Mr. Right for Marina?
Conservative Steve Emerson takes on Delgado for mayor.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
The election for Marina mayor is nine months away. But the race is full term for Steve Emerson, a financial consultant and president of The Marina Foundation, who kicked off his campaign Jan. 28.
By challenging two-term Green Party Mayor Bruce Delgado, Emerson, a Republican, is seeking to swing the power dynamic on a five-member City Council with a narrow liberal majority. He says he’s generally aligned with conservative councilmembers Jim Ford and Nancy Amadeo.
“It’s the first progressive council Marina has had,” Delgado counters, “and I think we’re seeing that play out with opposition that would like it to go back to the way it was.”
Emerson criticizes the mayor for envisioning Marina as a college town, and for the legal fees spent on development projects on the former Fort Ord. “We seem to be spending an awful lot of money on attorneys and not seeking revenue,” he says. “It’s time the city move in a different direction and work to protect our core services.”
Delgado counters that it’s prudent for the City Council to hire contract attorneys for development projects worth tens of millions of dollars. As for revenue, he says, it’s not the mayor’s job to raise city funds; staff working at the council’s direction have landed six-figure grants.
“Policymakers aren’t supposed to be selling Chiclets on the corner,” Delgado says. “I think he’s throwing mud in every direction he can.”
Delgado served on the City Council from 2000-2004, then narrowly lost a bid for mayor in 2004. He was elected mayor in 2008 and again in 2010.
Councilmen Ford and Frank O’Connell are also up for re-election in November. Union organizer Chris Fitz, LandWatch board president and domestic partner to Supervisor Jane Parker, plans to join that race.