Thursday, August 15, 2002
Community Action Commission Seeks South Countyites As everybody knows, Monterey County''s one of the least affordable places to live in the U.S. It''s difficult for cops and teachers to get by and even harder for really low-income folks.
On Monday, Aug. 19, the Community Action Agency will hold a public election to select a representative to serve as a Community Action Commissioner for Monterey County''s District 3.
The Commission is a 15-member panel responsible for making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors about funding and community service needs to benefit low-income people.
All District 3 residents are eligible to vote and/or run for office. District 3 includes most of South Monterey County, from Chualar to San Ardo and a small part of East Salinas.
"In order to run, you don''t have to be low income yourself, but you have to make a commitment to represent that segment of the population," says Program Manager Ellen Correa.
Interested candidates-and voters-should show up at the One Stop Career Center, 200 Broadway, Suite 62 in King City, 4pm Aug. 19.
Candidates can nominate themselves, and will be asked to give a brief statement and provide proof that they live in District 3.
Commissioners attend monthly meetings and visit other programs and agencies that are funded by the Community Action Agency, including child care, homeless shelter services, hunger prevention and parent education classes.
"One that we''re really proud of is the workforce literacy project," Correa says. The program provides classroom instruction, small-group study sessions for the GED, and one-on-one tutoring. Since its inception in 2002, the literacy program has served 425 adults.
For more information, call 755-8490.
Pacific Grove Candidate Field Locked
Pacific Grove has a horse race of a political season this year. With Mayor Sandy Koffman term-limited out, councilman Dan Davis not running again, serial councilman and former mayor Morris Fisher running for mayor, and two other councilmen-Robert Huitt and Steve Honegger-term-limited out, nearly the entire elected leadership will shift by year''s end. With the mayor''s seat and four city council seats up for grabs, two councilmen, Don Gasperson and Jim Costello, will become the veterans.
Pacific Grove has its share of recent municipal and civic strife. Top on the city''s list of problems are its embarrassingly gushy sewer pipes, which repeatedly pour sewage into treasured, protected coastal waters.
A group of citizens has recently been quite vocal about two city matters involving housing for seniors. A plan to build a 49-unit affordable housing facility for seniors near Lovers Point has triggered an angry response by some neighbors who complain about view blockage, traffic, parking and more potential sewage blunders. Also, the renovation of the grand Forest Hill Manor, which was approved ten years ago, got some citizens and business owners so riled they''ve sued the city, demanding that the project go back through the public review process.
There are also rumblings of a city government which seems out of scale with relatively small Pacific Grove. With plenty to argue about until November, the field of candidates has filled up fast. The filing period closed on Aug. 14.
Running for mayor against Morris Fisher is Roger Pasquier, a former broadcaster and former owner of what was Pacific Grove''s oldies radio station. Fisher is a native who has been involved in city politics dating back to the 1970s.
There are two candidates running for the single two-year term seat, Dan Miller and Sue Renz.
The field really spreads out in the race for the four-year seats, of which there are three open. Vying for a slot are John Stidham, Bruce Obbink, Ron Schenk, Bob Pacelli, Jennifer McKnight, Susan Goldbeck and Lee Yarborough.
Jennifer McKnight made these pages recently because she accused a city official of accosting her during a heated public meeting. The police investigated and no charges were filed, but the city official reportedly will be leaving his post.
Susan Goldbeck is the former publisher of the Pacific Grove Beacon newspaper>.
Aside from Morris, none of the candidates have served in elected positions in Pacific Grove before.
-Jessica Lyons, Andrew Scutro