Final Candidate Forum – Election April 10

Vera, Lee, Fisch and Tiggs were all pleased to sit down to the final candidate forum of the city council race. The Exchange Club hosted the event at their regular Tuesday afternoon meeting on April 3, 2018 at the Elks Club,  with the invitation open for other service clubs to attend. The usual format was preserved; opening statements, questions submitted by the audience that were answered by the candidates in turn. The candidates were solid with their answers and with the logic behind them, with the campaign more than six months old, there was not much to be surprised about.

But one question did open things up. When asked what city ordinance they would like to repeal, the answers were personal and revealing.

Albert Vera thought that banning smoking in multi-unit housing was pointless. “So, the neighbors smell smoke, and they call the police or the fire department, and by the time they get there, it’s over; not much you can do. It’s really a waste of everyone’s time.” He felt ending that ordinance would save the city money and time.

Daniel Lee admitted that, as a man raised in the South and an apartment dweller, he would repeal the ordinance about the legal distance for burning charcoal. “Seriously, barbecue is the best way to cook, if you are a meat eater, or even if you are not, it’s just the way to go. And I’m tired of taking my grill to the park.”

Marcus Tiggs felt that we could allow dogs at the parks without any great difficulty. “Look around at Culver City, we have a lot of dogs. It just seems like they should be able to walk through the park and not just around it.”

Alex Fisch noted that we needed to change many ordinances about housing, to the benefit of everyone. ” We need to really open this up to a major re-think.”

With four candidates running for the two seats that will be vacated by Mayor Jeff Cooper and Council member Jim Clarke, it will be a close race. The candidates are, of course, hoping for a strong turn out; local elections have traditionally run to small numbers.

Tiggs made a point that everyone seemed to resonate with; ” Listen to what we are saying here, and it’s pretty plain we agree on 80% of the issues. Rather than dig into the 20% where we all have very different ideas, let’s start with what is right in front of us, with those issues that are that 80% of what we need to do.”

Election Day is April 10, 2018.

Judith Martin-Straw



The Actors' Gang


  1. Hi Judith – One clarification: in response to the question of what ordinance should be changed, I specified that the city needs to enact an inclusionary zoning ordinance as soon as possible. Also, full disclosure: I posed the question.

  2. I know that in the interests of space one must edit comments so that they fit, but I have a big problem with the way you characterized Albert Vera’s response about the smoking regulation in multi-unit housing. My understanding is that he was pointing out the unenforceability of the regulation. The regulation seems to require contact with the police and investigation. There must be a better way. Your editing leaves the impression that Albert thinks prohibiting or limiting smoking itself is a bad idea as opposed to the amount of time it takes for police to respond and whether the smoker is still smoking and is observable by the police etc.

    A few more words does an opposite impression make.

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