First, we have a great field of candidates from which to choose and at this point with one week to go, I have no idea which candidates will be elected. But since I have two years left on the City Council, along with Jeff Cooper, I am vitally interested as to who will be joining me on the dais later this month as Council colleagues. So here are my endorsed candidates.
Meghan Sahli-Wells. Meghan and I were elected at the same time though I won the unexpired term and had to run for re-election in 2014. I have had the opportunity to work closely with Meghan these past four years. Besides Council, we have served together on the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, the City-CCUSD Liaison Committee and the Council Committee on Airplane Overflights and I have seen her as our representative to the Inglewood Oil Field Community Advisory Panel. Meghan does her homework and is well-prepared for meetings. She cares about the environment and our kids and is always looking out for those who need our help and support. While we don’t always agree on policy, I value her input which is important to the discussion and the formulation of good decisions.
Göran Eriksson. When Culver City voters passed a sales tax increase in 2014 (with 76% approval – the second highest approval of a tax measure in the State that year), we established a Public Finance Advisory Committee (PFAC) to ensure the additional revenues were being well spent. Göran has served as the Chair since its inception. In addition, he was appointed to serve on the oversight committee for the school bond. We have already begun our hearings for next year’s budget and the candidates who win on April 12th will have to hit the ground running to come up to speed on City finances. This is important because this is your tax money and you depend on us on Council to make intelligent decisions on how we spend your money. Göran will add value to our financial decisions.
Scott Wyant. Scott has over seven years of experience on the City’s Planning Commission. I often attend these meetings as the Commission really gets into the detail on the various development projects being proposed and their discussion helps me to better understand the project when it comes before City Council. In recent months, development (whether it is projects like Parcel B, the Ivy Station, the Culver Studios or issues of “mansionization”) has created tremendous interest and concern among our residents. As we attempt to tackle and resolve these issues, I want the new members on Council to understand the complexities of these issues – the pros and cons and unintended consequences. Scott’s service on the Planning Commission gives him a solid background to contribute to the discussion.
One last thought. I am concerned that this election is dividing the candidates into certain camps with an “us vs. them” approach. This is not healthy for our City or our politics. When I ran for Council I was fortunate to have the endorsement of the Democratic Club and the Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters and the Realtors, the County Business Federation and the County Federation of Labor. Some might cheekily say that is because I didn’t stand for anything but I like to think it was because I realized we needed everyone – the neighborhoods and businesses, the Democrats and the Republicans, Seniors and Millennials, the environmentalists and the developers to all be working together and pulling in the same direction to maintain and enhance the quality of life in Culver City that we have come to depend upon. So when you go to vote on April 12th (if you haven’t already voted absentee) consider the experience of the candidates, their leadership and decision making abilities, but also their ability to be good listeners and to work with their colleagues on the Council and the various interests in the community to arrive at the best public policy.
Good luck with your decision. I’ve already made mine – Sahli-Wells, Eriksson and Wyant.
Jim B. Clarke