Getting to Know the Candidates, 2012 – John Capoccia

Election/Seat Sought: Regular Election, one of two 4 year seats

Photo courtesy of John Capoccia, click to enlarge

John Capoccia

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Campaign Kickoff Party: Sunday, Feb. 19th at 2 pm at the Home of Pat and Tim Karamitros, 140 E Alegria, Sierra Madre.  Click to view event flyer

Bio information as provided by candidate:�
Here’s why I’m running for Sierra Madre City Council:

  • As a 28 year resident of Sierra Madre and having reared three children from birth to adulthood here, I care deeply about our town and want to preserve and sustain Sierra Madre’s distinctive character for future generations.
  • I have the necessary Experience, Leadership, Communication, Collaboration and Analytical skills to collaborate purposefully to shape the City’s future in a positive, thoughtful manner, while ensuring that our city government operates in the most efficient manner.
  • I believe in government “By the People, for the People”. Sierra Madre has a talented and well-informed citizenry. I will ensure that the collective vision and will of our citizens is the foundation for planning and decision-making.

My wife Marta and I moved to Sierra Madre in 1983, when we purchased our current home from the estate of long-time resident Clara Sykes at 91 W. Highland.   We can’t imagine living anywhere else.  We’re fortunate to have reared our three children, Lauren, Joe, and Susie here.  The village atmosphere of Sierra Madre played a significant role in our children’s development.

When we first moved in, we were ”the young couple,” surrounded by many long–time residents.   These wonderful neighbors took a tremendous interest in us and our children as they arrived and grew up.  Many lived the better part of their lives here, and have now passed on.  We’ve come full circle now, as young families and children are now starting to join our community.  I want the next generation to enjoy the experience of raising their children in Sierra Madre as much as we enjoyed it.  I have an obligation to fight to preserve Sierra Madre’s unique charm and small-town atmosphere.

I am a hard-working, can-do, self-reliant, frugal person.   I retired early at age 57 from AT&T in April, and am now in a position to serve the Citizens of Sierra Madre with dedication, enthusiasm and vigor.  These same attributes, frugality and self-sufficiency, will serve me well on the City Council and will benefit the Citizens of Sierra Madre.

At AT&T, I’ve held managerial and leadership positions over my 27 year career, the last ten as a General Manager.  During these years, I’ve developed collaboration, communication, leadership and analytical skills that are necessary to ensure that Sierra Madre’s interests are well-served.  I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cal State University at LA, and like most engineers, I am a problem solver.  I’m also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®).

Over the years I’ve served on the Parks and Recreation Commission (now Community Services) including as chairperson.  I’ve spent countless hours serving on the boards of both the Sierra Madre Little League and Pony League, including President of the Pony League.  During these years, dramatic improvements were made to Heasley and Dapper fields.   Volunteers raised money and labored tirelessly to improve the programs, resulting in an enhanced experience for our youth and their families, and binding them together with a sense of community.  This is an example of the best of Sierra Madre.  I’ve seen many of our youth establish life-long friendships and grow up to be productive, respectful young citizens.

I’ve also participated in the development of our Youth Master Plan and I’m currently a board member of the Sierra Madre Community Foundation.  My wife Marta has also performed countless hours of volunteer work.  Through volunteer work, we’ve met many people and made terrific friends over the years, enhancing and deepening our ties to the community.

I believe in the collective power of individuals through the democratic process.  In other words, “By the People, For the People.”   Sierra Madre has a talented and informed citizenry with a wealth of experience and skills.  We can do more to tap this incredible resource to ensure that decisions represent the vision and will of Sierra Madre residents.  Our city government must be transparent and open and employ honest dialogue when making decisions.

On a more personal level, now that our kids are grown, Marta and I have had some extra time to enjoy some of the other fantastic attributes of Sierra Madre.  We’ve run the Mt. Wilson Trail Race the last few years. We use the trails frequently to walk and run our two dogs, Freddy and Penny.  We’ve participated in several City-sponsored recreation programs.

And we have always enjoyed the many events in town such as the Art Fair and Wisteria Festival as well as our downtown area with its many shops, terrific restaurants, and of course, the wonderful Sierra Madre Playhouse.  It’s critical that our city government fosters an atmosphere where our businesses can thrive, as our downtown is one of those attributes that enhances the community and makes Sierra Madre special.

In summary, I am a long-time member of our community, and I am well qualified with regard to education, experience and skills to ensure that Sierra Madre remains safe, retains its distinctive character, provides essential city services, and does so in a financially responsible way.

We have many challenges ahead of us.  We are in the process of updating our General Plan, which will define our vision of Sierra Madre for the next twenty years.  We’re facing increasing budget pressures from rising costs and misguided mandates from the State government, and we’re facing development pressures that if not managed carefully, could change the nature of the town that we love dearly.  I promise to seek input from Sierra Madre residents and discuss and debate the issues purposefully and respectfully while proposing and pushing for solutions that are in the best interests of Sierra Madre.

I would be honored and privileged to represent the Citizens of Sierra Madre on the City Council.

Responses to SierraMadreNews.Net Candidate Q and A Questionnaire

Q.  What’s your favorite type of music?
A.  Old-School Jazz, Ellington, Sara Vaughn, Modern Jazz Quartet, Stan Getz.  I also like Classic Rock, and lately I’m getting acquainted with Country.  I really like Merle Haggard

Q.  In or out of that genre, what’s your favorite album/CD?
A.  That’s a tough one, but I never get tired of listening to Kenny Burrell’s “Ellington is Forever” (it’s absolutely fantastic!!)

Q.  What’s your favorite movie?
A.   Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams

Q.  Who’s your favorite actor?
A.  Marlon Brando

Q.  Who’s your favorite actress?
A.  Meryl Streep

Q.  What’s your favorite book?
A.   Steinbeck’s East of Eden

Q. Who’s your favorite author?
A.  John Steinbeck

Q.  What’s your favorite TV show?
A.  Modern Family (for this, I blame my wife Marta)

Q.  What’s your favorite meal?
A.  Oysters on the half shell (I know, that’s not a meal..)

Q.  Who’s your favorite comic?
A.  Robin Williams

Q.  Your favorite sports team?
A.   Dodgers (there once was a big gap between number one and number 2 (Lakers) but the McCourts changed all that)

Q.  Who is/was your favorite president (living or dead)?
A.  Abraham Lincoln

Q.  Who’s better — Mel Torme or Vic Damone?
A.  Mel Torme

Q.  Beatles or Rolling Stones?
A.  BEATLES!!!!!

Q.  U2 or Rush?
A.  Who the hell are they?

Q.  Beach Boys or Jan and Dean?
A.  Beach Boys

Q.  Paper or plastic?
A.  Neither.  Bring your own bag

Q.  What are your hobbies?
A.  Cars, (I have two vintage Bimmers and a Land Cruiser), Tennis (I’m a 4.0 NTRP), backpacking, fishing, wordworking (I’ve made a good percentage of the furniture in my home)

Q. What’s your favorite sport to watch?
A.  Baseball

Q. What’s your favorite sport to participate in?  �
A.  Tennis

Q.  If you could meet a famous figure from the past, who would you choose and why?
A.  Abraham Lincoln, by far our greatest president.  If not for him, the nation and “this great experiment” would not have survived

Q.  If you could meet a famous figure from today, who would it be and why?
A.  Tommy Lasorda.  He is the most incredible motivator.  It still amazes me how he got the ’88 Dodgers to win the world series, and also overcoming overwhelming odds to win the Olympic Gold Metal.  He’s also funny as hell, if you’ve ever heard the Doug Rau, Dave Kingman or Curt Bevaqua tapes, you’d know what I mean.