Examining Claims of Two Candidates

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Surely after a round of gratuitous candidate bashing (“Political Briefs,” Oct. 10) the Indy is going to give equal time to actual rather than fabricated discrepancies in what Rob Zur Schmiede and Toni Iseman claim about their records.

For example, Rob Zur Schmiede claims he will be open, listen, practice fiscal responsibility.  But he won’t tell voters if he supported or opposed the 2012 parcel tax ballot initiative.  Voters rejected the new city agency controlling a $30 million, 20-year add-on property tax funding stream, regulating use of randomly acquired public domain in private residential neighborhoods.

Similarly, in 2014 Rob claims he would have voted against a village entrance revenue bond and City Hall parking garage, but won’t tell us if he supported it or opposed it in 2013, when it mattered.  The 2013 village entrance project and the 2012 parcel tax were the two biggest fiscal issues of the decade, but Rob is keeping his position secret, telling supporters “if I answer it will be used against me.”

Non-disclosure on village entrance leaves us with Planning Commission podcast of June 8, 2011.  Chairman Pro Tem Zur Schmiede offers no questions or comments when staff recommends a resolution supporting a finding that the village entrance project will have “insignificant aesthetic impact.” After a seven-minute hearing, visibly distracted, inattentive Rob votes yes to adopt the resolution sending the village entrance report to City Council.

Perhaps knowing it could be “used against” him is the real reason, when asked to defend his record on the Planning Commission, the candidate who promises to listen blurted out “I resent that question.” If Rob acts like that as a candidate, how will he treat dissent and criticism if he is on City Council?

Then there is Toni’s campaign, claiming she “stopped the village entrance” revenue bond to build a multi-story garage next to City Hall.  Go to video podcast at LagunaBeachCity.net, City Council Agenda, March 26, 2013.  At 53:10-53:50 Toni pleads for Council approval of three-story garage, 500 cars, $30 million, plus $30 million debt service.

City Council rejected Toni’s plan, adopted Pearson’s plan.  Toni voted no June 11 out of spite. But go to 37:11 on March 26 video, Toni tells us “If you had an overlay of Elizabeth’s plan and my plan, there is a tremendous amount in common.”

So please give Rob and Toni the equal time they deserve.

Howard Hills, Laguna Beach

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