2020 HB Candidate Questions

We asked each of the 15 Huntington Beach City Council Candidates 8 questions. The responses were fairly lengthy. Clicking each name will show the detailed responses to all the question. The top three questions are listed below.

* Partial response shown. Please see detailed response.

CandidateDo you feel that the current or near future water needs of Huntington Beach require the construction of a local seawater desalination plant?Did you support the approval by City’s Poseidon’s Environmental Impact Report, Conditional Use Permit, and other permits to construct and operate a seawater desalination plant in our city? (Why or Why Not)Do you support the continued use of the abandoned AES Power Plant’s open-ocean intake and outfall pipes to serve the Poseidon desalination plant’s operational needs? (Why or Why Not)
John BriscoeIt is important to plan out far using ‘present value dollars’ today for best financial
benefit to the people. Ancient Chinese proverb says, “…the best time to plant a tree
is 20 years ago, the next best time is today…”
The ‘devil is always in the details’ revolving around mandatory water purchase agreements even though HBCity does not need desal water today. Pricing for desal water might be competitive someday in south county bereft of any ground water but not so into the foreseeable future for HBCity with 80% of our water derived from wells.There must be appropriate mitigation of sea life damage from taking in eggs and living animals TODAY at the AES plant if not already so, and certainly for any new construction.
Brian BurleyThe needs of Huntington Beach – no. However, the needs of our county and state
show that we do experience droughts at times. I would support desal – but ONLY if
done responsibly, safely and at an affordable cost.

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I would not have approved the current conditions. I am supportive of desalination if done correctly but if I were on the Council at the time, I would’ve pushed for a more rigorous process of approval. This is a huge commitment for our city and we are already seeing issues with the current contract and agreements.

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No, I don’t think the environmental impacts were considered in this decision.
Sonya GreenNo ResponseNo ResponseNo Response
Amory HansonCurrently, I do not believe Huntington Beach requires a desalination plant. Although we seem to
have many emergencies these days, Huntington Beach is not in a drought. It is difficult to justify
the environmental impact of desalination when there is not a need for the water.
I was not politically involved at the time of the Huntington Beach City Council’s vote on desalination, but I made the effort to review Mr. Ramos’ environmental impact report for this questionnaire. I found many environmental impacts that in my opinion are unjustified.The Power Plant should be destroyed if possible to encoruage clean energy and even if it were
not destroyed, it should not be used to power the desalination plant.
Matthew HarperNo ResponseNo ResponseNo Response
Dan KalmickNO. With basin at nearly 89% full and the Carson plant coming online in the near future, HB
through its wholesalers and OCWD should be able to manage its water portfolio locally
without the need for expensive desalinated water.
I did not support the City’s decision more than a decade ago.
The Poseidon project is not needed in Huntington Beach. A private for-profit take or pay contract for water when so many other cheaper options are available is not the right solution. Impingement and Entrainment still have not been thoroughly vetted and I await R4RDs appeal at the Coastal Commission of the City’s CDP.
No. Those outfall pipes were ruled no longer acceptable use for the state which is why the plants were scheduled for decommissioning.

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Thomas LaparneNoNo, we would take on the construction in our city only to receive higher priced water and destruction of our roads for years while poisoning our oceans.No, we do not know the possible contaminants involved in using preexisting
technology and piping.
Casey MckeonNo, we only import roughly 23% of our
water needs from Norther CA and the Colorado River. Orange County is in a much better
situation than other counties when it comes to its imported water needs. A desalination plant
is not the solution.
I do not. We only import roughly 23% of our water needs from Northern California and the Colorado River. Our groundwater provides the balance. Our streets will be torn up for 3 years and the environmental impacts to our oceanfront will be huge. Poseidon was not done through a fair market process but rather through crony capitalism. I adamantly oppose Poseidon.

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I do not support using the open-ocean intake and outfall pipes to serve the Poseidon desalination plant’s operational needs because it will wreak environmental havoc on our oceanfront. Those intake pipes will create a dead zone in the ocean as it sucks up marine life.

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Jeff MorinNo ResponseNo ResponseNo Response
Natalie MoserNo, I do not feel that the current or near future water needs of Huntington Beach require construction of a local seawater desalination plant. In 2018 Orange County produced a Water Reliability Study that says “… this region can even manage potential shortages that occur only about once every 20 years with conservation mandates alone.”

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No, I do not support the approval by the City of Poseidon’s Environmental Impact Report, Conditional Use Permit, and other permits to construct and operate a seawater desalination plant in our city.

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No, I don’t support the continued use of the abandoned AES Power Plant's open ocean intake and outfall pipes to serve the Poseidon desalination plant’s operational needs because the open ocean intake sucks up plankton, fish larvae and other organisms that are a vital part of the sea’s food chain.
William O’connellNo ResponseNo ResponseNo Response
Tito OrtizNo ResponseNo ResponseNo Response
Oscar RodriguezThe current or near future water needs of Huntington Beach should be of concern, however, we have to acknowledge that we as a city (and county) are in a better position as it relates to our local water autonomy than places like San Diego county. We know that Orange County still consumes more water than the average county in California and that means that we have to prioritize conservation and preservation first before we look at desalination.

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I have briefly looked at the EIR and do not support the conditional use permit and other permits to construct the desalination plant. Given the history of Poseidon’s campaign contributions to elected officials, I believe there was not much due diligence. This is something I need to do more research on.No. The AES Power Plant was built in the 1950’s and we know the causes and effects of wear
and tear. Poseidon’s usage of infrastructure that is decades old is a disaster waiting to happen.
Also, we must consider that if anything were to happen to the open-ocean intake and outfall
pipes, we the ratepayers are on the hook for paying for the water while repairs happen as the
current contract locks us in for 30 years.
Eric SilkensonNot until we have exhausted all other options, which we haven’t. No. We haven’t done enough towards water conservation. No. It will damage the ocean environment.
Gracey Van Der MarkNo, I do not feel our water needs require the new construction of the local seawater desalination plant. We have a more than adequate supply of water in our aquifer and the added benefit of the GWRS (Ground Water Replenishment System) that is currently adding to the aquifer with more water than would even be supplied by costly desal water. I do not support the permit approval because we do not need Poseidon. We have plenty of water and at a more affordable price
than Poseidon would offer.
I do not support using the AES intake to serve Poseidon operational needs. Most simply, the proposed desal water is an overpriced proposal for something we do not need in Huntington Beach. Also, there are significant risks to our local coastline and ocean environment. Since HB is a world class tourism destination due to our pristine coastline, this is not a risk we should be taking.

You can visit the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters websites for more candidate information throughout the county, particularly for the Municipal Water District of OC and the Orange County Water District