A community that truly cares about its local government was represented in full force Wednesday night (February 24, 2016) at the Meet the Candidates Forum hosted by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and the Arcadia Association of Realtors (AAR). An absolutely astonishing turnout of more than 175 people filled the auditorium of the Arcadia Public Library to listen to the six candidates for the two available city council seats deliver introductions and address public questions and concerns.
Moderating the event was AAR CEO Andrew Cooper as well as Arcadia Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick, the two co-moderators prepared a number of questions that addressed key concerns in the city in addition to taking questions in from the audience. The night actually began with an introduction of the dignitaries that attended last night’s event which included; current city councilmen, Sho Tay and Tom Beck, school board president Kay Kinsler, and the current mayor Gary Kovacic.
To make it easier for the attendees the six candidates were seated from left to right in alphabetical order; Peter Amundson, Burton Brink, Dr. Sheng Cheng, Bob Harbicht, Paul Van Fleet, and April Verlato.
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Key topics to the Forum were Measure A, which would repeal the UUT and the Saving Arcadia Ballot Initiative, which would set reasonable development standards on new construction. Concerning the UUT repeal it was unanimous among the candidates that they would vote no on Measure A, with many illustrating that by taking away the seven million in revenue from the UUT, Arcadia would be virtually unrecognizable from the one we know today. Each candidate expressed that they would adopt a version of Floor Area Ratio (FAR), which very clearly illustrated their position on the Saving Arcadia Ballot Initiative.
Nervous excitement and tension did build as co-moderator Scott Hettrick led a round of questions directly personalized to each candidate concerning their specific weaknesses or public outlooks. This near interrogation really exemplified how each candidate did under on the spot pressure and is worth reviewing at the link on the bottom of this post.
Other common concerns were addressed and the candidates were generally in support over issues such as working to develop new business in Arcadia, preventing other types of gambling within Santa Anita Park, preserving Arcadia’s historical buildings, and addressing the increase of new massage parlors in Arcadia.
Footage of the Meet the Candidates Forum (February 24, 2016) can be found by following this link.