On March 3, I hope every eligible voter goes to the polls and uses as much information as they can when considering whom to vote for, in the contested races and on propositions and measures that appear on their ballots.
I will be heading for my polling place on March 3 even though my ballot contains candidates of three seats on the Los Angeles Community College District.
Since I don't live in San Pedro/Los Angeles, I don't get to vote in some real juicy races being considered on ballots of folks living in L.A.
At the end of this post are the Internet addresses of the candidates who showed up at the forum and for Ms. Hahn and Mr. David Saltzburg, aka Zuma Dogg. You will also find the yes and NO on Measure B sites, too.
But I have pondered further on who I would like to see win in certain races in Los Angeles and I attended the forum held where candidates for three offices in L.A. appeared and also a supporter and opponent for Measure B had a chance to be heard by the crowd.
John Stinson were almost asked to leave the room when we both could not stop laughing as some of the things said by folks came out.
The festivities began with two candidates for the office of Los Angeles City Attorney made comments and answered questions using a typical format for those such things.
Later on in the evening the two other candidates for City Attorney made appearances, but they came after the Q and A session.
The two candidates for City Attorney who were there at the beginning of the evening were Mr. David Berger, Esq and Mr. Noel Weiss, Esq.
Both of the gentlemen were interesting to listen to and learn about and both of them spoke very ill of Jack Weiss who may be the front runner in the race.
The well informed crowd of folks attending the forum seemed to all agree with the two candidates about Jack Weiss and I doubt Jack will receive a vote from anyone in the room.
Mr. Berger is an award-winning Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles and Mr. Noel Weiss is a lawyer in private practice who specializes in the rights of citizens against developers and he has worked with groups against over development in the greater Los Angeles Area.
The third candidate for the office of City Attorney to come in was Mr. Michael Amerian, Esq. Mr. Amerian is currently a Deputy City Attorney for the city of Los Angeles and he is the only one of the four candidates who has worked in the L.A. City Attorney's office.
The forth candidate who came from one forum and had to leave to attend another forum after being able to stay at our forum for too short of a period of time was Mr. Carmen Trutanich, Esq. Mr. Trutanich is also a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles.
It appears that "Nuch" being a true "Pedro Boy" will garner the majority of votes from San Pedrans.
Mr. Trutanich also can claim endorsements from a wide variety of government types as well as the I.L.W.U. and the Los Angeles Times.
I have a very good idea that any one of the four candidates who appeared at the forum would do a much better job as City Attorney than the current City Attorney, Rock Delgadillo has done.
All four of the candidates were very animated about their dislike of Jack Weiss, the fifth candidate running for City Attorney.
I believe all four are very correct in their dislike and great distrust of Jack Weiss.
I think it is very understandable that Carmen Trutanich will garner the majority of votes from voters in San Pedro and I think that town should be very proud of the work their native son has done over many years.
Noel Weiss is the only candidate who is not currently employed in any government agency.
It may be time for a true outsider to take the helm of the City Attorney's office. Noel Weiss has spent many years advocating and serving regular citizens against developers and even government entities who attempt to over-govern the people.
Noel Weiss has provided guidance, information, assistance, and resources when many of us are dealing with the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project and Noel Weiss is very leery of developers who attempt to change the nature of communities and Noel Weiss has demonstrated that he serves all of us even without being employed by a government agency.
If I could vote for a candidate for the office of Los Angeles City Attorney, I would consider Carmen Trutanich but I would mark by ballot by the name of Noel Weiss.
The second set of candidates to provide their accomplishments and views at the forum were two candidates for the office of Los Angeles Controller.
Ms. Susy Evans and Mr. Nick Patsaouras were the only two candidates for that office to appear.
I am not that interested in the office of City Controller, but both of the candidates spoke well, answered questions with intelligence and both could do a good job in the office they are seeking, I feel.
However, Mr. Nick Patsaouras has served OUR community and the greater Los Angeles area for many years and he also firmly demonstrated the correct position concerning Measure B on the March 3 ballots.
I think both candidates could do the job they are seeking in a very professional manner and would be an asset to the population of Los Angeles.
For this office I lean slightly towards Nick Patsaouras, but only slightly.
The next issue that came up at the forum was the debate/debacle/hilarity concerning Measure B.
Measure B would provide solar panels on about 25% of Los Angeles' public buildings and is the most debated and contested measure that has come up in years, in the city of Los Angeles.
It also brought out the most laughter and almost got John Stinson and I kicked out of the room.
Mr. James Unger, a paid spokesperson for the support of Measure B debated Mr. John Stammreich in what turned out to be quite the fun time where James was basically reduced to the ignorant fellow he, unfortunately is.
John Stammreich and I are on the opposite ends of the political spectrum. John actually agrees with The Random Lengths News' publisher Mr. James Preston Allen and that happens almost never, but they both do on this subject. John has been quoted in print that it is extremely odd that he and Mr. Allen have basically the same views on Measure B.
During the debate and the Q and A session between James and John, there were many issues in dispute.
Even poor James disputed himself from time to time and many of us could not help laughing at the fellow.
You should probably know that there was probably only James Unger in the room that will vote for Measure B, but the trooper he is, he still came out for the oddity.
When the costs were debated James contended that the average residential user's monthly increase would be only about $1.00 to pay for the placement and maintenance of solar panels.
James stated he thought just a $1.00 increase per month was reasonable.
John however pointed out that the D.W.P. is already going to raise the average monthly bill about $13.00 per month without the added costs if Measure B passes.
John was not disputed by James, the supporter when John mentioned that the suspected costs would create the need to raise monthly rates about $1.00 per month for 52 years to pay off the Measure.
James, even though he stated that he thought $1.00 per month may be reasonable then stated he thought the monthly charges would probably be much higher because he considered it taking 52 years to pay of the debt would not happen and the added costs would have to be repaid long before the 52 years had elapsed.
Well this got John Stinson and I going and we simply could not stop because of what was contended with next.
Poor, poor James Unger happened to comment that the D.W.P. knows something about electrical generation because they built Hoover Dam.
John was quite quick to respond that he didn't thing the Hoover Dam was a solar project.
Okay so with that, we were in tears. James was trying to find support for solar generation in the city of Los Angeles and John Stammreich had to remind James that the Hoover Dam has nothing to do with solar panels.
John Stammreich also pointed out something that has never been refuted by James or other supporters of Measure B.
It seems that less than 10% of the I.B.E.W. members who would install and maintain the solar panels actually live within the limits of the city of Los Angeles.
James claimed that companies would be moving into Los Angeles to attempt to get more business dealing with electrical generation by means of solar panels.
John Stammreich then pointed out that if the Measure passes, those very companies would be charged higher rates for their electricity.
Measure B would have solar panels built in China brought to Los Angeles and installed by I.B.E.W. workers who would earn far much more than other unionized workers who could do the jobs for less costs.
The measure was basically run through City Council approval without any of the Council members, other than Jack Weiss knowing the true facts of the measure.
The proposed costs for the measure are not factually known because the first audit of the measure was so bad, a second set of comments had to be issued and they showed a dramatic increase in costs for the project.
Unfortunately for many of us, probably far too many L.A. voters will see any measure suggesting solar panels as a good thing and vote the very lousy measure in.
All the candidates that appeared at the forum are either very opposed or dramatically opposed to Measure B and L.A. voters should vote NO on Measure B.
The last issue to be debated was who will win the March 3 election for the 15th Council District for the city of Los Angeles.
Ms. Janice Hahn, the current holder of the seat was not present at the forum due to a commitment she made last year.
In her place was Ms. Canizales, Ms. Hahn's senior assistant in the San Pedro office.
Also seated next to Ms. Canizales was Mr. Gordon Teuber, another senior aide to Ms. Hahn.
The only candidate to actually show up for the office was Mr. Christopher Salabaj.
The back and forth between the representative for Ms. Hahn and Mr. Salabaj was polite and folks learned more than expected about some of the positions Ms. Hahn has taken and what Mr. Salabaj would do if he were elected.
Mr. Salabaj pointed out that Ms. Hahn used "Quimby funds" to build the San Pedro Welcome Park which many in our community feel is a real boondoggle.
Mr. Salabaj also pointed out that Ms. Hahn dramatic yet unsuccessful attempt to get the anti-gang Measure A passed would have required an increase in property taxes while it would have allowed funds for a very small area of Watts and no place else in Ms. Hahn's District.
The most troubling thing we learned at the forum is that Ms. Hahn either tacidly supports or is neutral on Measure B and that is a real problem.
Ms. Canizales did a pretty good dodging dance around the issue when asked about whether Ms. Hahn supports or opposes Measure B and she never stated that Ms. Hahn opposes Measure B.
Over the years there has been many comments written about how Ms. Hahn is not willing to take firm stands on a number of issues her constituents feel she should. Ms. Hahn also provided frustration by a number of her constituents over her activities and measures to deal with gangs.
Perhaps it may be time to either put the scare into Ms. Hahn by having voters vote for Mr. Salabaj or simply elect Christopher Salabaj as the new 15th District Councilman for the city of Los Angeles.
Ms. Hahn has publicly called for the baseball diamonds remaining on Knoll Hill and that Eastview Little League be allowed to hold games there even after the current contract expires.
Many individuals, including Ms. Hahn have been informed repeatedly that is really doesn't matter what anyone in and around the area truly want, it is the State of California that is quite willing to sue agencies over the legal uses of Knoll Hill and Ms. Hahn knows that.
It really doesn't matter whether the Harbor Department, the Port of Los Angeles, the L.A. Department of Parks and Recreation and the City Council agrees to or provides contracts for. The State has repeatedly informed everyone that they are perfectly willing to sue and I do not believe any city or county agency wishes to spend dollars they do not have against lawsuits brought about by the State of California.
I am also concerned that Ms. Hahn has not been pushing hard enough to help redevelop downtown San Pedro and also working harder on the Waterfront Redevelopment project.
Maybe it is time to get a fresh face into the job of representing the 15th District and the people who live and work within the District.
As much as I appreciate the work Ms. Hahn and her staff have done in dealings with Ponte Vista and the redevelopment of the former McCowan's Market site, if I got to vote, I would mark my ballot by the name of Christopher Salabaj.
Many folks know that Ms Hahn has demonstrated an interest in becoming an L.A. County Supervisor, just like her father was.
The current L.A. County Supervisor for the District ends his current term in 2012 and is termed out in 2016.
Ms. Hahn is running for her last term as a member of the City Council and it may make folks wonder if Ms. Hahn would be willing to serve a full term as a City Council Member or try for Mr. Don Knabe's job before another City Council term ends.
If Ms. Hahn is reelected, might her current constituents have only a part-time Council member in 2012?
At the forum, there were plenty of handouts including two magazines.
The San Pedro 2008/2009 Community Guide and Business Directory has a map of most of the peninsula, including all of San Pedro.
One residential project was singled out on the map in the middle of the Directory. I bet you can guess what property was named and outlined on the map.
The San Pedro Business Journal has an article beginning on Page 1 about the upcoming Honorary Mayor campaign. In the article are photos and comments about past Honorary Mayors.
Can you guess who is missing from the article? The only hint I am willing to provide is: "current".
I guess you all realize by now that I have a very odd sense of humor that doesn't necessarily translate into humor many can understand. I like subtle humor and things like seeing Ponte Vista outlined and named on the map and the omission of Mr. Joe Donato from the article on Honorary Mayor seems a bit funny to me.
The forum proved to be much funnier than I thought it would be and I had planned for a few laughs even before the event began.
I am sorry that my candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles did not show up, but I guess Mr. David Saltsburg, aka Zuma Dogg had other events and forums to go to.
In these tough economic times we all need humor and a big shakeup in the way the current systems operate.
The folks I hope you vote for would do all that and more, I feel.
Just think of all the tourists that would benefit the L.A. economy coming to town to be part of what could happen if Zuma Dogg is elected Mayor.
The City Attorney, City Controller, and 15th District picks I'd like to see elected would help keep L.A. trimmed and the L.A. City Council might actually do something for the folks who provide their pay.