“I’m running for city council!” KC’s words caught me off guard. Although I have lived in Huntington Beach since 1993 I have never been involved in city politics. My interactions with elected officials have been pretty much limited to waving at them as they passed by during the 4th of July parade. My experience with city hall is equally limited, centered around construction permits and business licenses. It was surprising to realize that a friend of mine might soon be a part of city government. Yet as I thought about the man I know KC to be, it made sense.
I have known KC Fockler for over 20 years. Our kids played youth sports together and his son was on a baseball team I coached. I had a lot to learn about coaching and on one occasion my inexperience resulted in me being less than fair to his son. KC pulled me aside to talk it over. I do not remember the specific words he spoke but I have never forgotten the grace and kindness he displayed. He was right and I was wrong but he did not approach me with anger or condescension. He gave me the benefit of the doubt and treated me with respect. He had class.
A few years later KC showed up as a patient in my office. The fact that he trusted me as his doctor was further evidence that he had chosen to see the best in me. Over the years that followed I saw him for physicals and routine health care, with plenty of time for us to catch up on life and family. We talked about his job and our kids. It was clear to me that he was a good dad, a good teacher and a good man. He cares about people and he cares about our city.
In the few months since he told me about his candidacy we have talked more about his heart for Huntington Beach. One Saturday we met for breakfast so we could talk in depth about what he hoped to accomplish. I should not have been surprised, but he seemed more interested in my thoughts about Huntington Beach than he was in sharing his own. He came with a note pad and made notes of my questions and concerns.
When I asked about his plans his answers were straightforward and sincere. He wants to serve. He wants to help people get involved, to participate, to be invested. He wants Huntington Beach to be a city that feels more like a small town, where ideas are welcomed and citizens are served. He showed remarkable insight into the issues our city faces, from pension liabilities to homelessness, with a willingness to consider any solution.
A few weeks ago KC impressed me even more. I sat in his living room in a meeting he hosted with people interested in his campaign. He was once again in listening mode. I later learned exactly how intently he had been listening. Someone had brought up issues of trash in the local parks. It was a little thing, something that could be easily dismissed, but not by KC. The next day he made a call to Republic Services, the trash collection agency that serves Huntington Beach, and came up with a possible solution!
I am not informed enough to know how to solve the problems of my city. The issues are complex and challenging. I am nonetheless comforted in the knowledge that there is at least one good man with integrity who is willing to serve, a man I am proud to call a friend.
Huntington Beach residents who want to know more about KC can call him at 714-722-1710, or visit his website at https://www.surfcitycouncil.org/about.html