Sunday, January 30, 2011

Around Town: Seven candidates, seven questions

Valley Sun

Unfortunately, Sarah Palin did not respond to my letter (La Cañada Valley Sun, "Around Town: An open letter to Sarah Palin," Dec. 29), and the Pasadena chapter of the Tea Party has now decided to move-on-dot-org to our local elections.

My open letter was a whimsical response to the Pasadena TeaPac's endorsement of candidates for the nonpartisan city council election scheduled for March 8th in sunny La Cañada Flintridge.

Seven candidates are running for city council: Don Voss, incumbent; Laura Olhasso, incumbent; Mike Davitt, a planning commissioner; James K. Hill, a former planning commissioner; Jacqueline Harris, R.N., a private citizen; Robert Richter, a private citizen; and Charles Kamar, a private citizen.

Three candidates are city hall insiders — the two incumbents (Voss and Olhasso) and the planning commissioner (Davitt). One is a former planning commissioner (Hill).

When the Pasadena Tea Party endorsed candidates, and did so without interviewing any of them, folks got riled up. Guess who they endorsed? The city-hall insiders. One endorsee (Olhasso) publically came out against the endorsement, which was made without any interviews.

The Pasadena Tea Party has gone strangely silent. I guess they have bigger fish to fry. Since they forgot to interview the candidates, here are the questions the Tea Party forgot to ask:

1. What is your position on the 710 freeway extension? If you are an incumbent, what is your voting record? What is the record of the other city council members?

2. Why was the city sued by the families of those killed in the Angeles Crest/Foothill Boulevard truck crash? Should the city have done more when warned of the signage issues by a local Girl Scout?

3. Could the Station fire have been handled differently? What was the proper role of the city when faced with competing Federal and city philosophies? What steps should be taken in the future?

4. What is your position on building-code enforcement in our city? Why?

5. What can the city do to encourage film shoots in the city? Should the city do more? What are the pros and cons?

6. Last year, NASA announced the cleanup of carcinogenic substances at its JPL site ( What, if anything, should the city do to foster health-care screening of those who may have been exposed in the past 25 years?

7. Do you think that City Hall is user-friendly? Why? Why not?

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