News West Edition

Two City Council seats at stake in Tuesday’s voting

LOS ANGELES — Voters in the 8th and 10th City Council districts will go to the polls March 3 to elect their representatives on the City Council.

The 8th District will have a new representative for sure, since incumbent Councilman Bernard Parks, can’t seek re-election due to the city’s term limits law.

Four candidates — Bobbie Jean Anderson, Robert Cole, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Forescee Hogan-Rowles — are seeking to replace him.

In the 10th District, incumbent Herb Wesson Jr. is facing two challengers —  Grace Yoo, executive director of the Korean American Coalition; and Delaney “Doc” Smith, a physician, lecturer and theologist.

Also on the ballot are two city ballot measures, Charter Amendments 1 and 2, which would move the city elections in 2020 and 2022 from March and May to June and November.

The change would place city elections on the same ballot as state and federal elections. Supporters of the charter changes say voter turnout would improve for city elections under the changes. Opponents say city elections would get lost among presidential and gubernatorial elections.

Parks, who opposes the charter amendments, says they will extend incumbents’ terms by as much as 18 months.

Residents of Watts and surrounding areas also have a Los Angeles school board election on the ballot. The District 7 seat on the school board is currently filled by Richard Vladovic. He is being challenged by Euna Anderson and Lydia Gutierrez, two educators.

The city of Carson is also holding its municipal election March 3, with two City Council seats as well as the city clerk and city treasurer positions at stake. Incumbents Lula Davis-Holmes and Elito Santarina are being challenged by Rita R. Boggs, Jawane Hilton, Alene Harris, Margaret Hernandez, Elisa Gonzalez and Stephen Anyaka in the City Council race.

Mayor Jim Dear is challenging incumbent City Clerk Donesia Gause in the clerk’s race.

Dear has been criticized for seeking the clerk’s post, with foes saying he wants the luxury of a full-time position, including a pension, provided by the clerk’s job. The mayor and city council seats are considered part-time positions in Carson and most cities in Los Angeles County.

Five candidates are on the ballot for the city treasurer’s seat: Eddie Duque, Joe Merton, Emilio Loyola, Monica Cooper and incumbent Karen Avila.

Also on the ballot is a ballot measure that would make the city’s utility users tax permanent. Measure A would make the city’s two percent utility tax that was approved by voters in 2009 permanent. The measure that created the utility tax called for the tax to end in 2016.

Mayor Dear favors the extension, saying the estimated $8 million generated by the tax annually is needed to maintain the city’s fiscal reserves.

Opponents say the tax was approved to help the city escape financial problems brought on by the 2009 recession and that the tax should expire like voters intended at the time it was passed.

Polls open at 7 p.m. Tuesday and close at 8 p.m. Voters with questions about any part of the voting process should contact their city clerk’s office.