A Statement From Your Pacifica City Council Candidates

Patch offers another opportunity for Pacifica to get to know their City Council candidates just in time for Election Day.

The number of campaign days for City Council candidates are winding down. Between now and Election Day on Tuesday, local candidates are upping the ante to get their last word in at forums and campaign gatherings around town.

Candidates for three seats on the Pacifica City Council shared their views about the Palmetto streetscape project, plans for the Beach Boulevard property and the ongoing budget crunch during a forum 10 days ago sponsored by the American Association of University Women.

Last Sunday, Rich Campbell informally campaigned at the Park Pacifica home of Catherine Wachtler and Jeff Martin.

Victor Spano last Thursday gathered some campaign supporters at Mary Brown's insurance office for an informal discussion about his vision for Pacifica's future if he is elected to the City Council.

These are just a few examples of their campaign efforts. To help these candidates even more in the last leg of the race, Pacifica Patch offered each candidate — there are seven of them — a chance to provide a statement to get the word out one more time about who they are, what they stand for and what their campaign is all about. Patch heard from six of the candidates. Here’s what they have to say:


Mike O’Neill (2-year term)

In my 14 years on the Pacifica School Board, I have brought new revenue to the district, new industry to Pacifica and was a part of the leadership that helped the Pacifica School District become a state designated high performing district. I ask that you give me the chance to lead Pacifica to become a high performing city. The thinking and decision-making that got us where we are today will not work in the future. I believe in Pacifica, and its citizens; together we can improve the city we all call home. If you wish to contact me, please e-mail ilikemike2012@yahoo.com or call 650-359-7190.  Thank you for your consideration and please vote Mike O’Neill for the 2-year seat.


Victor Spano (2-year term)

During the past few months I have focused on the theme of "We Need Economic Development." I am the only candidate who has worked full time in local government, and I have over 12 years experience bringing jobs, opportunities and progress outside Pacifica as Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Daly City.  My goals include: maintaining a balanced budget, supporting schools and seniors, maintaining our streets, parks and trails, as well as ensuring public safety.  I support improving Highway One and the new library for Palmetto.  I will not take a salary, so long as my expenses are reimbursed. Nor will I take the health benefit, so long as I have my own through my employer. My message of "Let's Go Pacifica!" is a message of hope.  Let's work together to build our community with respect to our spectacular coastside environment.


Richard Campbell (2-year term)

I am running for the 2-year City Council seat to ensure that Pacifica sees a significant increase in revenue from smart growth, primarily in the commercial sector of our economy. To attract the business we need, the City must present a clear vision of how the City wants to grow. I will work to make the revitalized Palmetto corridor a new "Main Street," anchored by a library and mixed-use development on the old water treatment site and the beautiful Sharp Park golf course (which should remain a golf course!). I will provide certainty to those who want to invest in our City that it will remain a beautiful place to live and work by working to preserve the current hillside protections in the new General Plan, and by moving quickly to implement alternatives to the ugly and economy-damaging CalTrans Highway 1 widening.

My background in the private sector working for the largest home and commercial developers in the nation, coupled with my background in the public sector as a City planning commissioner and environmental attorney, gives me the experience that is necessary to work toward this vision. My commitment to building and smart growth in Pacifica is why I am the only candidate endorsed by both the labor unions and the Sierra Club. For more information please visit www.campbellpacifica2012.com or www.facebook.com/campbellpacifica2012.


Karen Ervin (4-term year)

Today Pacifica is facing many challenges and needs strong leadership to overcome these challenges. I believe I can provide that leadership, and I have the vision and experience needed to move Pacifica forward. I would like to see Pacifica continue to progress in the years to come; to become financially secure, and offer the high quality of life the citizens deserve. I have spent my entire life in Pacifica; I was raised here, raised my children here and it is a community I cherish. I would love to have the opportunity to give back to this community that has given so much to me, and I would be honored to have your vote. Please contact me at kervinpacifica.com, or visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KarenErvinForPacificaCityCouncil2012 with any questions or comments you may have regarding my candidacy or concerns you may have on issues facing the Pacifica community.


Susan Vellone (4-term year)

I believe public service means public service — whether you are serving a non-profit organization or dedicating your time on improving the financial state of our City. I will not accept salary or health benefits for my appointment.
My main goal is to build our City's reserves by increasing our revenue streams (Transient Occupancy Tax, $1 per visitor per hotel room) and work collectively with the Chamber of Commerce and businesses, utilizing collective market strategies, and collaborate in an optimal exposure program for tourism.
This is vital to support our core services such as the Resource Center, Senior Services, and stop the outsourcing of our Pacifica Police Department.
You can view my thoughts and public service record at www.susan4pacificacouncil.com and I appreciate your support on my candidacy for Pacifica City Council.


Mary Ann Nihart (4-term year)

Like most cities, financial stability is our largest concern. As Mayor and a member of the Pacifica City Council, I have worked to stop deficit spending and balance the city budget. We cut the general fund budget by 11 percent, consolidated services, and improved efficiencies within departments. Our budget is balanced, but our reserve is only about $1 million. We need to continue strong economic development. I have fought hard for Pacifica’s share of County resources, established the Economic Development Committee, improved customer service in our Planning Department, reached out to Pacifica businesses with “Mayor’s Walks,” protected our environment, created the Beautification Task Force and led a community-wide effort that garnered national recognition for Pacifica as one of the six most beautiful towns in the United States.

It has been an honor to serve my community. I would like to use the knowledge, experience, and county-wide connections I have gained to achieve financial sustainability, maintain and enhance city services, revitalize aging business districts, seek out and encourage new businesses, protect our hills, open space and environment, build a new library/life long learning center, support our schools and children, protect our seniors, and preserve our quality of life. I will continue to work to represent everyone in our community. Together we can Thrive! More campaign information can be found here: www.MaryAnnforPacifica.org and www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Ann-Nihart-2012.

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Pacificat November 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM
That's an interesting question, Robin. I'd like to know how all the candidates voted on Measure L too. Seeing as the majority of voters voted no on L, I'd say I'd only vote for candidates who said they voted no too.
Lionel Emde November 03, 2012 at 06:03 PM
"2. Emphasize development in Palmetto Avenue, and the former site of the water treatment plant. Wider sidewalks with trees to draw more foot traffic. Mixed use to allow business growth and residential growth to match." This is a decades-old idea. Unless there is a reason for people to go to Palmetto Ave., it will remain what it's been for 40 years - the dead zone. Redoing the streetscape, as is being done now, will not solve the problem of there being no reason to go there. Three of the candidates in the above statements mention a new library. That seems like the most feasible way of starting to create a center on Palmetto that would draw people. The only other idea I can remember that had potential was the Ocean Discovery Center, which died for lack of support from the city council of that time. We're wasting time and money on that area unless something significant is put there that will attract people - landscaping won't cut it.
hutch November 04, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Vote for Rich Campbell if you want more of the stagnation that has driven Pacifica to the brink of bankruptcy. The last thing we need right now is an Environmental Protection Agency lawyer on our city council. The people and groups backing Campbell want to shut down Sharp Park Golf Course and they have fought to stop any progress in the last 10 years. The environment is imprortant, but if we're bankrupt we will have no money to save it, I urge Pacificans to vote for Mike O'Neill. A proven leader who will balance growth and the environment.
Keri Ayers November 05, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Amongst my social circle we were split on the Measure L vote, however in this election we are united in voting for Rich Campbell.
Keri Ayers November 05, 2012 at 06:17 PM
If your undecided on who to vote for, take a few moments to see them speak: Go to the PCT 26 Program Schedule page. http://www.pct26.com/program.html Click Program Schedule/VOD Click New Program Schedule (below the little TV screen). If you click on 10/4 on the calendar you’ll see the environmental forum at 5:30. Just click view and its video on demand. OR type in “forum” in search box and it will bring up all four forums. Envtl forum: PCT 26/Trib Forum: Chamber of Commerce Forum: AAUW Forum:


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