There is just one month to go before Election Day, and this
year’s City Council race should be very interesting. Why should
anyone in Gilroy care who I am supporting?
There is just one month to go before Election Day, and this year’s City Council race should be very interesting. Why should anyone in Gilroy care who I am supporting? If they follow politics, they shouldn’t care. But for the casual observer of life in Gilroy, I am one of those people who follow local issues closely. While my primary focus is education, I do attend City Council meetings from time to time. As someone who chose to live here (twice!) I care very much about the future of my adopted home.
I am a registered Democrat, but our City Council is a non-partisan race. My political affiliation has almost nothing to do with local politics. While I am a state and national Democrat, I am much more open-minded about local candidates. One reassuring fact for me is that all the candidates for City Council this year truly care about Gilroy – there are no “wannabes” in the race. Here is my assessment of the five candidates:
n Peter Arellano is running once again after losing his Council seat. He is passionate on issues which matter to him, a trait which undoubtedly serves him well as a physician. The problem is that he was not an effective councilman in the past. At more than one meeting I attended, it was obvious that he hadn’t done his homework; it appeared that the first time he read through his packet was 10 minutes before the meeting commenced. Arellano’s major campaign focus seems to be fighting racial intolerance and gang violence, two noble issues that don’t appear on the top five lists for most Gilroyans.
n Dion Bracco is a local businessman who has served the city quite admirably on the Planning Commission. I do not know much about Bracco, but he seems like a reasonable man. He listens well and doesn’t have an axe to grind. I have also often seen Bracco with his children, and he has advocated for our children and our schools. He has the kind of “everyman” quality which I find appealing. I am certain that he is more conservative than I am, but I have learned to live with that in Gilroy.
n Bob Dillon has done an outstanding job on the Council for the past four years. He obviously does his homework. One of the best qualities that Dillon possesses is the fact that he states his opinions clearly. Whether you agree or disagree, at least you know where he stands. His love of this city is obvious. It’s been said that half of life is just showing up. Dillon shows up when he says he will. I am not sure what, if any, political affiliation he subscribes to, and I admire that.
n I will admit that I used to dislike Craig Gartman. I had no particular reason, it was more a nagging feeling I had. I had pegged him as an opportunist. I don’t feel that way anymore; I think he is a decent man. I am sure that he loves Gilroy, he obviously loves being on City Council, and I no longer believe he is secretly harboring visions of being the next lieutenant governor of California.
n Charlie Morales is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met. He is a genuinely caring man. A couple of years ago, I called for him to resign when he was at a low point in his life. At that time, I prayed for him, as did many others in Gilroy. Morales has turned his life around, and has been able to exorcise the demons of his past. He has proven to me that he has many years of service to this community ahead of him. Additionally, he is the one candidate for City Council who seamlessly incorporates service to our schools as part of his job. Morales is the “worker bee” of the City Council, if Morales says he will get a job done, it gets done.
All in all, there are five brave souls vying for three seats. I am deeply disappointed that no matter who wins, Gilroy will once again have no women serving on City Council.
None of the candidates are losers, and they all care about the future of Gilroy. There is no candidate with whom I agree on every issue; in fact
the only person who agrees with me on everything is me. After careful consideration I will be endorsing (in alphabetical order) three candidates for Gilroy City Council: Dion Bracco, Bob Dillon and Charlie Morales.