Incumbents face a write-in candidate in Sierra Madre’s city council electionLast minute write-in candidate
Barry Gold is hoping to shake up the upcoming April 12 election as two city council incumbents seek additional four-year terms. Mayor John Cappocia and Councilman John Harabedian were expected to be running for re-election unopposed.
“I was disappointed that there was no choice in this election, being that both incumbents were running unopposed,” said 71-year-old Gold. “because I think I have solutions to our major problems that would be different than (Cappocia and Harabedian).”
Gold decided to run for city council after the deadline to apply to be on the ballot passed, so he filed to qualify as a write-in candidate.
During a forum hosted by the Sierra Madre Woman’s Club last Thursday, both incumbents and Gold shared their reason for seeking a seat on the council.
Both Cappocia, a retired general manager with AT&T, and Harabedian, a business lawyer, admitted to initially not looking to seek re-election. Both both eventually decided to run.
“This is the first time we’ve really had stability on the council,” said Cappocia. “We’ve had a lot of turnover the last few years. We just have unfinished business.”
Harabedian wants to continue his work on the city council.
“To me it is about preserving what I grew up with,” he said. “I still think what we do is to make sure the next generation of children really are able to experience this slice of paradise.”
Though Gold is a relatively new resident, having moved here a little over four years ago from Arcadia, he said he feels passionate about the small town. Gold is semi-retired and still works in industrial property management in the fashion district.
“We always visited Sierra Madre before moving here,” said Gold.
After seeing the effects of mansionization, in which developers build homes with foundations pushing up against the borders of their individual parcels of land, in Arcadia for years, Gold didn’t want to see the same thing happen to his new city.
“I want people to build houses here but I want them to be responsible about it,” Gold said.
With the preservation group, Gold began to speak at planning commission and city council meetings over the last two years on preservation issues. During those meetings, Gold said he became more aware of other issues the city faced.
Gold has served on the city’s UUT Oversight Committee, as well as the Revenue Committee. While on the UUT committee, Gold said he voted against the proposed 12 percent UUT.
“I dissented because there was no sunset clause,” he said. “A sunset makes the city officials accountable.”
Gold said one of his priorities, if he were elected to the council, would be to bring the L.A. County Sheriff’s to take over patrol services in the city full time to save the city money as well as keep their $9 million CalPERS debt from inflating.
“I also want to look at the budget and see where else we can cut,” he said. “Then have a UUT with a sunset and make sure it goes to infrastructure.”
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Rachelle Arizmendi appointed by Governor Brown (link):
Rachelle Arizmendi, 43, of Sierra Madre, has been appointed to the State Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Intervention.
Arizmendi has been vice president and chief operating officer at the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment since 2016 and has served as a member of the Sierra Madre City Council since 2014. She was executive director at 2-1-1 California from 2014 to 2016, an adjunct professor at Pasadena City College from 2013 to 2015 and held several positions at the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment from 1998 to 2014, including director and nutrition coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Program.
Arizmendi was an independent consultant from 1998 to 2001 and a clinic supervisor at Northeast Valley Health from 1997 to 1998. She is a member of the League of California Cities. Arizmendi earned a Master of Science degree in family and consumer science from Eastern Illinois University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Arizmendi is registered without party preference.
Mod: In case you were wondering what the State Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Intervention might be, here is a screen shot from the appropriate state website (link). Pretty cool honor for Rachelle.
Councilmember Harabedian blows off the Kiwanis debate
Mod: This from Barry Gold's always informative almost nightly newsletter
"I received an email today from Clem Bartolai telling me that next Tuesday's Candidate forum at the Kiwanis Club has been cancelled. Council Member Harabedian is unable to make it. There would be no point to have Mayor Capoccia and me repeat what the two of us did last Tuesday on the UUT measure. No big deal, these things happen. I just wanted to let you know in case you were planning on being there."
Mod: Obviously the Harabedian re-election campaign has yet to get up to full speed.