Six candidates are vying for three open Solana Beach City Council seats in the Nov. 6 election. Candidates include Vickie Driver, Paul Frankel (see below), Lesa Heebner (incumbent), Daniel Powell, Peter Zahn and Dave Zito.
Years living in Solana Beach:
• President, Wm. M. Perkins Company Inc in San Diego
• North Carolina State University (1979), bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering
• University of Virginia, Darden School of Business (1983), master’s in business administration with a concentration in accounting and finance
• Solana Beach Little League, long-time volunteer coach and director
• Coordinator for the five Solana Beach Little League fields at Solana Vista, Skyline and CDC from 2008-2011
Why are you running for a seat on the Solana Beach City Council?
My family and moved here because we loved the beach community feel of Solana Beach and that our local schools were an integral part of the community. We saw that there was a City Council in Solana Beach that recognized the value of a vibrant business community but balanced the need to have a strong tax base with the need to maintain the wonderful charm and character of our city.
However, over the past eight years, things have changed. Our Council has implemented new ordinances that compromised our property rights, strained to satisfy the needs of minor constituencies at the expense of larger, more important ones and decided that a business license tax increase (while our local businesses were trying to survive the worst economic downturn in our city’s history) was the best way to address the pronounced deterioration in our key tax revenues. Fortunately, Solana Beach voters saw through this and decidedly rejected this tax and spend plan several years ago.
My decision to seek election to the City Council was made after numerous discussions and meetings with friends, neighbors and local business owners who were unhappy with the way our city has been run recently and, like me, wanted a council that was focused on the things that matter most to those of us who live here: family, fiscal sustainability and freedom from needless intrusion of local government in our daily lives.
What experience/qualifications would you bring to the council that you think would be beneficial?
My proven track record as a successful businessman and strong background in finance will be highly beneficial to the city if I’m elected. I am a long-time volunteer for many years in various small business organizations, local government committees as well as for our local Little League. These experiences underscore my commitment to civic involvement, my interest in seeing our local businesses be successful and my understanding of municipal finances. Lastly, I believe that my perspective as an east-side resident of Solana Beach will help to bring balance to a City Council that has been dominated by west-side interests for the past eight years.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Solana Beach?
• Fiscal Sustainability: Early Solana Beach City Councils understood that a strong tax base was required to support the many infrastructure projects that we need in Solana Beach. These councils brought train service to the city and associated infrastructure necessary for the Cedros District to grow. The resulting jump in tax revenues (the “Cedros Dividend”) made Solana Beach the fiscal envy of its neighbors. However, the current council majority has spent most of our Cedros Dividend without investing to help grow our tax base as previous councils did, straining our city finances.