Candidates Larry Spicer, Alexander Blackburn and Robert Parry
A few notes from the Monrovia City Council candidates forum:
- Larry Spicer emphasized his long and varied community experience, and his time as a planning commissioner and fill-in city council member.
- Alexander Blackburn spoke of how his experience as an attorney bringing contesting sides together would be valuable in city government.
- Robert Parry talked about his ability to lead (he has served in the Army), his committment to controlling the city budget, public safety, making sure the Gold Line station is a positive and not a negative, and establishing a park in the south part of town.
The candidates were mostly in agreement, except, perhaps, on two matters:
1. Would you support a parcel tax on Monrovians? (The candidates seemed to think this referred to the water-runoff tax the county had proposed.)
- Blackburn said he is not in favor of any new tax but if an expense is forced on the city by a higher government, a parcel tax might be a "reasonable conclusion."
- Spicer said it would take a lot of study as it might hurt seniors and disabled vets. He said the city would have to put it to the voters and let them decide.
- Parry said, "No," and added, "We're taxed enough."
2a. Would you support gun control in Monrovia?
- Spicer said he is for some form of gun control because he is against guns in schools.
- Blackburn said the city would have to respect the Second Amendment but would be willing to have some form of gun control if the majority wants it.
- Parry said he is "generally opposed to gun control," but would be willing to require gun owners keep their guns in gun safes in their homes.
2b. And a followup question, Would you allow teachers to have guns in school?
- Spicer said no.
- Blackburn said his gut feeling is no, but it is hard to know without doing study, "but my gut feeling is it's a terrible idea."
- Parry didn't exactly say yes, but he said that the average police response time is six minutes and "someone can do a lot of damage in that time."
An interesting tidbit came out following a question about how the city could minimize the number of lawsuits it faces.
Spicer (who served as a fill-in council member) said City Manager Laurie Lile had emphasized that the city needs to return to getting the details right. "We have to work smarter," Spicer said. "We have to get back to basics."
Then Parry followed up by saying that a lot of the lawsuits against the city are from city employees.
- Brad Haugaard