Pondering Who Are the Best City Council Candidates

Iraq held its constitutional elections last month and more than
60 percent of the population turned out to cast a ballot.
Iraq held its constitutional elections last month and more than 60 percent of the population turned out to cast a ballot. Those are huge statistics for any democratic nation but particularly one where casting your vote could cost you life or limb. It appears that the fresher freedom feels, the more it’s appreciated and used.

In the last few weeks, opinions and information about our upcoming election have been flowing freely. Just in case you’re still trying to make up your mind on the issues or candidates, here’s a few more thoughts to consider.

First, comments about three of the propositions:

Proposition 73, parental notification for minor’s abortion. In this state, unless a minor has filed for emancipation, taking care of them medically, emotionally, physically and spiritually is their parent’s privilege and responsibility. This proposition revisits the question of whether minors belong to the state or their families. Even in this bluer than blue state, I say parents know and love their children more than any government official or agency and have the God-given right to be involved in something as consequential as an abortion.

Proposition 74, public school teachers tenure. Even though I’m thoroughly impressed with folks in this profession, I voted yes. This is about job security and five years is a reasonable amount of time to work hard and wait for a career benefit of that nature.

Proposition 75, restrictions on union political contributions. Again, I voted yes. To me, this proposition is a simple pro-choice issue. Those who want to donate to their union’s political causes or candidates will still be able to do so; those who don’t want to, won’t have to.

And … a couple of thoughts about our city council folks …

I struggled with my three votes this year. I thought about personalities, political experience and community service and then reluctantly penned my final decisions on my absentee ballot.

(I don’t have it in me to tell you which two I didn’t vote for – public rejection seems unnecessarily cruel – but I will share the thought processes I used to make my choices.)

Peter Arellano. Like others, I wasn’t too impressed with his first tenure on city council. However, he’s since become my in-laws’ primary care physician and, as a doctor, the guy is phenomenal. He listens, asks questions, runs tests and then communicates the results in a manner that can be understood and used. If he used those skills on the council, he’d be an incredible representative of the people, by the people and for the people

Dion Bracco. I like businessmen in political offices. They usually understand about budgets (a.k.a. not spending more than you have.) Good ones usually have one eye on current customers and the other one on the future. I’ve heard that Dion is a successful businessman. However, with no political experience, we can’t be sure he’ll recontextualize his business skills as a voting member of the council.

Bob Dillon. Just seeing his name in print reminds me of all the years I subscribed to the Dispatch because he and Huck Hagenbuch were columnists. I also had a chance to serve with him as a hospice volunteer and saw him consistently rise to any occasion. He had a knack for being all things to all kinds of people. However, I’m thoroughly disappointed in all current council members for the way they’ve been voting on some critical issues. At least Bob voted against the Miller Avenue debacle, but like all of the council members, he voted for the destruction of the Lewis Street parking lot despite many local protests.

Craig Gartman. Voted against Miller Avenue construction but voted for the Garlic Festival switch-a-roo. Sigh! The best thing about Craig is that he’s enthused about a downtown plaza on Fifth Street. To me, that’s a no brainer: the city wouldn’t have to tear down buildings, minimal parking would be lost, no property would be seized and it’s in the heart of the downtown.

Charlie Morales. I’ll always appreciate the work he did for our youth years ago.

I hope you’ve been reading and thinking about your views. And I really hope you take the time to punch those votes in at your polling site. I’m not enough of a dreamer to hope for 60 percent, but at least half of that would make me feel like we’re appreciating our rights and responsibilities as Americans.

Leave your comments