Many have asked who to vote for on Nov 3 for the Hermosa Beach City Council.

I’ve met with all the candidates face to face (except Trent Larson).  I quizzed them on issues important to the Smackfest Nation (primarily young professionals who enjoy the beach and social atmosphere that Hermosa offers).

Obviously one of the main topics of discussion was Smackfest – how they felt about this event, as well as other events on the beach. Also I wanted to learn a little more about their background … and can they relate to the beach lifestyle.

Another issue has been local business, primarily the night life.  Some present council members (Hany and former CM Nannette) have sought to limit how late businesses can stay open and impose restrictions that have negative effects on business owners and patrons.

Now let me also mention this … the Anti-Oil constituency (who did a great job with the N on O campaign which led to oil drilling being voted down by an almost 80/20 margin), in my belief has staged a political strategy aimed at mobilizing the N on O voters. They state you MUST vote for certain candidates in order to keep oil out of Hermosa. DONT BE FOOLED!!  Vote for the candidate whom you feel has the best platform, and addresses the issues that matter to you.  If oil drilling is ever to be considered in Hermosa, it will take another citywide vote – Council Members will have 1 vote just like you and I – and considering it lost by an overwhelming margin, oil drilling will never pass.

Pete Tucker: Pete is an incumbent CM.  He and I worked on a few sub committees back around 2000-2005 before he became a Council Member. He has done more volunteer work for the City of Hermosa than all the other candidates combined. His sons both play beach volleyball, he supports Smackfest, local businesses, and the beach lifestyle.  A definite YES vote.

Ken Hartley: Ken has also been very involved in volunteering for the benefit of Hermosa.  You will hear many Anti-Oil folks slam Ken, but it’s again strategic … if he wins, their guys wont.  Ken has been the head of the Chamber of Commerce and a fomer Hermosa Man of the Year.  You dont get to those positions without gaining the respect of HB residents.  He has some great ideas for the City’s future, and is also very supportive of events like Smackfest.  The Hermosa Hospitality Org. is supporting him, so they obviously feel he is business friendly.  Now there are some yellow flags that you gotta get past, but if you can, Ken would be a good choice.  I’ll vote yes, but with a little hesitancy.

Justin Massey: Justin grew up in San Clemente, so he gets the beach lifestyle. He is a bright guy, with some great ideas for the City.  He does support Smackfest and even mentioned submitting for a 3 year contract.  On the downside, he has only lived in Hermosa for about 5 years.  He hasnt been on any commissions nor sub committees that I know of.  His supporters for the most part are respectful, but there are some who are just plain a-holes. And lastly, many are afraid he will vote in-line with Hany Fangary, who has in the past demonstrated an attitude not condusive to the beach lifestyle.  While I like Justin and think he’d do a good job for the residents, I think he needs to get appointed to a commission, then run in 2017.  I’ll prob vote for him in 2 years if he loses this bid.

Jeff Duclos:  Jeff is a nice guy, and a long time Hermosa resident.  He has been a council member before, but lost his re-election bid in 2013 by less than 10 votes.  Jeff has a strong head on his shoulders and will make decisions for the City based on HIS views, not his fellow CM's.  He also suggested Smackfest is a great event, and should be preserved, but in a manner that doesnt promote blatant stupidity that causes red flags for law enforcement.  I have to agree. He has however suggested while on council in 2011-12 that the amount of events on the beach should be seriously reduced.  Also while he says he’ll uphold the rights of downtown bars/restaurants, he has been an advocate for a more restrictive approach. I might vote for him when I’m 60, but not now.