Bolton.

Not all votes were split that way; 11 items – some of them routine – were approved 7-0.

1 reply »

  1. Just please watch our budget & don’t be too generous! We are all suffering from inflation!
    Diana Helm

Leave a Reply