Campaigning on Quaint
Carmel City Council candidates agree on most issues, but see different priorities.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
If only City Council meetings were as civil as campaign season in Carmel. Four candidates vying for two open council seats largely agree on the big issues.
The contenders: incumbent Ken Talmage, Planning Commissioner Victoria Beach, Forest and Beach Commissioner Tom Leverone and realtor Bob Profeta. The top two vote-getters on April 10 will be sworn in the following week.
With Mayor Sue McCloud and Councilwoman Karen Sharp retiring, Beach, an architect, says it’s important to elect someone who came up through the ranks of planning. “It’s a land use-based economy,” she says.
Profeta, a retired electrical engineer who helped start up nuclear power plants for General Electric, is calling for revenue generation. Everyone wants to maintain the town’s character, he says, “but no one ever says there’s a cost of keeping the charm in Carmel.”
Talmage, the most prolific fundraiser, isn’t ready to go there. “It’s premature to start saying, ‘I’m in favor of this or that’ until we understand what service levels the community agrees on,” he says. The council has begun preparing just such an economic forecast with its annual budget preparations.
Leverone, a semi-retired physician, says all options for water and revenue generation should be on the table, even if paid parking and a hotel tax hike become Carmel’s next third-rail issues. “Carmel’s a 1-square-mile town with 10 square miles of politics, and I’d like to see that stop,” he says.
The candidates appear to be headed in that direction, with a joint election-night party planned at the Sunset Center. Beach is making chocolate-chip cookies, sure to keep even the losers in a celebratory mood.
For more on the Carmel campaign, visit www.mcweekly.com/election2012.