RAFU STAFF REPORT

TORRANCE — For Torrance residents, the ballot for the June 7 election will include a contested mayor’s race and contests in three City Council districts.

The candidates for mayor are current City Councilmember George Chen and former City Councilmember Cliff Numark, a member of the El Camino College Board of Trustees. The winner will succeed Pat Furey, who is not on the ballot.

Voter’s Edge asked the candidates to sum up their priorities.

“Public Safety is the main responsibility of government,” Chen said.

“Take actionable steps to address the homelessness population in our community by standing up the temporary housing and enforcing the previously approved anti-camping ordinance for those refusing help/service.

“Maintain fiscal discipline to control spending not more than we take in. Balance the budget; incorporate strategy and plans to drive up revenues to fund services for the quality of life the residents desire.”

Chen’s endorsers include Councilmembers Aurelio Mattucci, Sharon Kalani and Jack Walser; former Councilmember Mike Mauno; Torrance Unified School District Board President James Han; Park and Recreation Commission Chair Ed Candioty and member Ron Mataalli; Historical Preservation Commission member Marifrances Trivelli; Traffic Commission member Dan Thomas and former member Mark Tsuneishi; Library Commission member Dennis Piotroswky; Planning Commission members Mark Choi and Richard Tsao and former member Rick Marshall; Commission on Aging member Kay Grundhaus; Cultural Arts Commission member Totran Radke;

Rolling Hills Mayor Bea Dieringer; Rollling Hills Councilmember Pat Wilson; Palos Verdes Estates Mayor Michael Kemp; Palos Verdes Estates Councilmember Dave McGowan; Gardena Councilmember Rodney Tanaka; Rancho Palos Verdes Councilmember John Cruikshank; Manhattan Beach Councilmember Suzanne Hadley; former Palos Verdes Estates Councilmember Betty Lin-Peterson; former Lomita Mayor Dave Albert; Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu.

Numark’s priorities: “Stop the budget bleeding. Torrance has the fourth-worst fiscal health in California. Comprehensively assess and revamp finances.

“Support public safety, stop hate, and ensure fair and equal treatment.

“Unify city to address community challenges, like homelessness, teaming with schools, supporting seniors, ensure development maintains the character of our community, strengthen business to grow jobs and ensure a sustainable city.”

His campaign stated, “Cliff Numark has successfully led government, nonprofit and business organizations, as an operating leader and as a board member. He brings teams together to accomplish strategic objectives, using data for decision making and to assess progress. His strong leadership, operations, marketing, public affairs and analytical skills drive performance and results.”

His endorsers include: Mayor Pat Furey; Councilmember Heidi Ashcraft; former Councilmember and former Assemblymember George Nakano; former Councilmembers Tim Mock, Maureen O’Donnell, Geoff Rizzo, Bill Sutherland, Kurt Weideman, Mark Wirth and Hope Witkowsky; former City Treasurer Linda Barnett; former City Clerk Sue Herbers;

Torrance School Board members Dr. Jeremy Gerson, Betty Lieu and Dr. Anil Muhammed; former School Board members Bill Blischke, Marha Deutsch, Ann Gallagher, Gary Kuwahara, Terry Ragins, Dave Sargent, Mark Steffen and Michael Wermers.

City commissioners: Cindy Scotto, Social Services; Viraj Ala and Jonah Hirata, Youth Council; Kathy Cohen, Airport; William Feliz, Dale Korman, Keith Montoya and Zohra Muhammed, Parks and Recreation; Mel Glass and Sue Siani, Water; Robert Habel and Mario Obejas, Traffic; Cinda Herring and Maria Schwarts, Civil Service; Steven Hsiao, Lynda Kraemer and Toni Sargent, Cultural Arts; Rosie Javaid and Camilla Seferian, Library; Masaru Kent Kawai, Water; Dr. Laurie Love and James Montgomery, Energy and Environmental Quality; Elizabeth Pino, Planning; Karen Pryor, Aging; Bill Reynolds and Novelette Witt, Social Services.

Legislative/regional leaders: Former State Treasurer John Chiang; Rep. Ted Lieu; State Sens. Ben Allen and Steve Bradford; Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi; L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn; L.A. County Assessor Jeff Prang; Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand; Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor Eric Alegria; Lomita Mayor Pro Tem Barry Waite.

In the District 1 City Council race, there are four candidates: Deputy District Attorney Dave Zygielbaum, small business owner and educator David M. Kartsonis, small business owner Jon Kaji, and retired educator Jimmy Gow. (See related article for profile of Kaji.)

Zygielbaum listed his top three priorities: “Secure public safety and protect North Torrance — With 15 years as a deputy district attorney, public safety is my highest priority. I will encourage increased community engagement with neighborhood watch and the Community Emergency Response Team.

“Address regional homelessness with compassionate regional solutions — Torrance’s homelessness plan is a step in the right direction, but it is just the beginning. I will work to make Torrance a leader in creating a regional homelessness plan.

“Improve North Torrance and support economic growth — North Torrance deserves a strong advocate that will work to create a better North Torrance for our children. I will work to improve North Torrance and bolster Torrance’s economic development.”

Featured endorsements: Mayor Pat Furey, Torrance Firefighters Association, Torrance Police Officers Association

Kartsonis: “Public Safety — When my family decided to move to Torrance and decided to headquarter our business in Torrance, safety was one of the main reasons. We need to support our city’s public safety, but remain within our budget.

“Economy — Torrance is ranked fourth most likely city in California to go bankrupt.  The city been spending more than it earns and now our reserves are gone. We need a council who will actually do the hard work to balance our city’s budget.

“Homeless — Torrance doesn’t have the resources to address this issue alone. Torrance homeowners pay L.A. County $35 million for homeless services and in exchange Torrance only gets $5 million in support. This is absolutely unfair to our residents.”

Featured endorsements: Former Councilmember and former Assemblymember George Nakano; former Mayor Frank Scotto; former Torrance Unified School District Superintendent George Mannon

Gow: “Give North Torrance the attention it deserves with greater public safety through community policing, easier access to city services and a transparent, responsive government reflecting the interests of the community.

“Improve parks, open spaces and public places with smarter development for a cleaner, greener environment to protect and enhance our quality of life.

“Stabilize the city’s financial outlook by solving the budget crisis, creating new revenue streams, encouraging economic development and creating a business/worker-friendly Torrance.”

Endorsers include: Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi; Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn; Rep. Maxine Waters; Mayor Pat Furey.

In District 3, the candidates are senior financial analyst Asam Sheikh and real estate agent Lauren Cotner.

In District 5, the candidates are incumbent and real estate broker owner Aurelio Mattucci and editor/professor H. Jean Adelsman.

City Clerk Rebecca Poirier is running unopposed for re-election.

City Treasurer Dana Cortez is being challenged by financial officer/treasurer Melissa M. Wright, City Councilmember Mike Griffiths, chief financial officer G. Rick Marshall, and former councilmember and risk manager Tim Goodrich.

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