Lutes’ Last Demand
Defeated supervisor candidate calls on victor to keep his promises.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
When Jyl Lutes conceded the District 2 supervisorial election to incumbent Lou Calcagno late last week, she didn’t bow out quietly.
The race, one of the most heated in the June 6 election, ended with Calcagno winning handily, with 55 percent of the vote to Lutes’ 44 percent. In her concession speech on June 9 outside of Salinas City Hall, Lutes, a Salinas city councilwoman, challenged Calcagno to work with conservationists to protect the environment, to listen to the public, to bring salaries of county workers to parity with other counties, and to fully fund the gang task force.
“You’ve said in this campaign you were against sprawl,” Lutes said, challenging Calcagno. “Now it’s time to vote that way. You’ve said you have an open door policy. Now it’s time for a public door policy. It’s time the public’s business is done in public.”
Lutes said Calcagno needs to work with organizations like the Sierra Club and LandWatch, and she urged him to hire a hydrologist to evaluate the water situation of North County before allowing any future development.
“Lou [Calcagno] and Mike [Kanalakis] won on the success of the gang task force,” Lutes said. “The feds are probably not going to renew the funding. If they don’t, then the County better come up with the money. Campaign promises better be kept.”
Calcagno dismissed Lutes’ speech.
“There’s no challenge,” he said. “I’m very gratified that the voters of Monterey County have had the trust in me to return me back in office. I had to be a darn good supervisor to end up with a 55 percent majority.
“The points she made are points the County has been working diligently on for many months, many years.”
Calcagno said the County has hired hydrologists to conduct studies. Additionally, he said, the County is in negotiations with its employees to renew their contract, which expires at the end of the month, and is working to secure additional federal money for the gang task force.
Calcagno said his conservation record speaks for itself.
“I’ve worked with the Elkhorn Slough Foundation to secure 3,500 acres, and worked with the [Agricultural and Historical] Land Conservancy to secure conservation easements close to 17,000 acres. I challenge her to try to match me and see what she can do and how many acres she has preserved while she’s been on the City Council?”
He insisted that he does maintain an open-door policy.
“My door will stay open just as it’s been for the last seven and a half years,” he said. “Any one that wants an appointment with me, just call me.”
Lutes won’t rule out another run for supervisor in four years.
“We’ll see how the supervisors behave,” she said. “If they’re going to start having an open door to the public and start listening to residents, that’s great. But I don’t see them doing that right now.””