Laguna Beach Residents – our local leaders affect our daily lives.
Our elected officials represent us. They represent our values, our lifestyle, our space and place within our city, county, state and country. They become our face and our voice.
A council position is the most important, influential and powerful position in our City. It is critical that we understand the broad range of experience and expertise needed for this position and that we select the right individuals to work together to lead.
As we consider the candidate choices in this 2018 election, it is important that we take the time to learn all we can about each candidate before considering them as a top-level public office representative for our City.
Elected Officials Roles and Responsibilities
The responsibilities of our local elected officials include dictating local laws, policies and budgets. This person(s) will make decisions about our money, ocean, properties, roads, trees, traffic, businesses, safety, and quality of life in everything that we see, live and breathe every day.
As important as this responsibility is, local individuals are often elected by voters who know very little about their personal lives, professional occupation experience, successes or failures, interpersonal skills, visionary and leadership skills, and most important their ability to oversee a complicated city government’s operations, assets, multimillion dollar annual budget and other financial and legal activities.
The folks we elect are game-changers. It is up to us to determine if they are the right fit by evaluating their ability to meet our needs. We must explore their qualifications and history with every bit of scrutiny we would give too anyone holding our destiny in their hands because the consequences are great. Their education, experience and success will move us forward, or quite possible risk us becoming stagnant or going backwards.
We must keep in mind that this isn’t a volunteer position or a social membership. It is a paid position with benefits and the person hired to fill it will be in a decision making capacity that will impact our futures. Click here for CC compensation/benefits.
Like many of us, individuals who run for CC will be our friends and/or acquaintances. For some, this poses a loyalty issue. We encourage you dig deep this election and ask yourself objective questions. Do I continue the status quo in every election? Do I take the time to find representatives that have proven their value to the community? Do I elect individuals that have proven they can make sound and logical decisions on my behalf? Am I pleased with the position and direction my City is going in? Do I elect an individual based upon professional eligibility and proven performance ad success or do I elect only friends iI know? Sounds so simple, right? It’s not. It’s time consuming and often confusing.
Sadly, local voter numbers are in decline. This is hard to understand since local elections give voters the greatest voice and opportunity to be heard. Our local officials are elected to represent the majority, and when a large fraction chooses not to vote, small groups rule and thus bias is prevalent. This hurts us all.
Get Involved. Local elections take place every year and they have long lasting implications.
By choosing the most experienced, trustworthy and transparent representatives, voters can help create and pass laws reflective of how we feel. Local politicians play a major role in all of the decisions that have a direct influence on our day-to-day lives. Our laws, streets, safety, education, thriving and healthy communities are influenced by their ability to leverage our tax dollars and make good financial decisions for us.
Our local elected officials decide how our public safety is managed. They have input as to how our police officers are trained and ensure that self-policing is in place and monitored. Sometimes local citizens take action to make their voices heard as well as keeping the check and balances needed so the majority of interests do not take over.
They’re involved in guiding voters to pass bills that take can precedence over national law. A perfect example of local power overriding national laws can be witnessed in the recent reform in the use of marijuana in California when voters chose to make marijuana legal for medical or recreational purposes. Supported by local voters, this has had substantial local impacts in each state creating long-lasting effects on economies, legal systems and more. Our local politics can shape federal policy. When you elect officials who support the causes you believe in, you become part of making a change at a state level. As states address issues and revise their laws some eventually are adopted at the federal level. The Federal government often waits to see how the new law evolves at the state level to determine its value. They may also nullify state laws if they choose. Our elected officials become our voice at all levels of government.
This election year, we have 12 City Council candidates. LBCHAT has included candidates ballot statement for those who submitted them, contact information and any/all public information documents the may provide you with more insight into each candidate. In addition, we prepared an in-depth personal and professional questionnaire and asked each candidate to participate. If they agreed to do so, their questionnaires are accessible under their listing.
We hope that this information along with attending local candidate forums assist you in making the best choices possible for leadership in our City. (Forums click here)
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