HMB is an older seaside community primarily formed by hardworking immigrant families building farms, ranches, fishing (commercial and sport) on a larger seaside stretch that also supports logging, quarrying, and small amounts of mining.
Originally invaluable producers, there were hopes of a bedroom community for San Francisco, but geographic problems throttled speedy commute access. The early envirowackos obstructed road construction and much suburban expansion bypassed HBM. Still 60's leftie yuppies moved in and eventually outvoted the bluecollar/semi-rural locals.
Coming from the big cities, and knowing how to chisel and cheat, the locals were easy pickings for the leftie manipulators. They turned the city government into what the left always does, a device to remove wealth from the pockets of the citizens and deliver it to insider cronies of the city officeholders and bureaucrats. Not many of the originals who built the value of the community remain, and their children are more technologically educated, and have left the area.
Mrs. Patriot was born and raised there, was an unimproved property owner, but sold before the wackos could devalue the property. The current owner lives on the property with his family in a trailer home, and cannot get a permit to build his dream home under any circumstances. In a draw, a small stream that runs only in winter, makes the 130 acre parcel a wetland that cannot tolerate one R1 home.
It is hard to say exactly how many of the citizens would demand a recall. Certainly most of the Johnnie come lately envirowackos would not, they would lose dictatorial power and insider benefits. The few remaining good guys can't win whether or not they kick out the city council, the city still has to pay the judgment and the new lawyers to appeal.
The council undoubtedly thinks the Ninth Circus will overturn, but there's a new SCOTUS in town and the property owner will probably take it there, (he has threatened to enforce the full judgment if the city appealed instead of negotiating with him, and they appealed). SCOTUS may uphold (probably), but the environazis will just move their obstruction to county levels as all the wacko envirolaws still remain. The only improvement is the city fathers will be out of work and have to start spending their graft.
Subsiquent to my post to you, I had an e-mail exchange with one of my best friends who has lived there for about twenty years. His acessement of the political climate has been similar to yours, but he does add that the current city council is a vast improvement over what they have had in the past.
His feeling is that they are paying for the “sins of the fathers” and that the envirnmental excess and anti-property rights procedures are now so ingrained and formally fixed that it will take decades to correct from the problems.