Saturday, March 27, 2010

San Diego District 6 City Council Elections

I am taking a time out from national politics, to explore the San Diego City Council race in District 6. I am just getting started looking at the candidates and will report from the debate on April 8 at Clairemont High School. Right now, the flyer shows four candidates, although I could swear there were five only a week ago. When I saw the flyer, I had little knowledge about the candidates, so here is my preliminary round up:

Howard Wayne

Former Assemblyman (78th district East Countyish, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, Bonita) and Democrat. His experience and fundraising probably make him the favorite. On his web site he touts the endorsement of the firefighters and police unions, so right away, I am highly prejudiced against him. This means he won't take on firefighter work practices or the pension problems crippling the city budget, or so it would seem.

Lori Zapf

Her website has some pretty decent proposals; reform pensions, balance the budget (but that's the law). But she also cow-tows to the firefighters and police. She also touts making "quality of life" and neighborhoods her first priority. San Diego City Beat is trying to paint her as some kind of anti-gay bigot, so she is making the right enemies. She was also involved in an organization called Californians Against Lawsuit Abuse, another plus. She is also, horrors, the only Republican in the officially non-partisan race.

Steve Hadley

Steve Hadley is Donna Frye's chief of staff. Frye is the current District 6 council member. He will come with her mixed baggage, she was occasionally the voice of sanity on the council but I always felt that she was too close to the unions. Hadley's issues page on his web site
takes on a number of issues regarding pension that show his knowledge of the real problem. I was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately he also seems anti-development with his emphasis on mitigation plans and other minutia of urban planning.

Ryan Huckabone

The last candidate also seems the least likely to win. The platform page of his web site calls for shifting to a defined contributions pension system for new employees; I wholeheartedly agree. (But dude, get some professional help for your web page.) He also calls for limiting spending, but offers very little concrete, other than capping expenses at 2% below projected revenue. Maybe not a bad idea, but more needs to be done. He also takes on water reclamation as a key initiative. He may be very far sighted, but I don't think this will generate excitement, unless water rationing gets way worse. Finally, he states that he will work very hard to keep the Chargers in San Diego; I couldn't disagree more. I would like to see some other city deal with the financial subsidies that come with supporting an NFL team, so I am not thrilled.

My options aren't looking so great, but I will be attending the debate on April 8.For any readers residing in San Diego or absentee voting in San Diego (CZ?), I invite you to comment on what questions I should ask. My proposed question is, "What action will you take that will anger the public employees union but save the taxpayers significant money?"

Look forward to your comments.


  1. I'd ask them to describe the bankruptcy process. Do they understand how things work?

  2. Thanks for doing this. I like your question.

  3. Thanks for the reminder - I need to figure out what to do for absentee voting!

    I'll be watching your blog for more input, especially at the local level -- on all levels really.

  4. I think it is great that you have decided to cover the sixth Council District Race. However, your article has several omissions.

    1) There are five candidates in the race.

    You left out Kim Tran, who was the first Republican to file for the office and who is a Central Cmte. Member.

    Ryan Huckabone is also a Republican

    Kim Tran is the only candidate that is not seeking special interest money and is waging a true grassroots campaign. She has over 400 signs in yards and in business storefront windows throughout the sixth District already and has substantial Vietnamese Community support. She is the wildcard in this race and the powers that be however continue to ignore this candidate as there internal polling gave them the bad news. She is a true candidate of the people and for fiscal responsibility. She garnered 5,880 votes in her 2008 76th AD primary run in the sixth District and thus has Republican Name recognition.

  5. Gloria,
    Thanks for the letting me know, but Kim was not included in the debate. Do you know why? I will update the article if I see good reason to include her.

  6. Most community organizations are comprised of Democrat and or Republican Partisans. Kim understood early on after she was not invited to the North Chamber candidate forum that these venues were not friendly to her campaign or any other campaign not funded by the local County Parties. Kim also understands that City Council Districts, given their small size, allow for a grass roots campaign to succeed without the use of the traditional tools employed by modern campaigns. Kim has been out in the communities for the last four months talking to the people. Kim has been walking precincts talking fiscal responsibility while the other candidates have dedicated their time fundraising and public meetings. For example, Kim and her team walked one precinct last night and placed 13 yard signs in that precinct alone. Kim has not just hired a bunch of college kids to walk for her; she does not have the legions of Union members walking precincts delivering flyers. She is walking the precincts herself with other concerned citizens who want to take their city back from the special interests. All I know is there are going to be many red faces in the media when the June 8, 2010 returns are announced.

  7. Gloria,
    Sorry I was late to see your response. I will excerpt it on a new post. I still think that Kim is doing her campaign a disservice by not participating.

  8. KT, that question got asked. See my second post on the debate.