City attorney with right-wing agenda fights for survival in increasingly blue Huntington Beach
When Bill Young’s office first opened at 703 Broadway last spring, it featured a stack of mail in its window, a few folders of papers on the desk and a worn wooden stool for a receptionist.
There were no computers, no files on the computer — although Young has vowed to upgrade the building’s computers and files later this year — and no electronic system for taking in phone calls.
The office, near the entrance to the beach, was the first in a new building that is being built on Broadway and Huntington Beach Boulevard. The office has taken on more of Young’s personality as he moves from one side of town to the other, fighting a battle for survival with a mayor and city council who are on the same page on issues like public health and gay rights. The battle’s outcome will likely determine the fate of a third beach city, a cause Young’s hard-partying style seems to be making popular across the state.
“I think Huntington Beach’s doing a great job. I didn’t hear a single complaint about this office,” said Young, the city’s attorney.
Young’s office has been one of the main battlegrounds of the local government’s struggle with the mayor and city council over issues like public health, public safety and funding for new projects. The battle has come to a head as the city faces an increasingly uncertain future as Mayor Terry Lynn Scoville leaves office after 10 years.
Young, 56, has been at the center of an office battle with city officials over everything from which beach homes can be built to a proposed ballot measure to ban smoking.
He has been criticized as a political king-maker who has helped the city’s political leaders to land in power by steering contracts or funding to his city and city employees. He is one of three sitting or former city officials named as defendants in a