Venezia: Tim Brown launches a well-studied candidacy
By BARBARA VENEZIA
FOR ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: Aug. 8, 2013 Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 12:28 p.m.
I talked with Tim Brown after he announced his candidacy for Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle’s District 4 seat last week.
This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed him running for office. When Daigle’s seat was up in 2010, he contemplated it, but decided to pass.
Running against an incumbent would be an uphill battle, and Brown knew that.
In 2014 she’s termed out, leveling the political playing field for every candidate itching to replace her – including Brown, a full-time professor at Riverside College and owner of Tim Brown and Associates, an educational consulting firm.
He was planning to announce his campaign in November, but then Roy Englebrecht announced his candidacy for the same seat on July 25.
“I picked up the newspaper and was blindsided by how quickly Roy’s announcement appeared. I needed to get out there and let people know there was more than one candidate in the district race,” he told me.
So Brown moved up his announcement and got busy.
He’s talking with former Daily Pilot city editor Steve Cahn to help him build a campaign website that he hopes to have online in November. He’s also started interviewing campaign consultants.
Is noted Newport consultant Dave Ellis on his short list?
Brown says he hasn’t considered him, but has thought about what his campaign will be like.
“I want this to be a well-organized, well-run campaign – a model for others to follow. Everyone I bring on board needs to share my philosophies,” he said.
Brown says he hopes to raise $100,000.
As an educator, he says he doesn’t have the means to self-fund any part of this.
“I’ll have to rely on folks who think I will do a good job representing them,” he said.
Brown’s banking on his 18 years of involvement in civic organizations, like Rotary, Leadership Tomorrow, and the Chamber of Commerce – to name a few – to put him over the top.
“I have very deep roots in the city and have been part of a lot of groups,” he said. “People know I’m committed to this city.”
Brown’s served on the city’s aviation committee and is a member of the Planning Commission.
While on the city’s finance committee, he helped find finance options for the new City Hall/Civic Center, he says. It’s a project
he strongly defends.
Though some may balk at the $135 million cost, Brown likens it to the Balboa Pavilion.
“When it was built it was very expensive and I’m sure people back then complained about the cost, but look at how important it is today,” he said. “The architecture is unique and it’s become an icon for the city.”
He feels the same will be true in time with the City Hall/Civic Center project.
“Everybody I talk to is in awe when they walk into the building. It’s not difficult to be impressed,” Brown said.
I ask every candidate why they’re running for office. I’ve found people are either ticked off about an issue or power hungry.
Brown says he is neither.
He says city surveys show the majority of Newport residents are content with how the city is being run, but does acknowledge there’ve been a few bumps in the road over the past years.
Brown believes Newport’s leadership has spent money wisely and praises city employees’ efficiency.
“It would be hard to argue the city hasn’t been well led in the last decades,” Brown said. “The voters want to elect someone to continue those responsible leadership qualities.”
At 62 this registered Republican isn’t married, but since 1999 has shared his life with longtime companion Stephanie Murguya and their dog, Simmer.
Brown is already sounding like a seasoned politician to me.
When I asked if he was for or against the beach fire rings, I didn’t get a simple answer.
“When you ask a question like are you for or against, you want a yes or no answer. However, remember, I teach critical thinking and problem solving skills. I do not believe the issue is whether or not we should have fire rings on the beach. I believe the issue is whether or not we can control what people burn in the fire rings on the beach, thus making them less of a nuisance for people who live near them and safer for all of those who enjoy them,” he said.
Brown says he supports the rings, “providing they burn clean and are safe and encourages ideas about alternative fuels.”
Other issues he tells me he’d like to focus on if elected are the revitalization of the Peninsula and Mariners Mile, John Wayne Airport, and preserving the ecosystem in the Back Bay