Political Briefs


Will Candidates Take Off Their Gloves to Debate?

The public is invited to witness the first debate among the seven candidates running for Laguna Beach City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Allan Simon, chairman of Firebrand Media and the Indy’s owner, will lead the 6 p.m. event planned for City Hall’s Council Chambers.

Simon has invited candidates to come prepared to challenge their challengers, though he also intends to quiz them on matters of governance. It remains to be seen whether the two incumbents, Toni Iseman and Kelly Boyd, and five challengers, Jon Madison, Rob Zur Schmiede, Michele Hall, Paul Merritt and Eli Grossman, will truly engage each other. They already have plenty to work from. The candidates have already staked out positions in answers to questions posed at three forums since August.

Audience questions will be invited and added to the line-up as time permits.

Firebrand will sponsor two more candidate forums at the same location; on Oct. 14 in alliance with the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Realtors, which will focus primarily on downtown issues; and a final one on Oct. 29, part town hall meeting and part neighborhood specific questions.


PTA Hosts Forum for School Board Candidates

The only public forum will parents will have an opportunity to size up candidates for school board will take place at Top of the World Elementary School on Wednesday, Oct 8, the first day of absentee balloting statewide.

Members of the public are welcome and invited to arrive early to write their questions out at the 6 p.m. forum, which is sponsored by the PTA council and League of Women Voters.

Three challengers and a single incumbent vie for three open seats on the Laguna Beach school board. The Nov. 4 election decides the outcome.

Council Candidate Shifts Strategy

With the election six weeks away, one candidate for Laguna Beach City Council is shifting her campaign message to better tap name recognition among former classmates.

“I have realized as my campaign is evolving, momentum is building and I am speaking to more and more people that a lot of locals and LBHS alumni recognize me by my maiden name of Oliver but not Hall,” said the candidate, who now wants to be identified as Michele Oliver Hall.

Hall’s maiden name, however, will not be included on the official ballot, which she filed Aug. 11. Her ballot designation is listed as “community volunteer.”

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