Tito Tries a Council Meeting!


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If you ask the live-tweeting neolibs, the out-of-town rubberneckers, and the biweekly meeting of HBCF’s Right-Winger-Hand-Wringer Delegation, Monday night’s Huntington Beach City Council meeting was a must-watch event. And if you tuned in – as I admittedly did – to keep up with the antics of Mayor Pro Tem Ortiz, you were not disappointed! 

Oh yeah? Well, we feel the same way about YOU, dude.

‘Unprepared’ is probably the best– and kindest — word to describe Tito’s conduct during his first real council meeting. Here’s the recap: 

He underdressed. Not only did he forgo any protective face covering (I know, I know, we’ll get to that later), but he showed up in a t-shirt and sport coat while every other man on the dais wore a suit and tie. 

He experienced technical difficulties. After watching him struggle to turn on his microphone for what seemed like an eternity, Dan Kalmick kindly reached over and showed Tito which button to press. Well, Tito must have immediately forgotten those instructions, because he struggled with his microphone for the rest of the evening, once accidentally hitting it with his pen; and eventually he just gave up and shouted. He also voted ‘no’ on a motion he seconded, but it’s difficult to say whether that was due to confusion about the electronic voting system, or confusion about the motion itself. 

There seems to be some resentment of the kind-hearted Kalmick.

He peddled conspiracy theories! Tito sat through a lengthy slideshow presentation on the dire status of our local hospitals, and then asked the local officials if they had considered educating the public about… vitamins. Specifically, vitamin Z– no, C– no, zinc and vitamin D. Despite the lack of definitive scientific proof linking COVID-19 and vitamin deficiencies, snake oil salesmen are already capitalizing on mass hysteria. Perhaps Punishment Athletics is about to launch a line of branded nutritional supplements? 

He lied from the dais. There is no evidence to support Tito’s assertion that Kalmick removed his mask at an event for elderly veterans. However, there is ample evidence that Tito refused to wear a mask while posing for photos with those vets; and we all saw him and Councilmember Peterson flagrantly defying the mask rules at City Hall. I think Mayor Kim Carr spoke for all of us when she said, “I’m sorry if I sound a bit exasperated, but it is absolutely emotional to me that we cannot get people just to do something [so] simple as to wear a mask.” 

Imagine surviving Vietnam just to be taken out by a damn VIRUS.

He serves at the pleasure of Erik Peterson. When Peterson proposed a hybrid-model re-opening of Main Street’s third block, Tito nearly interrupted him to second the motion. The three registered Democrats on the council (Carr, Kalmick, and Moser) often voted differently from one another, but Tito never once strayed from Peterson’s side. In fact, he even appointed Nancy Buchoz, Peterson’s appointee for the Citizen’s Infrastructure Advisory Board, to the Community Services Commission. As far as actual policy is concerned, Mayor Pro Tem Ortiz is Councilmember Peterson’s sock puppet. 

Most of Tito’s other appointees are holdovers from former Mayor Lyn Semeta, who decided not to run for reelection when her term expired this year. However, his Planning Commissioner is former city council candidate and honorary Proud Boy, Gracey Van Der Mark. 

Here she is in Long Beach, harassing octogenarian Jewish residents with the notorious neo-Nazi known as Baked Alaska.

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In 2014, Gracey was removed from several committees for her racist and antisemitic comments, but she learned from that mistake.

Several HB residents suspect that she operates a new Facebook account under the pseudonym ‘JL Arnov,’ and when you take a look at some of Arnov’s posts in Huntington Beach community groups, it “checks out” :

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Yeah, right, Gracey  didn’t write this Facebook post… or the attached open letter…

Overall, I think far-right HB voters who were hoping Tito would “shake things up” in city government are bound to be disappointed. He’s played it safe so far, and even if he gains the confidence to start proposing his own ideas, he’s still an ideological minority on the council. 

Until next time, my friends!

Previously in this series:

And Our Tito Watch Begins…


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