Questions & Answers as they appear in the Santa Monica Mirror newspaper.
for City Council Candidates
1. Why are you running for the City Council?
2. What in your background, training and experience qualifies you to serve?
- I am running for the City Council to change people's lives for the better - I want to reverse the trend in this city and put the needs of residents first. I am demanding a responsive and sensible Santa Monica City Government. I want to put an end to the two party systems (i.e., S.M.R.R.-left wing & Chamber - right wing) that had led us into the current situations that we are in. What's wrong with a moderate candidate?
3. Are you running as an independent, allied with other candidates and/or an organization's slate? If the latter, please name the organization.
- I am a native of this area and I've been helping people my whole life. I helped to expose Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush's criminal activities while he was in office. I look at myself as a consumer activist and I am one of the founding members and the current Chair of `Neighbors for a Safer Santa Monica'.
- I currently have a pending ordinance on the books in Santa Monica to modify the Noise Ordinance and another pending ordinance dealing with the day laborers. I have specific plans to improve traffic, parking & congestion; to eliminate the blight of vagrancy; for responsible development and to improve the city's schools.
4. Are you for or against the following programs, projects and/or proposals?
- I am running as an independent candidate which means no special interest favors needs to be paid back.
a. More City-funded affordable housing.
b. Rent control.
- Only for the residents of Santa Monica and not the entire country. Charity starts at home.
c. The proposed downtown Transit Mall.
- Rent control is part of the City Charter and can only be changed by a vote of the people and who am I to take away the voice of the people if they choose to keep it or remove it (I am a renter myself).
d. Social services for the homeless.
- I am against this project. It is designed to crush the downtown area by nature and it is S.M.R.R.'s first step towards their goal to create a `vehicle free' downtown Santa Monica.
e. City grants to SMMUSD.
- Our current policies are failing. We must stop advertising to the Nation's chronically ill and habitual criminals to come to Santa Monica and abuse our social services when our own citizens fall on hard times, who cannot get services quick enough to keep them out of harms way.
f. The proposed City-sponsored Living Wage ordinance.
- Many cities across the country take active financial planning in their schools and they are non partisan. In Santa Monica, it's one party that has a strangle hold on our schools. They are solely responsible for our failing financial situation in our school system. So, we must remove the politics and get our house in order financially.
g. The business-sponsored alternative Living Wage initiative, Prop KK, which is on the November ballot.
- I am against this because wages should be set at a State or Federal level. This initiative does not include the city employees and it ties the hands of private businesses in their hiring practices and forces them to hire their employees from a hiring hall.
h. Expansion of the Big Blue Bus facilities.
- Same as the answer above. But, I would be voting for KK because it removes the authority of a few special interest groups, council members dictating what wages will be.
i. Restricted air traffic at Santa Monica Airport.
- I am against the parking structure that they proposed to build as part of their expansions. I believe the bus yard should have the room to expend but again the politics is in the way of a quality expansion. Look at 505 Olympic and the new scheduled homeless housing project when this properties should be used for the bus yard, rather than applying eminent domain across the street between 7th & Lincoln on Colorado for this project.
j. Traffic calming measures.
- I am in support of this. As a native of this area, I can speak with first hand experience on what an absolute disruption our of lives these jets have become and we have the two parties to thank for this in spite of the FAA and the City's 1984 agreement.
k. Continuing commercial development of the Pier, as proposed by the Pier Restoration Corp.
- I am against these foolish and dangerous obstructions.
l. The proposed Target Department Store in downtown Santa Monica.
- I am against any more development of our Pier. They have over developed it as it is and this type of development is drawing the wrong crowd to our shore lines and causing grief for the local residents of the area.
m. Preferential parking zones.
- Reality is that I already shop at Target and probably will continue. But the question is can our downtown area and small businesses handle this crush of vehicle traffic that would come with this type of department store? No.
n. Continuing City promotion of tourism as our principal industry.
- They are a necessary evil that the politicians are using to continue to pit us against one another without addressing the real problem - parking development standards and guidelines.
o. City collaboration with Santa Monica College on such facilities as the new municipal swimming pool.
- I remember this issue was a heated debate in this community. But now, we have all these hotels and we are making a great deal of money off of them. We can't just shut them down like some would like to happen.
p. The 10% Utility Tax.
- Yes, we can continue to collaborate and we must continue. But, we must remember the College is now primarily funded by the State.
q. Unionization of Santa Monica hotel workers.
- We voted in this tax to help our police department, but this tax is going into the general fund as well. It was not our intention, so we must roll it back if we are not using it as it was intended.
5. In your view, what are the three biggest problems in Santa Monica? How would you solve these problems?
- Unions are formed in businesses when the employees lead to charge for higher wages. It should not be the place for politicians to make national headlines for their own political gains.
A. The homeless:
- Stop inviting the nations problems to our doorsteps. I prefer encouraging cooperation from other cities and the State to bear their shares of this burden.
- We have to stop granting parking variances to buildings & businesses that are knowingly under parked and modify our zoning ordinances to increase the parking standard.
6. If you were elected, what if any, new policies, proposals, projects would you initiate?
- Stop the bonehead traffic calming procedures and move traffic rather than backing up traffic which is making it unsafe for all of us.
7. What do you value most in Santa Monica?
- If I were elected, I plan to change our current handout programs dealing with the homeless/vagrants. I would like to make it a charter amendment by the vote of the people on how much and how far we should go on the issue.
- I also plan to dedicate as much time as humanly possible in dealing with the modification of our building code standards in Santa Monica and educating the general public in how important the building code standards affect our lives.
8. What you most dislike, here and now, in Santa Monica?
- I value most the quality of life we once had.
9. In your view, is Santa Monica a better or worse place to live and work than it was four years?
- I most dislike the way the city is being run by groups of single issue, single-minded people and now is time to end that ideological philosophy.
10. In general, are you pleased or displeased with the performance of City staff?
- Santa Monica is a worse place to live than it was four years ago.
- I am very concerned with the performance of some City Departments.