Three top choices for seats on the City Council

It’s a crowded field, but three candidates for Gilroy City
Council positions stand clearly above the pack: Peter Leroe-Mu
ñoz, Paul Kloecker and Dion Bracco.
It’s a crowded field, but three candidates for Gilroy City Council positions stand clearly above the pack: Peter Leroe-Muñoz, Paul Kloecker and Dion Bracco.

What the three will bring to the table constitutes a good mix and should move the loquacious City Council from a perpetual state of in-fighting to a more productive and professional body that weighs the issues with far less regard for the personalities involved.

Peter Leroe-Muñoz, a 30-year-old political novice who is a deputy district attorney in San Benito County, is bright and filled with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. He demonstrates an easy confidence and good sense of humor in front of the public. But he’s not just a glib young face. He measures issues carefully and is a quick study on complex challenges like the red-tagged unreinforced masonry buildings downtown. Perhaps most impressive is his ability to listen and genuine interest in Gilroy’s challenges. It’s a critical skill for elected officials that is often overlooked. Leroe-Muñoz has knocked on many a Gilroy door, talked to residents, met with umpteen interest groups in preparation for this run, and he’s listening and learning. His credentials are impeccable – Harvard University Law – and his enthusiasm and ability make up for shortcomings in the experience department. Leroe-Muñoz leads the pack. He would be a solid addition to our City Council.

Paul Kloecker, 75, has been there and done that. He served on the City Council previously for 12 years from 1983 to 1995 and has decided to give it another go. He’s detail oriented, befitting his engineering background, and has always been willing to crack the books and get down to the nitty gritty. Kloecker, for example, would embrace the task of going through California High Speed Rail Authority documents and would deliver insightful reports to his fellow Councilmembers. In addition, he will bring a sense of decorum to the Council. He’s budget savvy, will quickly get up to speed on any issue he’s not familiar with and has an analytical knack that will force his fellow members to think. Moreover, he believes Gilroy is spending too much on public safety and will seek ways to restore a semblance of balance to the budget. His thoughtful approach and deep-seated belief in service to the community make him a clear pick.

Incumbent Dion Bracco, 52, who is the owner of a local towing company, wants another term. He espouses the notion of more accountability at City Hall and is adamant that Gilroy take a multi-pronged approach in the never-ending battle against criminal gangs. His idea to begin a Police Athletic League is a very worthy idea. Hopefully, he will make it happen.

Bracco has good instincts, but admits that as a Councilman he has not been forceful enough. That’s unfortunately true. He is very much a “man of the people” and is highly visible in the community. Bracco needs to take that knowledge and apply it to governing. His sincerity is beyond reproach and he deserves a second chance to step up and make a difference.

Leave your comments