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By Collin Breaux | Email: | Twitter: @collin_breaux

Howard Hart is one of two candidates running for the District 5 seat on the San Juan Capistrano City Council. The seat will be decided during the November general election. Hart is a planning commissioner for the city. He grew up in Dana Point and eventually settled in the Mesa Verde community. He is a retired Navy captain who worked in intelligence, and is active in the community through the Rotary Club of San Juan Capistrano and other ways.

Hart is motivated to run because of a belief in community service. He announced his campaign in January.

City Council District 5 candidate Howard Hart is a fourth-generation Californian who grew up in Dana Point, Navy veteran who worked in intelligence and electronic warfare and is active in the community through the Rotary Club of San Juan Capistrano and in other ways. Photo courtesy of Howard Hart’s campaign.

“For the last two years, I think we’ve achieved a civil city council and one that’s been very productive in a short amount of time,” Hart said. “I think there’s still more work to be done, and that’s why I’m running.”

Being on the planning commission, Hart is well-versed in zoning regulations, signage matters and other city government matters. Thirty years as a Navy officer also taught Hart the concept of servant leadership, which Hart defines as “subsuming your own personal interests to those of the greater good.”

“I’m not out to do this for myself,” Hart said. “I have no aspirations beyond this office. My goal is to serve my community, and to do it in the best way I can with each issue that comes before me.”

Hart is excited about preserving the Northwest Open Space through its specific plan, which recently passed through the planning commission. That essentially means no glamping or soccer fields at the San Juan preserve.

“We have the Verdugo Street beautification,” Hart said. “That was also one of the things we processed through the Planning Commission, and that came out even better than I expected.”

Hart anticipates the Ganahl Lumber Project—which is expected to bring a lumber hardware store and other economic activity along Stonehill Drive—becoming a big revenue generator, which in turn could facilitate road improvements. He likes San Juan because it has an identity with the downtown area, the historical aspect and its equestrian heritage. The equestrian culture is something Hart wants to preserve as a local official.

John Alpay is also running in the District 5 election.

The District 5 seat is currently held by Councilmember Brian Maryott, who is campaigning in the 49th Congressional District race against incumbent Mike Levin, which is also on the November ballot. The District 1 election was recently canceled by the city council, because incumbent Sergio Farias was running unopposed.

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comments (2)

  • Mr. Hart,

    I am sure you are a decent man, as you have contributed to the country through your military service, and participation in charitable organizations such as the Rotary Club.

    My concern is what I found on your twitter account.. It is very disappointing to have someone running for a seat on our city council that will so openly disparage people representing opposing political views., and re-tweeting proven false statements by online conspiracy peddlers.

    Howard, if you make it into office, please remember that you will be representing all the citizens of San Juan Capistrano, and so curbing public display of vitriolic opinions will go a long way towards the possibility of inclusive and productive council representation.

    Best Regards.

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