Photo Credit: Bamsb900, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Governor Gavin Newsom came up with a tier system to set specific standards for when counties can reopen. Huntington Beach has been in the most restrictive purple tier from the start. In fact, all counties have been in the purple tier until recently, but that is starting to change.
There are now several counties in the red tier. Those are Santa Clara, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, and Napa Counties.
Orange County is very close to joining them. To join the red tier, a county needs to average less than 7 new cases a day per 100,000 residents. Currently, Orange County’s rate is 7.6 per 100,000. If the rate gets under 7 per 100,000 for two consecutive weeks, Orange County will move into the red tier.
What would that mean for Huntington Beach residents?
- Retail stores and shopping centers could operate at 50% capacity.
- Gyms could open indoors with limited capacity.
- Theaters could reopen at 25% capacity or 100 people.
- Restaurants could open indoors with a 25% capacity.
Unfortunately, there would still be no trips to Disneyland. Amusement parks will remain closed.
Tito Ortiz The Politician
Tito Ortiz was one of the first true stars of MMA. His nickname is the Huntington Beach Bad Boy. He is immensely popular in the city.
That popularity showed when he was elected to Huntington Beach City Council. He won with a record 42,000 votes.
In December, City Council members gave him the title of Mayor Pro Tem. The Mayor Pro Tem fills in for the Mayor if needed.
Councilman Ortiz’s popularity in the city is unquestionable. His competence, however, is.
Is He Good at His Job?
Dan Kalmick is another newly elected Huntington Beach Councilman. He had this to say about Ortiz.
“The last two months since we did that he’s done nothing to try to be successful in that role. No show, no calls to meetings, not responding to staff. Besmirching businesses in town. Not wearing a mask. The residents elected him to the council and I respect him to remain on Council. But I don’t want him representing me as a council member.”
Councilman Kalmick was referring to two high-profile incidents with Councilman Ortiz. First, he had attended a committee meeting by Zoom in his car after refusing to wear a mask. Second, he was refused service at a local restaurant, also for refusing to wear a mask.
He then proceeded to trash TK Burgers for the incident publically. However, he later completely flipped his position. He issued an apology on Facebook, claiming he let his emotions get the best of him.
“I understand this is a small business and I would never want to ruin that business. I apologize to TK Burgers for my decision.”
Tough talk followed by an apology is something of a pattern for him lately. When other Councilmembers questioned his ability to do his job, he cried racism. He claimed that they simply could not accept a Mexican American having his role.
“I made mistakes in my life. The things that I did, they were wrong. The difference between this and the fight game, in the fight game I get to get in the cage, you get to compete against another man and we shake hands, we say, ‘okay,’ (but) with this, I don’t get nothing like that.”
First of all, I think it is great that Covid is slowly getting better. The possibility of the cases dropping low enough for Orange County to reopen more is great news. I hope that things continue on this path.
Secondly, Tito Ortiz is not great at his job. He says he will do better, and he might. But regardless of whether or not he does his job well, he should keep it. The people of Huntington Beach voted for him in huge numbers. When they voted, they knew they were getting a brash personality with no political experience.
The opinions of fellow Councilmembers are irrelevant. The opinion of the voters is all that matters. He should keep his position until the voters say otherwise.