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Council Hopefuls Seeing Green

Posted: February 2, 2008 3:53 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2008 2:02 a.m.
 
After six months of a fundraising lull, the Santa Clarita City Council candidates have dollar signs in their eyes as the April election date approaches.

Five candidates are vying for the expiring City Council seats belonging to Mayor Bob Kellar and Councilman TimBen Boydston, who is not running for reelection.
Campaign disclosure reports released Friday showed Kellar in the fundraising lead, raising $7,300 from July 1 to Dec. 31, totaling $41,500 in 2007.
Kellar said Friday he held off on the big fundraising until after the new year when he would make "the big push."
"I've primarily had groups of people going to people's homes and my campaign contributions have mainly been from that kind of activity," he said. "I would like to think that whatever dollars I've been able to garner had been a result of people approving of the work that I have done for the city."
He said he has a few fundraisers planned and said his bank account will reach $65,000 to $70,000 by election time.
Bob Spierer, the former captain of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, raised $13,400 in six months, totaling $29,500 in 2007.
A good cup of coffee could be the secret to the rest of his fundraising.
"We're hoping to have some little community coffee gatherings where neighbors invite their other neighbors over and I'll get a chance to talk to them," he said.
He intends to hold more fundraisers and walk through neighborhoods to garner support, he said.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commissioner Laurie Ender raised $29,100 in 2007; $7,600 of it in the second half of the year.
About one-third of her contributors listed their occupation as homemaker and Ender said her grassroots effort is "really the secret."
"I really have spent the past six months meeting with residents, meeting with people who live here and haven't been involved before, hopefully cultivating a new generation of people active in the community," Ender said. "That's really been my whole campaign approach."
Maria Gutzeit, who serves as a director on the Newhall County Water District, raised $8,900 in six months and a total of $21,700 in 2007.
She said Friday her fundraising is "right on track."
Her early fundraising efforts helped her gain momentum, she said, and expects most of her money to roll in soon now that the new year has begun.
"Going through two elections, I know you have to go on strong at the end and you have to be cautious not to burn out too early," she said. "Now the hard work begins."
While contributions from residential and commercial developers are not uncommon, Gutzeit, known for her work as an environmentalist, accepted donations from developer Larry Rasmussen and lobbyist Jeff Lambert, whose client list includes a housing developer.
Gutzeit said she won't be swayed.
"I have endorsements from environmentalists and business people," she said. "I just think it shows that I can work with any entity ... I'm pleased to take donations from any entity because I've proven myself to be fair."
The reports showed Santa Clarita Planning Commissioner Diane Trautman trailing in her fundraising numbers, raising $17,200 in 2007, with the majority - about $12,400 - from July to December.
She said she is "spread pretty thin" as a business owner and a planning commissioner and has not had the time to fundraise. She said she plans to soon increase her fundraising efforts.
"I'm confident we'll get where we need to go," she said. "We still have some time."


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