(Dec. 5, 2005, updated Dec. 6 & 8) -- Patrick Steinhauser, the older brother of LB School Superintendent Chris Steinhauser, has thrown his hat into the ring in the race for ELB's sprawling 5th district City Council seat.
Patrick Steinhauser, 54, a master in TaeKwando who has taught the martial art for thirty years, tells LBReport.com, "I grew up in Long Beach, attended LB schools, elementary on up, including LBCC."
So why are you running? "I've always had an interest in the City. I want to see improvements and cost savings but I don't support decreased spending for police or fire. Those two areas need increases; in the times we're in, we need to build those areas up."
Would you support a tax increase to pay for more police? "I'm not an advocate of raising taxes. We need better, smarter spending. I want to look at overall expenses, although there comes a point where we may need to raise taxes."
What about the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in the Port? [LBPD has raised cost and police resource questions about it.] "I support it. From everything I've read about it, I think it would be a good thing for the city."
What about LB Airport? "There's a need for improvement at the Airport. I realize there's sensitivity about the increasing number of flights but it's also one of the city's major revenue generators." But specific Airport-generated revenue has to remain at the Airport while property tax revenue from property values is a much bigger city revenue source. "Yes, but the Airport is still a tax base with jobs and people coming through the airport who spend money at hotels."
Are there actions by incumbent Councilwoman (and Vice Mayor) Jackie Kell [waging a write-in reelection campaign] with which you disagree? "I don't want to get into negative stuff. I don't know her personally. She's been in office for two terms and done the best job she could."
Are there additional points you'd like to make? "We need to decrease the amount of consultants we use. If city department heads can't come up with the same conclusions as consultants, we need better skilled department heads."
What's your Party affiliation? "I'm a registered Democrat but independent minded. I make up my own mind on things."
On learning of Mr. Steinhauser's entry into the race, 5th district candidate Gerrie Schipske commented to LBReport.com, "The voters of the 5th District will decide who will serve them on the City Council based upon the experience and service to the community of the candidates. I welcome the competition and the debate."
[Dec. 6 update] Ed Barwick said he welcomed Mr. Steinhauser to the race. "We now have eight people that have announced and that is good for the voters. This will clearly give voters an opportunity to elect the right person to fill this very important seat," Mr. Barwick said, adding that he's met with Mr. Steinhauser in the past.
"Patrick is a very articulate and capable person who will make a worthy opponent. I am glad to hear that he is in agreement with my position opposing tax increases, and in support of airport improvement and an LNG facility." [end update]
[Dec. 8 update (rcv'd Dec. 7)] Candidate Dave Radford said, "Patrick Steinhauser's entrance into the field is at the heart of the election. In my judgment, the citizens of the 5th want a qualified neighbor not a politician. this election is going to boil down to neighbors or politicians. I think the neighbors are going to win; I want to be that neighbor."
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