Election 2002 The Pinnacle endorses

Pfeiffer, Scattini in city council races
Elections officials fear that a chaotic and uninspiring
governor’s race could result in record-low numbers at the San
Benito County polls. Our community cannot afford to let that
happen. There are too many important local races that will decide
the future of government, and we are all too aware of local
problems created perhaps, in part, by apathy in the past.
Pfeiffer, Scattini in city council races

Elections officials fear that a chaotic and uninspiring governor’s race could result in record-low numbers at the San Benito County polls. Our community cannot afford to let that happen. There are too many important local races that will decide the future of government, and we are all too aware of local problems created perhaps, in part, by apathy in the past.

We encourage all of you to vote, especially the residents of District 2 and District 3 in the City of Hollister, where the election could change the balance of power on the City Council.

That power balance must change if this community is going to survive its current challenges and thrive in the future. The Pinnacle endorsements come after much consideration.

Standing a head above all candidates in both races, we believe, is newcomer Randy Pfeiffer, who is challenging Pauline Valdivia for the District 3 seat. Also in the District 3 race is Henry Sumaya, known recently as a tireless advocate for the 677-home Award Homes development. He says now that he was wrong. It’s too late; he already tried to divide the community with false and hurtful rhetoric that accused those of opposing the project because of the city’s lack of infrastructure as somehow being “racist.”

Mrs. Valdivia, executive director of Jovenes de Antaño, has been a tireless advocate for the elderly and voted with the council minority against the Award Homes development. But because of poor planning and mismanagement at all levels of city government over the past four years, it is impossible at this time for The Pinnacle to recommend the reelection of any incumbent. All are guilty of negligence in overseeing city affairs, the most atrocious being missed deadlines for sewage fixes that led to the spill and a $1.2 million fine, not to mention the council’s cowardly decision to hand over to the city manager the duty to oversee city business in regards to development issues because council members wanted to avoid controversy.

It’s time for representatives who are not afraid to stand up for the people they represent.

We believe that voters have a viable alternative in Pfeiffer, a medical professional who works with gang members at the James N. Holden Boys Ranch in the Coyote Valley. During interviews with The Pinnacle editorial staff, he showed a commendable knowledge of city issues and, most importantly, an ability to think on his feet. Beyond the obvious sewer and groundwater concerns, he wants the police to have resources to fight gang activity. He believes parks – and park directors – are crucial to healthy communities and to keeping young people out of trouble. What he lacks in government experience, he makes up for in intelligence. District 3 voters should support Pfeiffer.

In District 2, The Pinnacle recommends Robbie Scattini, who already holds the post of county Marshall. He is challenging Peggy Corrales, whom we believe has been grossly out of step with the needs of the community, almost blindly so. With former council members Joe Felice and Ken Duran, she voted for the Award Homes project, which, aside from the obvious infrastructure overburden, gave every market-rate building permit through 2005 to an out-of-county developer. On LAFCO, she continues to support the project – even after infrastructure problems were made evident by the 15 million gallon wastewater spill. The $56 million lawsuit LAFCO now faces is the fault of Corrales, Felice and Duran.

Scattini, like Pfeiffer, favors slow growth while infrastructure needs are addressed. Most importantly, he has the leadership experience the council lacks. Scattini has served in law enforcement for more than 40 years and was the elected Sheriff of San Benito County from 1983 to 1987, operating within his $250,000 budget. As the Marshall since 1988, he maintains and operates within his county budget and supervises a staff of seven with a $144,000 budget. He is involved in the community through the Elks and Chamber of Commerce and has served for 19 years on the airport advisory commission.

Now is the time for council members with sound business sense. That’s why The Pinnacle recommends Randy Pfeiffer in District 3 and Robert Scattini in District 2 on Nov. 5.

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