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PAID CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT COLUMN:Vote Gutzeit, Ferdman for City Council

Posted: March 13, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 13, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Sometimes it is difficult to assess qualifications one needs to do a job. I have always felt a surgeon requires not only intellect, but should have hand-eye coordination to at least catch a football.

Makes sense, but footballs aren’t tossed around at their board certification exams!

Assessing qualifications of 13 candidates vying for three City Council seats in the upcoming April 8th election is not easy. Too many candidates, too many issues, and not enough time may again lead to the abysmal voter turnout (<20%) which the Founding Fathers had not envisioned.

Fortunately, the SCV Senior Center brought together the candidates at a Forum on March 5th allowing the elder senior community to hear opinions on matters connected to quality of life issues.

Therefore, as a physician, I give you my dissection of this large candidate field.

First and foremost, seeing all these individuals expose themselves to criticism, yet demonstrate their heartfelt need to help fellow citizens made me proud the political system works ... at least in our little corner of the world.

Many ideas were brought forward including a city department of aging, need for a transitional care unit and nursing home, and a new senior center facility.

Words dangled throughout were “dedication”, “commitment”, “service”, “leadership”, and “I pledge...”.

Important to me is a candidate who already has publicly strived to fight for a cause, presented their opinions, debated issues, and learned to communicate with the people.

In this role, they would have demonstrated a willingness to accept counter-criticism, yet still argue pertinent problems.

This innate ability was recently illustrated at a late-night, jam-packed City Council meeting over billboards. Yes, billboards.

Not seemingly a hot topic, it became more relevant as Councilpersons TimBen Boydston and Marsha McLean scrutinized this issue until after midnight. Even on this non-topic to me, I can proudly say, they were serving the people.

Having worked with the two incumbents on various committees, (and yes, even on a picket-line) they have indeed served our community well. I firmly believe term limits on all political officers are necessary as idea creation wanes, and longer than a decade of service for any elected official leads to stagnation.

At the SCV Senior Center forum, I was impressed with Dante Acosta, Duane Harte, and Gloria Mercado-Fortine for their knowledge and fortitude, and if elected, I know they will serve well. Ultimately though, two candidates set themselves apart from the others, Alan Ferdman and Maria Gutzeit.

For years, I have seen them at City Council meetings bringing forth ideas and solutions to our social problems. (As a matter-of-fact, I think this is where I first became acquainted with them.)

They are both engineers and approach problems like a doctor, so I appreciate their logic. I also know I do not always agree with them, but still we find common ground to move forward.

Each have specific ideas and personalities, so they do not come from the same viewpoint. Solving problems by elected officials has been lost, but I see their background enhances the ability to analyze complex issues and will be an asset to our community.

Alan Ferdman has spearheaded an organization in Canyon Country that has promoted their area of Santa Clarita into the limelight keeping them from being a lowly second string fiddle. With his advocacy, taking multiple turns at the microphone in front of the City Council dais gives him a right now to be on that dais.

Maria Gutzeit brings not only her engineering background, but also an understanding of water issues and elder senior problems unique to the field of candidates. As most of you know, she is always prepared, but is flexible in her debate.

Both think outside the box, and are without typical swaying from external financial influences. They know the integral needs of Santa Clarita, but also the wider understanding of how our city functions within the state. I have seen them clearly demonstrate over the years the ability to listen and develop solutions.

We are very lucky in Santa Clarita to have a 13 candidate field where everyone of them has the heart and spirit to serve the people. I think if I threw a football at them, each would be able to catch it.

It is up to you now to dissect through the material, make a comment, spread the word of who you consider to be worthy. Then, on April 8th get out and vote, so even in our little corner of the world we can make our Founding

Fathers proud as we continue to practice the democracy they envisioned.

Gene Uzawa Dorio is a medical doctor and a resident of Saugus.

 

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