Recently, I was asked to provide my positions on several city issues that have been in the news the past few years. Below are my candid responses to these questions to help you, the residents, answer the question of what kind of City Council Member I will be.
Should you still have questions, please feel free to contact me.
Question: If you had been on the City Council in 2012, would you have voted for or against the sale of parkland? If you had been on the City Council in 2015, would you have voted for or against appeal the Superior Court Judgment on the CEPC Parkland case? Please explain your answers to both questions.
I have no knowledge regarding the information the City Council had or considered when making their decision in 2012 and 2015. That being said, as a resident I treasure our parklands, open space and expansive views and I am committed to preserving the natural beauty of our city. The goal is to maintain our city in its purest form. As a Council Person I would ensure our parklands are protected for our community to enjoy.
My plan going forward is to hear from all interested parties on relevant issue. It is the Councils responsibility to listen to all the information, ask questions and base their decisions on applicable regulations and case law and to balance those with opinions and recommendations from residents, staff, the City Attorney and subject matter experts. In the end, our job as a Council is to do what is best for the City as a whole. I can assure you that I love this City and all decisions will be based on what I believe is best for the City of Palos Verdes Estates and its residents.
Question: Did you support Measure D? What were your reasons?
I supported Measure D. Although it was technically a new Tax, I saw the Measure as an effort to extend an existing tax to maintain County Fire Services. I did not believe the City had sufficient resources to fund Fire Service without Measure D. Public safety is one of my top priorities and due to the lack of options for fire and medic services, I didn’t see any alternatives.
Question: Did you support Measure E? What were your reasons?
Full disclosure, I was the “Yes on Measure E“ sign distributor. I have worked for the Los Angeles Police Department for almost 39 years and I know the limitations of a large agency. A large agency cannot deliver the same personalized service as a small agency. There would be little control or consistency in terms of who and how our community would be policed. In a large agency officers move, promote or are otherwise reassigned, not to mention rules, policies and regulations are set by that agency. Palos Verdes Police has incredible consistency in terms of personnel, training, experience and expectations. I understood that personalized service comes with a price and I was willing to pay for it.
Question: What is your perspective on the pension issue, and what would you advocate doing about it?
The pension issue is a concern. I would solicit support from my colleagues in asking staff for a status briefing. I would advocate the briefing include recommendations from the City Treasurer, the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee, hearing from the public and some best practices from around the State of small cities in similar circumstance. Based on those reports the Council would provide direction to staff in developing options and recommendations, including timelines with strategies and have measures of effectiveness. Throughout my law enforcement career, we plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Question: What would you do to improve the process of approvals?
The Council should ensure all City processes are streamlined with the goal of efficiency and transparency and ensuring there is a clear understanding of the process. With that in mind and with the support of my colleagues, I would ask for a report on the issues from staff to include recommendations from both the PVHA’s Art Jury and PVE’s Planning Commission. Upon getting a greater understanding of the issues and concerns, provide direction to staff on how to proceed.
Question: Do you believe there is a fiscal problem that needs to be addressed? How would you proceed if you were elected?
I am not a finance expert, however, I clearly grasp the concept of establishing priorities and ensuring I have sufficient funds before I write a check. I understand, in addition to budget cuts to a variety of City Departments, including the PVEPD, the City had to expend some reserves to balance the budget between Measure D failing and Measure E passing. However, now that Measure E has passed, if the City is continuing to spend more than its revenue, that is a concern. I would ask for a status briefing to include recommendations from the City Treasurer the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee and concerned residents. Based on those reports and recommendations, I would solicit the support of my colleagues to require staff to develop a plan to balance the budget and to ensure we have a sufficient reserve. The report should include a timeline, strategies and measures of effectiveness.
Kevin McCarthy for Palos Verdes Estates City Council 2019