Lookback at Mission Viejo council candidate Dave Leckness

Dave Leckness

As Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach periodically sends out an email with a “look back” to prior County history I thought readers might gain some insight into Mission Viejo council candidate Democrat David “Dave” Leckness.

Interview of Dave Leckness, Mission Viejo recall election candidate

By Larry Gilbert – November 9, 2009       Dave Leckness

This afternoon I spent an hour interviewing  Dave Leckness, the latest candidate running to replace Mission Viejo Mayor Pro-Tem Lance MacLean in the Feb. 2nd 2010 recall election.

For the past 25 years Dave has owned and operates a Kwik Kopy print shop franchise near Saddleback College on Marguerite Parkway.

In our discussion I asked Dave what were the key issues which inspired him to run now rather than in the 2008 election.  At that time he “was on the planning commission” and said he  “had no interest” in serving on the city council.

Dave was a Board Member of the city funded,  non-profit, Mission Viejo Community Foundation that never raised the millions of dollars for city projects as we were led to believe. He told me his last meeting with that group is one that I attended.

His key objective is to “promote small business growth” as they were losing customers. Dave could not point out anything that the city could do to that end.

He felt that the Chamber [of Commerce] just wasn’t effective.

In discussing the recall he said he was “not for the recall” yet at the same time said “its time for a change.”  He would like to bring a “positive influence” to the council.

Dave did not sign the recall petition and said he was not familiar with any of the charges against councilman MacLean.

At this point I asked if he was familiar with Lance’s 2002 candidate statement where Lance said he would “oppose all tax increases and special assessments.” “No.”

Nor was he familiar with Lance’s authoring the Nov 2004 Measure K tax increase.

When I have advised candidates for elected office one of my first five questions relates to what issues they want to address. Dave said he does not have any specific issues. He also pointed out that “he is not on anyone’s team.”

Current city of Mission Viejo issues that I asked him to address:

The multi million dollar expansion of the  Marguerite Tennis Center.

Dave admitted he “didn’t know enough about the tennis center” to comment.

Right to Vote Initiative. Sadly Dave admits a lack of knowledge on this issue.

Cell sites. Dave mentioned planning commission meetings that went until 1 a.m. He said he was “indifferent” on “cell sites” in the city.

Dog park. In trying to pin him down I asked about the latest internal debate regarding a suitable location for a dog park.

Dave said he “didn’t know enough about the dog park” but commented that he likes the animal shelter facility.

One idea that Dave wanted me to include in this post is his desire to promote what he called a “waive at a cop.” Let them know that they are appreciated for their public service.

Dave did say that he agreed with another citizen in opposing “motors” on our sidewalks.

Tournament of Roses parade float. He “liked the Rose Parade float” but said it doesn’t make sense.

Dave added that we are “too sports oriented” and should add “more focus on the arts.”

What is sad is that Dave and I have known each other for 15 years. He printed my 1994 campaign literature. He is currently a member of the Mission Viejo Rotary Club.
Based on this interview my knee jerk reaction to his pulling papers is that someone is looking to use his candidacy as an insurance policy in the event that Lance MacLean is recalled. Lance’s peers have a problem. Do they throw him under a bus, or as written before, stand by their man.

Campaign budget. Dave intends to spend roughly $1600 for a candidate statement. He is not willing to spend  $10,000 to $15,000 of his own money which someone told him was required to run for this seat.

Campaign manager. Dave will use a friend as his campaign manager who has no experience in these races.

At this point I will not share my recommendations on how to confront those unnamed citizens who are pushing him into the political arena.

Oct. 28, 2010 Gilbert comments:

To recap. Dave had no ideas as to how to promote small business growth.

He was clueless on Measure D, the Right to Vote initiative, that has been a major story in Mission Viejo

Dave admitted a lack of knowledge on a  $3.7 million expansion of a tennis center to add one court, new lighting and renovation of the clubhouse.

He liked the Rose parade float yet said it didn’t make sense.

Dave was not willing to spend $10,000 to $15,000 of his own money to campaign.  Sure, but he has taken $2,500 from the OCFA union, $500 from one of our auto dealer,$1,500 from another dealer and $1,000 from an employee of Waste Management after he voted to award them an eight year contract when they were the highest bidder.

Dave said we are too sports oriented. Doesn’t he realize that providing all the parks and sports venues keeps our kids out of gangs, builds character, teaches teamwork, and most of all keeps them from getting into trouble.

As I drive around Mission Viejo I have passed activists standing on street corners by yellow banners which point out our spending millions more than we have taken in. To see that You Tube video simply go to:


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