Candidates for Torrance City Council Forum

Craig HueyArticles, Reality Alert

Heidi Ann Ashcraft Tim Goodrich Mike Griffiths Milton Herring Rahmat Khan
Leilani A. Kimmel-Dagostino Ryan Mand Aurelio Mattucci Omar Navarro
Clint Andrew Paulson Geoff Rizzo Alex M. See Norm “Opa” Segel
Charlotte Ann Svolos John Paul Tabakian Kurt Weideman

These are your candidates for Torrance City Council. To put it simply, Torrance has an embarrassment of riches. It is a well-run city with scores of involved and talented professionals and volunteers. Three, possibly four, City Council seats are open for voters to fill. Two of those seats are currently held by incumbents running for re-election. All of the candidates have skills, training and experience to recommend them.

So, who you gonna choose?

In the interests of full disclosure, let me state that I attended the March 31st Candidates’ Forum hosted by the League of Women Voters in order to support my candidate, Milton Herring.

I have the honor of knowing Retired Lieutenant Colonel Milton Herring personally. He is a giant of a man with a true humility who is not likely to tell you about his many accomplishments (you have to beg him), but he is likely to be the first to reach for the check (both habits his admirers are trying to break him of). Openly honest with a faith strengthened on the battle field (where he learned how to lead men), Milton has volunteered his time and experience to many local service organizations over the previous decades, and now he has offered his services to the city in order to bring people together.

His campaign motto is ‘Proven Leadership’. While this is accurate, it is also an understatement that is reflective of the man. Please visit his website, to learn more about him and his candidacy.

I urge all Torrance voters to cast one of their votes for Milton Herring.

But that is not the end of the story.

Many of the candidates at Monday’s Forum made positive impressions on me and other voters. This small article will not have time to mention all of them and all of their accomplishments, but allow me to mention a few of them here; I plan to attend two more forums scheduled for this week and I will post my thoughts and observations on all of the candidates by week’s end. And since I expect that Torrance voters are most familiar with the incumbents, I will post about them at the end.

Two of the candidates who stood out in the forum were Clint Paulson and John Paul Tabakian, both of whom have impressive training (Paulson holds a law degree from the College of William and Mary; Tabakian earn his PhD from CSU Northridge), extensive experience (Paulson in government contracts and Tabakian in education) and passion for the city. They offer voters a fresh look at city debt and planning. If you want ‘business as usual’ for the City of Torrance, these are not your candidates. These men are anticipating the future and want to position the city now for issues that are sure to come.

If Clint Paulson and John Paul Tabakian were on the City Council, they would be well assisted by Leilani A. Kimmel-Dagostino, who is a budget analyst with an MBA from Pepperdine University. Ms. Kimmel-Dagostino appears to have an in-depth understanding of city finances and, along with Paulson and Tabakian, a concern for the Pension Obligation which clouds the budget with future debt. Also, Ms. Kimmel-Dagostino has gained an awareness of residents’ concerns through her numerous hours of volunteer work in Torrance.

Any of these candidates would serve the city well.

Before closing, I would like to make one, small observation. Given the number of candidates, there wasn’t enough time in Monday’s forum for any of them to explain their PLANs for the city moving forward. Most of what the audience heard were the candidates’ ‘lists of concerns’ – not what they would do about those concerns.

An open suggestion to all candidates: briefly tell us what you would do about the problem/s you have cited.

The next blog will focus on Omar Navarro, Mike Griffiths, Aurelio Mattucci, retired Policeman Geoff Rizzo, Tim Goodrich – who gave the most ‘professional’ presentation – and ‘not-to-be-overlooked’ dynamic teacher Charlotte Ann Svolos.

I’ll see all of you – and all of them – at the forum tonight.