Rubio and Bachofner head to a rematch
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The number 21 dogs Ralph Rubio, a Carpenters Union organizer who was Seaside’s mayor from 2004-2010. His last challenger, Felix Bachofner, beat him at the polls by a mere 21 votes.
“I wasn’t going to contest that, so I just kinda laid back, didn’t attend any meetings and just watched,” Rubio says. “[Then] people said ‘Hey, things aren’t happening in this town and we need to get back on track.’”
The city’s filing period to run for office doesn’t open until July 16, but Rubio is already publicly stumping for a rematch.
Bachofner, who owns a marketing company, says his first term has been exemplary. “We had to right the financial ship of the city,” he says.
The council has passed two balanced budgets without reserve spending since his election, he says; the city’s fire and police departments are now fully staffed, and despite a spate of recent layoffs, a reorganization will bring new hires into the planning and recreation departments.
But Rubio says Bachofner’s tenure has botched some key opportunities. The council scrapped the planned In-N-Out Burger, the Post No Bills brew house ditched its Seaside prospects for Sand City, the Fresh & Easy grocery store slated for the City Center complex defected to Monterey, and the planned veterans’ clinic went to Marina.
“The situation the city is in now, with cuts and no new revenues—all those things had a chilling effect on future developers,” Rubio says.
Bachofner counters that the City Center, about half vacant when he was elected, is now almost entirely leased, and Seaside’s Victory Toyota dealership and Burger King franchise have been completely rebuilt. “I think it’s indicative of the business community being confident that the city has stopped the hemorrhage of public money,” he says.
Dave Pacheco, who worked for the city for 36 years before retiring as recreation superintendent, is making a run for council. “I can make a bigger impact than any councilperson who’s up there,” he says. “I have a new vision, versus the established vision.”
Among his priorities: better communications with business owners, more business incentives and enhanced recreation services.
Incumbents Steve Bloomer—who is semi-retired with a background in information technology and civil engineering, and has sat on the council since 1999—and Ian Oglesby, a prison guard finishing his first council term, hope to keep their seats. Rubio says he supports both incumbents.
If Pacheco is elected, he’ll knock one of them off the dais—but both Oglesby and Bloomer call him “a good guy.” Bloomer has Rubio’s back for mayor, while Oglesby says he’s undecided.