E-ditorial – SierraMadreNews.Net’s City Council Election Endorsements

Posted 3/11/12 – By Bill Coburn

SierraMadreNews.Net’s “Get to Know the Candidates” page

This editorial is the opinion of Bill Coburn, publisher of Sierra Madre News Net and 17 year Sierra Madre resident.  It is not intended to reflect the views of any other person or entity with whom I am associated.

Special Election for the remaining two years of Joe Mosca’s vacated seat

SierraMadreNews.Net is endorsing Colin Braudrick.  I believe Colin will make a good City Councilman.  He has proven with his work on the General Plan Update Steering Committee that he is hard working, bright, capable, and open to the ideas of others, even though he may not initially agree with them.  These are, obviously, all traits one wants to see in their elected officials.  I also liked that Colin looked at the UUT measure one step further than some of the other candidates,voicing his concern about the effect on bond ratings should the ratings institutions be anxious about uncertainty in City revenues. It’s easy for a candidate trying to woo you into voting for him to tell you that he’s doing what’s in YOUR best interests: “I’m against adding to your tax burden by extending or increasing the UUT.”  But I want my City Council members to be doing what’s in the best interest of the CITY, even if it means implementing policies that they don’t really want to (like extending taxes).  I don’t want their decisions to be based on ideology that they are so firmly committed to that they won’t consider any alternative.  I like Chris Koerber, he’s a nice guy.  But I’m voting for Colin .

Regular Election for two 4-year seats

SMNN is endorsing John Harabedian.  John was born and raised here, so he knows how things have been done and has the history of the town as a background, woven into his life and a part of who he is. He attended Yale, Oxford and Stanford (seems like a decent education), getting a Masters Degree in Public Policy and his JD.  He intends to settle down and raise a family here, so he is fully invested in our future.  In our discussions, he has presented himself as well spoken, practical, and energetic; and he seems to have a lot of good ideas, such as a public safety oversight committee.  We agree on most of the issues that we’ve discussed.  And I think it’s a good idea to have someone on the Council that is an attorney, so that matters of the law are considered in the decision making process.  I know we have a City Attorney at each meeting, but their job is to advise on legal issues when asked, or if something being considered violates existing law, and if nobody asks, it’s not their place to bring things up.

SMNN is also endorsing Gene Goss.  Gene has studied politics for much of his adult life, he has a Masters Degree in Political Science.  Heck he teaches it at Long Beach City College.  I think that knowledge might be helpful to the City.  His experience as Technology Committee Chair at LBCC might also come in handy in assessing the City’s methods and policies regarding technology.  As an academic, he will bring analytical skills to the table as well.  He has a young son that he wants to continue to raise here in Sierra Madre, so he is fully invested in the future of our town, as well.  I didn’t know Gene before this campaign, but we’ve sat down a few times and talked, and I have been comfortable with him right from the start, and we are on the same page with the issues we’ve discussed.  That’s not a prerequisite for my endorsement, by the way.  I don’t have to agree on everything with a candidate in order to endorse them.  But in this case, we seem to be pretty much of like mind, and for me, that’s a definite plus.

I’ll be perfectly comfortable with it if John Cappocia gets voted in.  John has shown me that he is good at analyzing issues, he cares about the town, and I think he would be a good councilman.  But John C. and I disagree about more issues than John H. or Gene and I do, so I’ve chosen to endorse John Harabedian and Gene Goss.