About 125 local resident voters had a chance to hear the five candidates for three City Council seats introduce themselves Thursday (March 6, 2014) courtesy of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and the Arcadia Association of Realtors.
AAR CEO Andrew Cooper and Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick were co-moderators and weaved in dozens of written questions submtted by members of the audience during the 90-minute forum at the Arcadia Public Library.
Many current and former City Councilman were among the attendees, including current Councilmen Bob Harbicht and Gary Kovacic, former Mayors Floretta Lauber, Gail Marshall and George Fasching, former Councilmen Peter Ulrich and Vince Foley, as well as City Clerk Gene Glasco and national Congressional candidate and Arcadia resident Jack Orswell.
The candidates were seated left-to-right alphabetically: Tom Beck, Burton Brink, Roger Chandler, Sho Tay, and Paul Van Fleet.
One of the first questions asked was why the four candidates who have never served on the Council or any City Commission or elected office feel voters should feel confident in voting for them despite their lack of experience.
Each candidate said they are very knowledgeable about Arcadia in general as longtime residents, with Tom Beck and Sho Tay listing the multiple community organizations for which they have been members and Burton Brink noting his mother’s service on the Planning Commission and his career with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and involvement with related associations.
In general, the candidates agreed on most topics, including finding fair solutions to increasing development of mansions, working to encourage new businesses, preventing any additional forms of gambling at Santa Anita Park if they would be proposed, but considering talks between Westfield and the City of Arcadia about developing more retail on Santa Anita Park track property not far from Westfield’s current mall.