Election 2012: Forums for council candidates winding down

October 17, 2012|By Barbara Diamond

Four down, one to go and the City Council candidates will be done with scheduled forums for 2012.

City Council candidates will have had a week and a half off between last week's forum and the upcoming forum, sponsored by Top of the World Neighborhood and Temple Hills Civic associations and set for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers.

At last week's forum — held Oct. 12 by the League of Women Voters, Laguna Beach Woman's Club, the American Assn. of University Women and the Susi Q — questions were taken from the audience and screened to avoid duplications. Huntington Beach league member Grace Winchell moderated.


"Our goal is to have a non-partisan, fair and impartial forum," Winchell said.

Questions that were not asked at previous forums included:

"What should be done about unfunded employee pensions?"

The city pays all, retired filmmaker Robert Ross said.

Rollinger, an incumbent and retired city clerk, said the city has negotiated with employees to pay a share.

"Explore the two-tier system," said Dicterow, who stated during the forum that he has been a pension attorney for his entire legal career.

Dicterow has previously identified himself as a small business owner.

Egly, also an incumbent and a retired law professor, responded to the question with: "New employees now contribute more [known as the two-tier system]."

Robert Whalen, a planning commissioner and municipal finance attorney, added, "It will be a problem in the future if we don't get a handle on it today."

On the topic of reappointing incumbents over other qualified candidates:

"If someone is doing an excellent job, we allow them to do it," Rollinger said. "If someone is not appointed this time, we encourage them to apply again."

Dicterow added, "Vote for the best."

Egly said she doesn't accept the question's premise.

"We have nepotism here as well as in Hollywood," Ross said.

As for expanding the 36-foot height limit, all five were against the idea.

On the topic of the council appearing to be putting bikes ahead of pedestrians:

Whalen said he doesn't want bike lanes to have an adverse effect on traffic, but they can be done right.

"Take care of parking first," Ross said.

Rollinger said the council implemented a piece of a proposal to convert Glenneyre Street to a Complete Street for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.

Complete Streets is a state mandate, Dicterow said, but he wants them to also accommodate skateboards.

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