Mayor and council race heating up in Morro Bay

March 8, 2014

morro bayMorro Bay’s qualifying period for mayoral candidates has ended with two candidates vying for the office, incumbent mayor Jamie Irons and former council woman Carla Wixom, then known as Carla Borchard.

Irons and Wixom were contestants in the 2012 race for mayor with Irons bringing in 52.97 percent of the vote and Wixom receiving 21.15 percent. The remaining two candidates followed with then incumbent Bill Yates with 20.41 percent and Joe Yukich with 5.29 percent of the vote.

Less than one year into his first term as mayor, Irons faced a recall effort.

In September 2013, Irons called for the firing of then city attorney Rob Schultz and then city manager Andrea Lueker. Irons eventually obtained a majority vote from the council, which reached separation agreements with Schultz and Lueker. However, the attempted termination of the city’s two top executives prompted the recall campaign, which fell slightly short of achieving the amount of signatures needed to create a recall election.

Several local businessmen contend Wixom has threatened then not to go into competition with her restaurant, Carla’s Country Kitchen.

The Morro bay race for council filing period has been extended to next Friday after incumbent Councilman George Leage announced he would not be running for reelection. Leage has been under fire for living in a non-permitted residence and claiming it is permitted for locals to park in red zones.

There are currently three candidates for council — Matt Makowetski, John Headding, and incumbent Nancy Johnson.



  1. Pelican1 says:

    There are three kinds of politicians.. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
    I think we all know which one the Mayor is.

  2. LameCommenter says:

    It bears repeating. the Coastal Commission is NOT GOD. MB needs to SAVE ITSELF in a hurry, fight for the old plant, or you will walk the expensive Mayor Irons up-the-canyon, tens of millions lost up-the-extreme path Los Osos gig.

    Renew the existing plant. Mayor Irons should have put this giant expense to a vote, not done it on a thin 3-2 vote. MB voters, keep remembering, twenty four thousand plus very high monthly costs in Los Osos. LEARN from us, don’t follow us (and Irons) into the atomic size mistakes of Irons for you and theTacker/Cesena board for us in L.O.

    This is just a comment board, but Irons is so wrong, the cost to you homeowners or rental owners is SO CLEAR, so easy to see, I’m just freakin’ beggin’ you MB people. FIGHT.

  3. fishing village says:

    OH NO, was I positive again!! The foggie thinkers just can’t wait to jump right in and smear what you have said. Isn’t there anything they have to say that is good, forward thinking and a benefit to those of us who read (try to read) this website. I get tired of all the negative posts quickly and move on. We have so much work to do in MB to clean up the mess, work for better streets and other infrastructure and the WWTP to be built. I’m looking forward to the Wednesday workship on conservation in our City, how we can help! By working together we can get so much done. oops! was that positive!!

  4. Shocked in MB says:

    There is a 10,000 pound elephant in the room.
    How many of you out there that believe that the “old boys/girls” network exists in Morro Bay? For those of you that believe that, how many of you could afford to “RETIRE” at the age of 53, not take a 2nd job, devote all your time to politics and still be able to buy commercial property? By the way, do all of this in one of the most expensive places to live in California?

    I for one applaud individual accomplishment!! But if I am this person, I do believe that it may qualify me as part of the “old boy/old girl” network. Most of the people who are part of that “network” are still working at the businesses they created. How can so much leisure time be devoted to govt. at such a young age and not be considered part of the “elite” of Morro Bay?

    • mbactivist1 says:

      Money is NOT what makes one a part of what we refer to as the old boy/girl network – and yes, the network does exist. It is made up of a fairly small group of people, including some Embarcadero area merchants, some real estate people, and their pals that are (or were) in City government.

      These people have become accustomed to getting special favors and privileges – such as getting to live in a part of town where residential use is illegal, and having city officials and staff turn a blind eye. They have gotten used to being able to use City resources to harass people whose businesses they don’t want in their neighborhood. They have become used to being able to get a permit to build a project that violates the GP, the LCP, and zoning.

      Now, two of the main people who let these characters get away with all kinds of bad things are gone – removed by the current Council majority, and the old boys and girls are MAD. Now, they have to live like the rest of us and follow the law.

      Who gets to retire early, not take a second job, and still buy commercial property? The answer is, someone who worked hard, saved money, and invested wisely. Not everybody can do that, but there is no justification for condemning someone who did.

      By the way, since we are talking about money, if you want to check, you will probably find that another candidate for office has WAY more money than Irons – having married most of it.

      • taxpayer says:

        You must be talking about Bruce Gibson.

      • MBvoter says:

        Are you saying Irons got his money from his wife’s inheritance or from her $150k a year govt. job in SLO. I looked at their financial forms filed with the city, it doesn’t show the other candidate having near as many assets as the mayor

      • Myself says:

        Wheres the proof that these so called old boys get special favors,put up or shut up.

    • givemeabreak says:

      He is only 53? My he looks MUCH older.

    • givemeabreak says:

      I have lived here my whole life. Am I part of the club?

      • mbactivist1 says:

        If you have been getting unfair and illegal privileges and favors from City staff and officials, yes.

      • MajorityFan says:

        I have lived here my whole life. And it IS like having the 10,000 lb elephant lifted. I have been to a few campaign kickoffs now, and what amazes me is how, though some may see our majority council as young, how many of of our lifetime in MB seniors are the strongest supporters, and embracing the forward goals. We don’t need to have a $20/head bbq for funding, we have the citizens of Morro Bay involved and embracing the logic of growing our city, beyond the the deep fried fish and best damn clam chowder in town, stay in our motel called a hotel businesses, but ignore the citizens minority. I see this awareness as the citizens of MB making our city vital and attracting future generations to continue the spirit.

  5. fishing village says:

    Jamie Irons along with support from Christine Johnson and Noah Smuckler has a new vision, vitality and value for MB. The opposition doesn’t get it that what they’ve done in the past hasn’t worked! Being mean, nasty and awful just rallies the troops to work harder, walk more precincts to talk to the good people of MB. The message is so clear to those who have lived here forever that we need a new way. Those who lost power have continued down the old failed path. Jamie, Christine and Noah are willing and able to lead us into a new way, one that gets us a WWTP with recycled water in the future. WE know this is necessary, especially after the last drought and the State Water Project failing to provide the water we counted on. Jamie, Christine & Noah will work hard to continue fair treatment for all the citizens of MB. Think new! thoughts and stay tuned to more positive thinking from this great Council. Young, energetic and willing to work hard for a better place in which to live. Thank you, MB City council majority.

    • givemeabreak says:

      That is funny fishing village….willing to work hard? The 3 of them do not even have a job! Hard work? Oh please tell all of us what they know about HARD work. LMBO!!!!

    • Myself says:

      I’ve got a question about this more water from the treatment plant,where is that gonna come from does it multiply when it goes in,you need to put water in it to bet water out so where is this water going to come from.

  6. taxpayer says:

    Just what is Jamie Iron’s net worth? Between his real estate and stock holding this guy is worth millions! And he’s the one pushing that the past mayors had an agenda. Just how did this guy accumulate all this wealth while working at the power plant as a low lever worker? Also, how did he purchase so much commercial and residential real estate in Morro Bay in the last two years? No wonder he doesn’t care what any of his utopian dreams cost the average citizen of Morro Bay. If you’re living on a fixed income, he doesn’t care about you. He’s rich! Where did all this money come from and exactly what is he invested in?

    • mbactivist1 says:

      Other than jealousy, I see no reason for concern about Irons’ holdings, and I seriously doubt if he is worth millions. The property he has may be worth a lot, but unless he holds it outright, there are probably some big mortgages to be paid.

      So how did he get the real estate? He may have cashed out some money saved through saving and retirement plans at the power plant. I have known a number of people who accumulated money and real estate holdings through hard work and wise investments. What a novel concept….

      That said it, so long as brought up the subject, why do you not mention the huge amount of money that is backing the opposing candidate and ask where that came from?

    • Mr. Holly says:

      Sour grapes. Mr. Iron’s must have been a hard worker and has invested his money wisely. Unlike some people he hasn’t relied on the government to take care of his financial needs. As for you I would suggest that you back in get in line for all of the “free” benefits that you can get that have actually been paid for by the real taxpayers.
      Mr. Iron’s is what America is all about while evidently you too want to spread others wealth.

    • Pelican1 says:

      Most would agree, he’s worthless.

    • Old Salt says:

      None of your business / beeswax…!

      • taxpayer says:

        Actually it is the voters business which is why all candidates are required to reveal any and all of their investments to the public by the FPPC while they are in office and when they are running for office. This helps the public decide whether their elected officials are working for themselves or the interest of the public. There are some serious doubts with Jamie Irons.

    • diamond says:

      Taxpayer, If you’re so interested in where The mayors money came from, lets investigate all the council and where their assets came from. Lets start with Carla. Dirt poor, married Borchard. Divorced him =cha ching $$$, bought restaurant. Step two, (alleged) affair with then married Mr. Wixom, now is the current Mrs. Wixom. I guess that’s the old fashioned way. Then we have entitlement George the first, inherited everything, shuffling assets from uncle Sam in a constant shell game of who’s the real owner of his (maybe) three restaurants and apparently is above any “”little laws, as those are for other people. Your argument is Mayor Irons is rich and therefore he must not care about you? Carla cares about me? Carla cares about Carla, George for George and gaining power for themselves. Christine, Noah and Mayor Irons? No self gaining business interests, no breaking the law, no scandal. But shame on Mayor Irons who invested wisely. Your spin is invalid rhetoric.

      • Myself says:

        Carla had the restaurant before she married Mr Boarchard

      • Redsoxman says:

        Typical Irons supporter…when left without facts, attack the person with innuendos, hearsay, and personal bias……

  7. racket says:

    Sweet Louie-Lou-eye, all this coverage of little Morro Bay. Ya’ll are gonna need a slot at the new 97.1 K-Rock community radio.

    • rickholliday says:

      Rick Holliday to Racket: I’m ready to go on right now!
      Rick Holliday to 97.1 Rock Community Radio…..You can reach me through my attorney, David Vogel at (805) 540-7100, leave your name and number and I will call you back. You want the live story with all the parties present, all the evidence, FULL videos available for your listeners to pick up and news on whats coming next?

      This show would be..”TO HOT”for DAVE CONGOLTON and management etc. to deal with, besides it appears they don’t want “real” they want “fluff n fold” stories! Ball’s in your court if you want the exclusive before we take it “main stream” during this election and here’s why!

      On March 6th at 10 A.M. in a meeting in San Luis Obispo with all parties attorneys present, the City of Morro Bay decided to enter into a “BRINKMANSHIP” scenario with me using YOUR MONEY, WHY? Let me explain…..

      The city, knowing they are wrong has decided to circle it’s wagons with “all out war” in mind. You see it is the city of Morro Bay’s position that if I win my case(s) against them it will not only prove everything that I and others have been saying but it will also trigger other lawsuits to come forward with merit to their claims against the city! Mr. Irons is not my PUPPET MASTER and I will prove it in the weeks and months to come….On the airwaves, in newspapers, on the internet and in the streets of Morro Bay!

      The city will lose in it’s vein attempt to prove it is “NOT RESPONSIBLE” for the maintenance of city owned property, period! but the citizens KEEP LOOSING because of the actions of the city council, staff and employees!

      Mayor Irons, you’re no saint to Morro Bay citizens or businesses and Carla claiming she wants transparency in Morro Bay’s government is the biggest joke of all! Carla’s file at public works lacks the permits necessary for many of the “things” Carla has done. This only further shows she has either “been given”, “taken”, or just thinks she is “entitled” to special treatment!

      • mbactivist1 says:

        Rick, you said, “it is the city of Morro Bay’s position that if I win my case(s) against them it will not only prove everything that I and others have been saying but it will also trigger other lawsuits to come forward with merit to their claims against the city! ”

        I don’t think it’s surprising that this is their strategy. I personally know people who have been bullied and harassed by the City staff under the last administration. I think many of us do. If they all came forward and demanded compensation, it might bankrupt the City.

        Past administrations, with their total lack of respect for the law and for Morro Bay residents, have left a horrendous mess for the current one to clean up. As the truth is made public, the sins of those past administrations are going to cost Morro Bay taxpayers a lot of money.

        At this point, it was probably hard for the City Council and their legal counsel to figure out what to do – fight, or settle. Either way, it is going to be expensive.

    • givemeabreak says:

      LOL!!!!!!! racket ; )

    • MajorityFan says:

      Your comment makes about as much sense and a Kevin Rice comment. Just sayin’.

      • racket says:

        I thank you for the compliment, though I point out that Rice’s comments come from a body of research much broader than mine.

        I think what you mean is that Rice’s comments and mine are similar in that they both bother you.

  8. mbactivist1 says:

    Wrong on all counts. Look at the evidence regarding the Sun Bulletin building. Gossip? No way. Facts, yes.

    Who really divided the City? A small group was very upset that the former City Attorney and Manager were let go, because those people were their last means of getting the special treatment and favors that they had become accustomed to (see the Sun Bulletin building article and the article on Leage’s illegal apartment for examples).

    So, that small group decided to create a big fuss, thinking that if they made enough noise, people would think there were a lot of them. THEY are the ones who divided the City. That small, noisy group is on one side, and everybody else is on the other.

    Come to think of it, the City was always divided, with the small group controlling the City to get what they wanted, at the expense of everyone else. The only thing different now is that the division has become public, and thanks to CNN, we are finally finding out what those characters have been up to all this time.

    • mbactivist1 says:

      Note: the above is a reply to MBvoter’s message of 03/08/2014 at 2:04 pm.

    • givemeabreak says:

      Who really gives a rats a~~ where Leage lives or parks his car. If this is “news” we are definitely in REAL trouble. How about a story CCN on what MB new sewer plant is going to cost all of us under the 3 stooges leadership or lack thereof? Ya know something that we the citizens are going to paying for for a really LONG time.

      • MajorityFan says:

        I believe the 3 Stooges were Yates, the Nance and the sleeping George.

      • diamond says:

        Sure, why should anyone care that egomaniacal George, who is supposed to represent the people of Morro Bay, constantly breaks the law, cheats the tax man, drives drunk and votes himself favors? Only the citizens who live here. George is a joke and an embarrassment to the city so much so he even knows it’s time to stop. Now that he won’t be on the city council any longer he can go back to breaking the law quietly. How is it George never got fined for his many violations like the rest of us would have.Your entitlement mascot can now work behind the scenes. Nope! Nothing to see here.

  9. MBvoter says:

    Several local businessmen, really Karen. Jim Davis & Rick Holliday contact CCN with their conspiracy theory that their being kept out of business by local city officials when in fact most of the issues related to that building have to do with zoning regulations, parking requirements and sprinkler issues. This should be about the campaign and not hearsay gossip
    Irons has divided the city and is spending the reserves. We have a sewer to know where a year later, and these guys have more closed door meetings than any other council of late. Lets talk about the issues! If we are going to make it personal then then perhaps we should talk about all of mayor Irons real estate holding in Morro Bay

    • mbactivist1 says:

      The bills would have been far worse if the last administration had continued on, and fought the Coastal Commission – a battle they never would have won. As their former chair made clear in her letter to another local news publication:

      “True culpability lay with the former City Council majority and the city’s consultants, who advised the city to press ahead, at great expense to all concerned, with an ill-conceived project.” and,

      “The commission made a fully informed decision, supported by your sitting mayor. Our staff recommended denial of the permit, and commissioners agreed because the project as designed clearly failed to meet the requirements of the California Coastal Act and Morro Bay’s Local Coastal Program.

      “The mayor and current City Council should be commended for diligently acting on the strong message the commission sent: Alternative locations for the plant must be identified and thoroughly analyzed before seeking a Coastal Development Permit. “

      • givemeabreak says:

        mbactivist….tell that to my 93 year old mom that lives on a fixed income.

        • mbactivist1 says:

          The bottom line is that the plant cannot be built at the beach.

          Let me also add that if the past administration had done things right, instead of pushing for an obviously-illegal and risky project, we could have saved a lot of money and your mom, along with all of the rest of us, would have had lower bills.

          • givemeabreak says:

            mbactivist… think you ought to read LameCommenters post below.
            Bottom line we the hardworking citizens can not afford Jamie Irons. PERIOD.

    • LameCommenter says:

      Give me a break, as a property owner in Los Osos, I can tell you this: By trying to abandon the sensible downslope world-standard location (shoreline) of MB WWTP, on his bully whim, Irons has arrogantly doomed you to an opened ended bill. REVERSE this foolish or arrogant man and cabal RAPIDLY.

      (I don’t care how much property or how Irons got it, he’s trying to blow tens of millions of MB ratepayer dollars. r e v e r s e this error while you c a n)

      Expect to pay $ 60 to $ 150 more per month to pay for his arrogant, brainless, world-class-wrong judgment. Roughly commencing 2018. WWTP construction cost isn’t that difficult to judge. Neither is associated costs. As to Uniting MB to remove this incredibly misguided mayor, I’d say you have work cut out since some of our Los Osos extremists happily muddle and confuse and mislead regarding your city issues also.

      We (L.O. owners/investors) are doomed with our wastewater expenses for homeowners and rental owners. SAVE YOURSELVES, reverse the profoundly unwise decision; the existing location is absolutely the choice of the world, and California, for coastal plant location.

      As to you needing a reverse mortgage:

      DO NOT look to yourself to pay for Iron’s arrogant, profoundly wrong move. REMOVE HIM and adopt a town-wide DEMAND that the “Coastal Commission” extremists back down. A united Morro Bay can easily stand down the CCC and re-permit performing a sensible in situ upgrade.

      It kills me to OWN in L.O. and NOW to have to watch MB be managed intentionally over a crazy wasteful cliff.

      • mbactivist1 says:

        The Coastal Commission will not allow an plant at the beach. Period. It wouldn’t matter if Irons and everyone else in town was 100% for it. It’s not going to happen.

        • givemeabreak says:

          hmmmmm mb activist…..there are a couple of towns up in north on the beach that the CC initially said no to that have their plants on the beach. CC is NOT god.

          • mbactivist1 says:

            Every location is different. The Commission clearly is not going to change its mind on this one. For one thing, the vote for denial was UNANIMOUS. That’s important. NOBODY on that commission was leaning toward allowing the project. Listen to the audio on their Web site.

            Also, remember, Mary Shallenberger, who was chair of the CCC at the time the plant permit was denied later said,

            “At the time, I was frustrated that the commission was in the position of having to deny a project that should have been denied by the local government. The newly elected mayor was not to blame but bore the brunt of my frustration because he was representing the city at the hearing. True culpability lay with the former City Council majority and the city’s consultants, who advised the city to press ahead, at great expense to all concerned, with an ill-conceived project.

            The commission made a fully informed decision, supported by your sitting mayor. Our staff recommended denial of the permit, and commissioners agreed because the project as designed clearly failed to meet the requirements of the California Coastal Act and Morro Bay’s Local Coastal Program.”

            Note the term “ill-conceived project”. The CCC is not going to let the new plant be built at the beach. Period.

            • Myself says:

              The CC is a left leaning bunch,they don’t want anything top be built anywhere that they think is in its jurisdiction we can not afford the plant go anywhere out of the area,up hwy 41 is in the county,not even in thew sphere of influence of MB,it will have cost overruns of millions,CMC is not going to work either way too much to do this,Chevron is out they don’t want it there,but maybe the old Texaco plant might be a good spot.

      • givemeabreak says:

        LC…….you hit the nail right on the head!

    • rickholliday says:

      Rick Holliday to MBvoter: Your wrong in your statement that “it’s mostly about zoning, parking and sprinkler issues”!
      We proved the zoning was correct, we proved that parking was not the issue and we knew we had to install sprinklers, it was in our plans and being dealt with. The issue was that the city would not except our business application! We took meeting after meeting with city staff and were continually told that we could put in either a “TAVERN OR B&B! We just keep saying no and they keep saying you will never get what you want because it does not “fit in” with what “we want”! Oppression, harassment and intimidation from city staff, employees etc., is what you get in Morro Bay!

      • givemeabreak says:

        Oh gaaaaaaaawd Mr. Holliday. You would think you were talking about some waterfront high dollar property……all this fuss over the market street ghetto? Move on for gods sake.

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