Thursday, October 18, 2007

October 18 Candidates Forum at Crestwood.

First I would like to thank Glenn Cornell, the President of the Rolling Hills Riviera HOA for assisting me in bringing the five candidates for the three available seats on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council together, for a Candidates Forum.

Thanks is the least I can say to Mr. Jim O'Donnell, the marvelous timekeeper who did a great job keeping politicians and their long-windiness under great control.

To Mayor Tom Long, Mayor Pro Tem Doug Stern, Councilman Steve Wolowicz, Traffic Safety Commissioner Paul Wright, and Mr. Don Reeves, we all want to thank you for your participation, enthusiasm, energy, and care in addressing all of us at the Forum.

To the 28 hearty souls that made up the audience, I don't think I can thank you enough. I know it was a terrible showing for our area to have so few people interested enough to attend the Forum, but all of you stayed until the end, demonstrated a willingness to engage the candidates, and participate in an activity that hundreds of millions of people only wish they too could have a chance to participate in.

The evening provided a lot of information about the candidates. Web sites for each candidate can be found on another post on this blog.

The evening saw two very contentious issues that divided the candidates and the audience. The issue of crime in Rancho Palos Verdes brought about the most "debate" among the candidates who had more than a few back and forth comments about whether crime was a large problem in Rancho Palos Verdes, whether it was going up or staying relatively flat, and what can and should be done about the perceived notion by members of the audience and some candidates, concerning crime.

The Storm Drain issue and Measures C and D also brought about lively questioning and discussion among all who were present. Four candidates believe Measure C should be approved, that will create a 10-year sunset on the collection of fees, and have a citizens advisory panel created to monitor the fee and usage of the collected fees. Measure D would repeal the fee or levy, if the majority of voters voted "YES" on the ballot.

The Forum ended before everyone had their chance to ask questions or make comments. This blog invites anyone and everyone to create comments to this post concerning the Forum, their choice for which candidates they support, and their opinion on the two Storm Drain measures.

Commenting allows folks to let others know information that may have not be passed at the Forum and gives everyone a chance to sound off, make their cases, and participate more in the upcoming election.

The comments will be moderated so that foul language will be erased and/or characters will not be assassinated, but I will try my very best to let every single word written on each and every comment to get posted.

As far as complete inclusion into the P.V.P.U.S.D. by students, parents, and others living in the "Eastview" area of Rancho Palos Verdes, all five candidates favored having our residents vote in P.V.P.U.S.D. elections and have the education portion of our property taxes go from L.A.U.S.D. to P.V.P.U.S.D.

On the matter of Ponte Vista, four of the five candidates strongly favored keeping the property zoned as it currently is. Mr. Don Reeves favors the "minority report" be five members of Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee which called for a mix of units, including condominiums, single-family residences, and town homes.

I strongly wish that everyone who attended the Forum, including the candidates, create comments to this post. By offering everyone the opportunity to express their opinions and who they support and why, we all may gain better understanding about who we should elect to govern us and "run" Rancho Palos Verdes.

Frankly I was embarrassed due to the lack of concern by residents of "Eastview" into the election and participation at the Forum. If folks complain that our elected officials seem to ignore us, it is completely our fault! If we continue to have only 11% of the eligible voters willing to cast votes, and so few citizens interested in being a part of our own city's government, then they should not complain or they should make the changes necessary to let our elected officials know that we should not be ignored.

28 out of a possible 4,000, which is the number of audience members and the number of potential voters now living in our area, shows all of us that we are not willing to demonstrate the essential care and consideration to be worthy of inclusion into the governing of ourselves, through our elected officials in Rancho Palos Verdes. Shame on us!

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