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This profile was last updated on 3/1/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Employment History

  • Member
    Carmel City Council

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Sunset Grammar School
Web References
Carmel Residents Association Newsletter October 2003, 29 Mar 2012 [cached]
How can CRA member Howard Brunn be described in one brief article? He deserves a full book. Wartime bomber pilot with many decorations, former actor, successful businessman, environmental activist, public benefactor, former City Council member, long-time Carmel resident, Howard Brunn seems to have done it all.
Born in San Francisco in 1923, but raised in Carmel when his father opened a garage here in 1926, Brunn has been successful in just about every endeavor he has chosen. His life story is closely entwined with the history of the village he loves.
Howard attended the Sunset Grammar School, then went to the newly opened Carmel High and graduated with its second class. His favorite subjects were English and dramatics, and he developed a taste for the theater. He acted in school plays, and, a natural leader, was elected president of the student body.
Then, while in high school, he turned his attention to aviation, an interest that has never left him. In 1941 Howard passed the exam for Aviation Cadet and graduated from school shortly before Pearl Harbor. He went directly into the Army Air Corps. Stationed in Corsica during the war, he flew seventy missions piloting B-25 bombers in the Mediterranean and European Theaters. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with eleven oak leaf clusters, the European Theater Ribbon with four battle stars, and his outfit won two Presidential Unit Citations.
After separation from the Air Force, he returned to his first love, the theater, and on the G.I. Bill studied drama at the Gellar Theater Workshop in Westwood and the Oliver Hillsdale Studio. He returned to Carmel in 1949.
Howard found that rehearsals took too much time from his family, so, ever versatile, he gave up acting and turned his talents to business, opening Howard Brunn's Men's Shop in the Pine Inn. "We specialized in traditional clothing," he says.
Howard combines his talents for business with community service. He's what the mainstream press likes to call an "activist," concerned about habitat preservation and the environment. As a member of the Carmel City Council from 1978 to 1982, he helped organize OLAF, the Odello Land Acquisition Fund, which kept the artichoke farm near Point Lobos from being sold to developers. He was a leader in the fight to keep supertankers out of Monterey Bay. For thirteen years he's served the Hatton Canyon Coalition as board member and treasurer, and celebrates the fact that "it will never, never become a freeway. Howard helped in the early days of the Big Sur Land Trust and was a member of its initial Advisory Committee. Today he serves on the boards of the Carmel Preservation Foundation and the Carmel Valley Forum.
The Brunns live in a strikingly beautiful home near the mouth of Carmel Valley, contemporary in styling, with a marked feeling of openness. Howard explains that when they bought it, it was considered a "tear-down," but Courtney went to work, and thanks to her, it's a thing of beauty.
As for his early interest in the stage, he says he has no time to be active. "We go to plays here and still go to New York every year for the theater. Furthermore, an active interest in jazz has led to his becoming the president of the very successful Monterey Jazz Festival. "After all," he grins, "isn't the Festival really a form of theater?"
A few years ago, he decided he missed the joys of flying. So, in his mid-seventies, he went to Hollister to take up gliding-powerless flight. "Mostly for the challenge of doing it right," he says. And, like everything else he does, he did it right. So very right that he gave it up because it became "boring," "Not enough of a challenge."
Whatever he does, he once told a reporter, "I love every minute of what I'm doing."
That sounds like Howard Brunn.
Carmel Residents Association Newsletter July 2001, 12 Jan 2012 [cached]
At the May meeting, Howard Brunn pointed out that rent should run 8% - 10% of expenses, but in Carmel can be as high as 20%.
In May, Howard Brunn suggested that the city should buy a large piece of property off of Ocean Avenue for small stores and charge reasonable rents.
Participants were Mike Brown, owner of Perspectacles, Howard Brunn, originator of several Carmel businesses, Kati Lewis, owner, with husband Alan, of La Bohéme Restaurant, Jim Okart, owner of J. Lawrence Khaki's in the Barnyard, Clive Rayne, former co-owner of Derek Rayne and Diana Tiernan, manager of Carmel Plaza.
Howard Brunn said he was "painfully aware that we can't go back to where we were," but hoped that tenants and landlords would realize that the "Golden Goose is not going to lay another egg. Kati Lewis felt that we "have to do what needs to be done to retain character. We are losing it incrementally day by day. She would love to see Ocean Avenue turned into a main street we can be proud of rather than "a shopping street of very low quality.
As it stands now, Howard Brunn felt that "Carmel is a mall without a roof.
Howard Brunn suggested that residents should "know the ordinances and be a watchdog for business just like you are in your neighborhoods.
In response to a question about the proposed Business Improvement District (BID), Howard Brunn warned "I don't think the city should give up one iota of its ability to control the business district.
Carmel Residents Association Newsletter October 2006, 1 Oct 2006 [cached]
The first meeting was at Jane Mayer's house with an initial group of some 35 diverse members of the community who supported our efforts . This included the Concerned Citizens, Robert Campbell,* Charlotte Townsend, Dale Hekhuis, Howard Nieman,* Noel Mapstead, Fenn* and Joan Horton, Phil* and Janice O'Berg, Joyce Stevens, Charlotte Anderson and business community members Mike Brown, Howard Brunn and Bob Leidig.
Carmel Residents Association Newsletter February 2003, 1 Feb 2003 [cached]
A panel consisting of Rodocker, former Business District Advisory Committee Chair Mel Kline and businessman and former City Councilman Howard Brunn, was on hand to help with the discussion.
Howard Brunn felt strongly that the onetime gain from selling property was not worth the loss to the city of appreciating assets.
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