John Thomas Patton Wants to Raise the Quality of Life in Costa Mesa

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Back in the summer of 2020, Costa Mesa resident John Thomas Patton and his then one and half-year-old son headed to the playground in a local park.

“What did we see when we got there? Caution tape,” Patton said.

They were planning to play on the swing and enjoy the summer breeze, but were stopped short. The city had implemented COVID restrictions in public spaces, which didn’t allow use of public facilities.

This triggered Patton to question local officials. But what pushed him to run for the Costa Mesa City Council for District 3 in the Nov. 8 election was when he tried to get a homeless woman living next to his house to move.

“It’s about quality of life,” he said. “It’s about what this city is going to look like in 20 years for my three-year-old son and my three-month-old daughter.”

Epoch Times Photo
Costa Mesa City Council District 3 candidate John Thomas Patton in Irvine, Calif., on Sept. 15, 2022. (Jack Bradley/The Epoch Times)

He said that it is key to have organizations that know how to work with mental illness work directly with homeless individuals to solve the issue in the city.

Giving hotel rooms to homeless people will only worsen the situation, according to Patton.

“It’s not compassionate to hand them the key to their own room with no rules. It’s a death sentence,” he said.

Another issue he’s concerned about is Measure K—a Nov. 8 Costa Mesa ballot initiative that would allow mixed-use projects in commercial and industrial areas without first going on the ballot for a vote.

He said he fears, if passed, it will create unregulated growth of big developments in the city, without the promise of affordable housing.

The measure is “deceptive at best,” he said.

He said if Measure K passes it will make the cost of living go up in the district he is seeking election—districts 3 and 4, where many low-income communities reside.

“This will gentrify District 4, and most of the Hispanic community will not be able to afford to live in that area,” he said.

If elected, regardless of the voting outcome of the measure, he said that it is most important for him to represent the voters’ will and hold regular town hall meetings.

Patton’s background working as a financial advisor has pushed him to pay attention to what he calls the city’s fiscal crisis.

According to city financial records, it is currently $240 million in debt.

A 2021 financial report produced by the city showed Costa Mesa with an unrestricted net deficit of over $240 million, due to budgeting issues and large liabilities the city owes.

“[That means] every resident in the city of Costa Mesa would have to give $2,200 to the city in order for us to get out of debt,” he said. “A priority for me is to pay down that debt.”

Patton grew up in Orange County and has lived in Costa Mesa for six years with his wife and two children.

“Costa Mesa has a long history of being a wonderful place for families to grow up and prosper and thrive. And I want to make sure that it stays that way,” he said.

Patton is running against current mayor Andrea Marr and health insurance patient advocate Jorge Miron.

Sophie Li

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