|Bulldozer Bob: Preservation is a government plot.|
Decision 2018: Arcadia’s April Election Already Raising Some Eyebrows (Arcadia Weekly link): Elections are always fascinating and occasionally contentious, but when Arcadia Weekly learned that embattled and disgraced former council-member, John Wuo initially pulled papers to run for office again we thought this year’s would be a doozie. Alas, he didn’t file, nor did Paul Van Fleet, who pulled papers in late December. Van Fleet was planning on running for ShoTay’s seat.
This election is for three seats: Members of the City Council for Districts 2, 3, and 5-(Full term of four (4) years). The nomination period began on Monday, December 18, 2017, at 7:30 a.m., and closed Friday, January 12, 2018, at 4:30 p.m.
If no one or only one person is nominated for an elective office, appointment to the elective office may be made as prescribed by Section 10229, of the Elections Code of the State of California. Two newcomers, Joyce Platt and Jolly Wu round out the more familiar names: Bob Harbicht; Tom Beck; Roger Chandler and Sho Tay.
According to candidate Tom Beck, “This election will be different from all previous Arcadia elections. In 2017 the Arcadia City Council voted 3-2 to go to ‘district elections’ instead of ‘at large elections’. I voted “NO” (as did Councilwoman Verlato) to this change. Only two districts, 2 & 5, will actually have a contested election this cycle. My district is 2 which generally is bordered by Orange Grove on the north, Michillinda on the west, Huntington on the south, and Santa Anita on the east.”
Bob Harbicht, who ran unsuccessfully in the last election, maintains that “private property rights have been under attack in Arcadia. The latest government takeover of our property rights is the so-called “Historic Preservation Ordinance.” This would allow government or your neighbors to declare your home a “historic resource” without your permission, thus severely limiting your ability to remodel, add onto, or modify it. While protecting truly historic structures is admirable, there must be a limit on government infringement on our property rights,” Harbicht said.
|Chandler: First elected in 1986. Wants more.|
I believe that the biggest challenge in the next four years is long-term financial sustainability. This is becoming more difficult as it’s a function of what happens in the state legislature and what happens with the economy along with pension costs and unfunded liabilities.”
Jolly Wu moved to Arcadia 17 years ago and is a strong advocate “of equal opportunity for accessibility to the city council by advocating free roll out service from Waste Management for people with physical hardships. In the same year I participated in an effort to successfully rezone my neighborhood from R2 to R1 in order to prevent developers from constructing a huge apartment complex on 3rd Ave., Lee Ave., and Greenfield.”
In 2016 several senior citizens and Wu formed the Arcadia Transportation Taskforce to insure that Dial-A-Ride funding was properly used for seniors and disabled people only. This led to introducing the option of transporting school children by professional well-trained school bus drivers to increase the safety of school children. The Taskforce also advocated repairing uneven sidewalk in the business district on Foothill Blvd. This prompted the city to repair several locations on Foothill Blvd.
Roger Chandler, who has a long history with Arcadia, is a former law enforcement leader who was first elected to office in 1986. Chandler is a strong advocate to get more police officers on the beat in Arcadia. “We are being inundated with dangerous criminals preying on our neighborhoods. Early prison release won’t end; it’s up to us to protect ourselves. Our police have arrested more felons for residential burglary and street robberies in 2017 than in the past several years combined,” Chandler says.
Sho Tay, originally from Taiwan, is running unopposed as Van Fleet decided not to run at the eleventh hour. Tay, has been very active in the Asian business community and like Chandler, has a background in law enforcement serving as a reserve officer for Alhambra PD. “I want to bring more attention to public safety by sponsoring a citywide program to install doorbell cameras and alarm systems. We will look at new technology to aid our law enforcement. And we need to preserve the special qualities that make Arcadia unique,” said Tay.
|Sho Tay: The Too Happy Anointed|
Essentially, this is a two person race in two separate districts:
District 2: Tom Beck’s seat is being challenged by Bob Harbicht.
District 5: Roger Chandler’s seat on the dais is being challenged by Joyce Platt and Jolly Wu.
Residents in District 3, where Sho Tay has no opponent this year, will probably not receive a ballot as council will likely vote Thursday to save tax payers the burden of $14-15,000 for an uncontested seat in that district.
Because of the above facts, Section 10229 of the Elections Code allows the City Council to take one of the following courses of action:
- Appoint to the office the person(s) who has/have been nominated.
- Appoint to the office any eligible voter if no one has been nominated.
- Hold the election if either no one or only one person has been nominated.
At a special City Council meeting to be held on January 25, 2018, the City Council will consider whether to make an appointment and cancel the election for that office or direct an election to be held. The persons appointed, if any, shall qualify and take office and serve exactly as if elected at a municipal election for the office.
Comments from our friend in Arcadia
Thoughts about Arcadia's upcoming election:
First: It's a sad day when a public official who is expected to represent a population of 60,000 people gets appointed and doesn't have to run, because there is no one to run against him. Proto-developer Kin Hui of Singpoli, the contributor of $10,000 to Sho Tay's campaign in 2014, will be able to save his grease money for another campaign.
Second: Chandler wants to fix a problem by throwing taxpayer money at it. He wants to hire more police to fix the increase in burglaries, yet burglaries have gone down in Arcadia in the last six months without having to add a single officer to the department.
Third: Harbicht wants to scare the hell out of the residents into voting for him. He fabricates a historic preservation ordinance that would take away everyone's property rights, unless he is elected to save the day. He forgets to mention that he was one of the 3 votes that led to the demise of Anoakia, the home of Anita Baldwin. I think it's fair to conclude, Harbicht does not think the history of Arcadia is important. For someone who is running to represent Arcadia, I would think residents would want a person who values the history of the place he/she represents.
So if you are uninformed and you believe everything you read in a candidates' statement, you might vote for the 2 worst choices in Arcadia, Harbicht and Chandler.