What's important to me

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Some of my thoughts

  • Improve the city's infrastructure. The condition of our streets and water system particularly are not good. Frankly, the city does not have the money to do much in these areas. Lomita operates very frugally, which is a tribute to city councils over several years and to city management. Only one city in the South Bay spends less per person overall than Lomita. [Somewhat surprisingly, that city is Rancho Palos Verdes, which suffers from a lack of commercial properties to provide sales tax. Most of the sales tax generators on the peninsula are in Rolling Hills Estates.] The idea of taxes such as a utility tax is simply not acceptable to me. Instead, let us work to fill our empty storefronts and encourage businesses that can provide for our local needs. In turn, that generates sales tax and other revenues that pay for our infrastructure.

  • Encourage quality development, not quantity. Lomita has been plagued by a number of poor developments, especially some of the poorly designed apartment buildings the county approved in single family neighborhoods prior to the city's incorporation. As a planning commissioner, I have pushed developers to make their projects the best they can be within the existing guidelines. At times, these guidelines are quite weak. As a city council member, I would create higher development standards and work to create a shared vision for our community that considers the needs of all sectors of our community. Historic preservation should be part of the plan.

  • Encourage developments that will create a more walkable community with local services. We should not need to drive to surrounding cities for so many of our goods and services.

  • Support our sheriff's deputies and firefighters. I have developed strong relationships with the Sheriff's Department and Fire Department, working with them regularly (weekly at the least) on a number of special projects.

  • Seek regional solutions to regional problems such as traffic, education and regional infrastructure. Lomita is not an island. We are a part of a large metropolitan community. I have been active with the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (COG) for several years. The COG consists of fifteen cities working together to solve shared problems. Council Member Susie Dever is currently the chair, as was Mayor Ken Blackwood a few years ago. Because of my work with the COG, I have strong relationships with elected officials in surrounding communities. A few of them are listed on my endorsements page.

  • Enhance the Lomita Railroad Museum, making it the centerpiece for revitalizing Narbonne Avenue and showcasing Lomita's small-town heritage. My wife and I have been financial supporters of the museum for years. There is nothing else like it closer than Griffith Park (and our displays are in much better condition). Did you know that only a small part of the collection at our museum is on display? The museum has its own board that operates it and a foundation that raises money for it. They have done a great job of getting things going to expand the museum. Keep an eye out for good things happening there.

  • Support the city's recreation program. The staff at our parks is wonderful. My sons have participated in a number of sports at Lomita park and have always had caring and dedicated coaches who have taught them so much. I would like to use park bond funds to relocate the existing county maintenance yard, which is not compatible with a residential area in any case, to expand the park. By the same token, I strongly support efforts to maintain the Little League field on Western Avenue. There is simply not enough recreation space in this region, especially space that gets as much use as the Little League field.

  • Bring back local control over land use. Sacramento has taken away much of our authority to regulate land use, especially in the area of housing. Certain low income housing developments cannot be denied by the city according to these laws, even if they are in an inappropriate location or poorly designed for their residents. The result has been a number of poor proposals that the city could not turn down. Luckily, none of them has been built. Let's not rely on luck. On a related matter, the city has little ability to turn down second units (so-called granny flats), and the legislature tried last year to remove even that authority. These are examples of heavy handed solutions from Sacramento that encourage bad development and create conflict in our communities. I have been active in opposing these types of policies for several years. As a council member, I could have a greater impact, both with our own legislators and through our regional associations.

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Last modified: 12/28/2017