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American Flag Painted by Roller Brush, Wining Concept of Flag

UPDATE: Here is Marina Coast Water District candidate Sarab Sarabi’s response to the news reported below on Oct. 8  that he is on probation following a marijuana-related arrest last year.

“I have been the state political director or the student wing of the California Democratic Party, I have served as the policy director of the western United States for the student wing of the Democratic National Committee, I have sat on the Senate Bill 1440 Implementation and oversight Committee, I was instrumental in getting several state lawmakers to support the California dream act, I have fought all my life for democratic values and supported leaders who seek to implement those values, locally I ran the canvassing operation with the mayor and designed the literature for Marina’s measure Ito fund police, fire and senior services all this work in the name of democratic values.But people are encouraging you to research a criminal record instead. Alright well since you asked, yes, I was arrested for possession of marijuana but there is no such thing as felony probation and I was released. Just a couple months after the arrest the DA tried to throw the sun and the moon at me but at the end of the day all of the original chargeswere dropped. I pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor just so I could get it over with. I should have had my medical marijuana license on me but the paper is so large and awkward to carry around I often just don’t. (The Partisan also asked Sarabi about a rumor that he had a previous arrest for arson) As to the fire damage I was playing with fire in my own room and it got out of hand I was just old enough for this to go on my adult record by the way that was almost two decades ago, Since then I have done many great things. I tutored at risk children in math and science while I was a student at Monterey Peninsula College, I have devoted my life’s efforts to the enfranchisement of young people whether it was access to college or the ballot box or something as simple as helping them with homework my efforts in Sacramento led to the legislature passing several bills that made college more accessible tohundreds of thousands of young people across California.

“I can go on and on about the past my local efforts on measure I ensured continued funding for fire, police, and seniors my work has not gone unrecognized as I have beenawarded various awards including one from our very own congressman Sam Farr as well as the state chancellor’s office.In the end I bring balance a fresh face, a policy background, passion and energy. I’m looking forward to being able to work with Jan (Shriner) and Margaret (Davis) to really unite Marina and do the people’s work. We can’t do that with Howard (Gustafson), Ken (Nishi) or Bill (Lee). Thank you. I hope this answered your question I look forward to building a long-term relationship with you if you would like to ask more questions in the future.”

Proprietor’s note: Marina police records say Sarabi was arrested after a small amount of marijuana was found during a traffic stop in 2013. A Monterey County Superior Court docket sheet says he pleaded no contest to a felony charge of possession of concentrated cannabis and that three other felony charges were dismissed as the result of a plea bargain. The record says he was placed on three years probation with the understanding that the felony would be reduced to a misdemeanor upon successful completion of probation. “The People indicate to the Court that the plea agreement included no reduction of count 4 to a misdemeanor unless the defendant successfully completes the term of probation, defense concurs.”



Continuing where we left off in Part 1, with the easiest pick of the season.

SHERIFF: When the Monterey County Weekly endorsed incumbent Scott Miller, it said the choice was so obvious that “even the Herald got it right.” Here here. Or is it hear hear. I have never been sure

Steve Bernal, a sheriff’s deputy with absolutely no management experience, should be ashamed of the campaign that Brandon Gesicki and other GOP henchmen are running on his behalf.

Gesicki has been telling people that the Bernal campaign has some bombshells to drop on the sheriff. They’ve made as much noise as possible for as long as possible about Miller’s son being a druggie. That, at least, is true. I’m betting that Gesicki and company will soon be making stuff up.

Bernal’s campaign advertising portrays Miller as some sort of crime boss and Bernal as the decent, honorable alternative. If hanging around with Gesicki and his ilk hasn’t drained all the honor out of him already, he should publicly fire his advisers, apologize to his boss and sign up for some training

Miller is highly experienced. He spent years in the Salinas Police Department, rising through the ranks, and was police chief in Pacific Grove before being elected sheriff. He inherited a mixed bag staff-wise with a fair number of deputies who had coasted through their jobs. He has worked to make them accountable and to weed out the worst. A goodly number of deputies are supporting Bernal and it’s no wonder. Who would you rather work for, a hard-nosed boss or your buddy?

Though the position is non-partisan, Bernal’s candidacy is all about partisanship. The local Republican Party is hellbent in getting as many GOPers as possible elected to local office. Before the campaign, one of the party bosses offered Miller a deal. Register as a Republican or we’ll run someone against you. You can see what happened.

For another glimpse at how things really work, check out Bernal’s list of endorsers and you’ll see some familiar names out of Carmel. Though cute little Carmel has little stake in law enforcement outside its borders, Bernal has been endorsed by former Mayor Sue McCloud and former City Council members Paula Hazdovac and Gerard Rose. Yes, they’re Republicans but that’s not the whole story. Some may recall that Miller’s wife, Jane, was once personnel director in Carmel and she successfully sued the city after she was repeatedly sexually harassed by the city manager at the time, during the incumbency of McCloud and there others. She received a settlement of $600,000.

You be the judge. McCloud, Hazdovac and Rose, sharp cookies all, decided for some odd reason to endorse a cluelessly inexperienced candidate for sheriff, or could it be retaliation? Politics at its worst.

In other words, re-elect Miller.

DEL REY OAKS: Incumbent city councilmen Jeff Cecilio and Dennis Allion are trying to stay on board while challenger Patricia Lintell, a retired computer scientist, is trying to knock one of them off. I’d go for Lintell because the incumbents in Del Rey Oaks seem hell-bent in turning their Police Department into a little Army for no particular reason. Forced to pick one of the incumbents to stick around, I’d go with Cecilio simply because I talked to him once and he seemed OK. I wouldn’t try to talk anyone out of voting for Allion, however.

GREENFIELD: I generally don’t dig too deeply into Salinas Valley races but Greenfield Mayor John Huerta has been in office long enough. He and I have quite a few mutual acquaintances. They always seem to pause when they talk about him. In other words, they have reservations but they’re reluctant to put them into words.

Challenger Michael Richard de Leon-Mungia is young, smart and eager. Let’s give him a shot.

MARINA: Mayor Bruce Delgado is one of the nicest guys around. In almost every way he is the opposite of past mayors Gary “You Talkin’ to Me” Wilmot and Ila “I’m An Army Colonel and Don’t You Forget It” Mettee McCutchon. Delgago has enough of the ‘60s peace-love-and-understanding stuff left in him to drive the Board of Realtors wild but he has proved to be hard-working, conscientious and respectful of his constituents.

Delgado’s opponent, Ken Turgen, is an architect and planning commissioner whose list of supporters reads like the guest list for one of Ila’s birthday parties. Delgado is receiving support from the slow-growthers. Turgen is the pick of the  fast-growthers. If Cal Am has any money left over from its last campaign, look for someof it to end up in Turgen’s treasury.

I’d suggest voting for Delgado unless you like strip malls and taxpayer-subsidized construction projects.

Meanwhile, two incumbents and a newcomer are competing for two seats on the Marina council.

Incumbent David Brown, one of three lawyers on the council, often votes with Delgado, Frank O’Connell and Gail Morton. Let’s call them the liberals. Incumbent Nancy Amadeo often votes the other way. Let’s call her not a liberal.

Re-electing Brown and Amadeo is a fine idea. It won’t shift the balance of power and will keep one person on board to help keep the others honest. Recreation Commissioner Dan Devlin Jr. also seems vote-worthy, partly because his late father, the former Defense Language Institute commander, was one sharp fellow. Even so, I’d vote either Brown-Amadeo or Brown-Devlin, not Amadeo-Devlin.

MONTEREY: Clyde Roberson will be the next mayor because he scared everyone else off. He was a very popular mayor a long time ago and every seems to think he did a good job.

The City Council race, however, is a real contest. Two seats are open, those of Nancy Selfridge and Frank Sollecito. Frank’s had enough and is hoping that another retired Monterey cop, Ed Smith, takes his place.

Smith is a worthwhile candidate. He’s studied the issues closely and understands city business. However, I can’t stop thinking that for him, job one would be protecting police pensions at the expense of everything else.

Selfridge is the wind-up councilwoman. She’s here, she’s there, this meeting today, that meeting tonight, or visiting a sister city at her own expense. Early on in her council career, she was hopelessly naïve. She’s wiser now but still an idealist. Every City Council needs at least one. During the past term, she expended much of her energy fighting with then-City Manager Fred Meurer. Now that he’s gone, she should be able to put her energy into larger causes. (When you read the Herald’s endorsement in this race, keep in mind that Meurer’s wife, Phyllis, is now on the Herald editorial board.)

With lefty Alan Haffa already on the council, his friend Tim Barrett could amount to one idealist too many. He’s a true peace-loving, homelessness-fighting Occupy Wall Street kind of liberal of the sort that has been in short supply here over the decades. Selfridge supporters fear, however, that a Barrett victory could mean a Selfridge defeat, so they’re urging voters to shy away from Tim. I’m also bothered by his ages-old arrest for allegedly manhandling his girlfriend.

Lawyer Hansen Reed is the solid guy in the middle. He isn’t fully up to speed on some of the issues, such as desalination, but he is known to be a quick study and is well regarded in the legal community. Barrett’s politics suit my own better but I agree that voting for him would reduce the chances of a Selfridge victory. I’m thinking Selfridge and Reed.

SEASIDE: If it was a popularity contest between Mayor Ralph Rubio and former Mayor Felix Bachofner, Rubio would win it easily. He’s the handsome charmer, the guy who remembers everyone’s name and accepts criticism with a smile. Bachofner, an aggressive, youngish businessman, won’t win on style points. And there’s that name. I just looked it up and I’m still not sure I’m spelling it right.

But style points or not, Rubio shouldn’t be in office for the simple reasons that he’s a mucky-muck with the Carpenters Union. No one else around seems to care but to me it is one heck of a conflict as much as I admire unionism. Most of the controversial items that go before the council involve development. When Rubio votes yes, as he almost always does, is he voting yes as the mayor or yes as the union executive who sees jobs for his members? The upcoming decisions on the Monterey Downs racetrack venture will be as controversial as they come. The project also would create quite a few carpentry jobs. I’d like to think the mayor’s analysis goes deeper than that.

Did you know that the Home Depot store in Seaside, which was fast-tracked through the Seaside City Council, is in a building owned by the Carpenters Union?

Rubio’s got all the moves, but Bachofner should be back in office. When he was mayor before being knocked off by Rubio, he worked hard on all sorts of issues and represented a wider range of interests than Rubio does. As a small businessman, he had minor conflicts of his own but he worked them out forthrightly. He’s the right choice.

Meanwhile, the Seaside City Council election is a four-man race for two seats.

I’ll always support incumbent Alvin Edwards, the retired fire captain and former water board member. That’s because he truly understands what working-class families are up against in Seaside and because he always laughs at my jokes. Alvin made a name for himself politically while he was on the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District board. When development interests applied pressure to the board, and essentially disrespected the environmentalist bloc on the board. Edwards responded by stepping up and becoming a leader of the water-conservation, slow-growth contingent. I wish he would take more of a leadership role on the council, but I’m glad he’s there even when he’s quiet.

I’m also giving a thumbs up to landscape contractor Jason Campbell because he is smart, energetic and opposed to the Monterey Downs boondoggle. The council needs at least one person who won’t rubber stamp development. Jason was a leader of last year’s unsuccessful anti-Monterey Downs initiative, but even those on the other side of that campaign would have to admit that his side would have prevailed if the other side hadn’t relied on fraudulent advertising. He would be the odd man out much of the time, but he would be serving a great purpose by keeping the council accountable.

The other incumbent is the very likable Dennis Alexander. I find it fascinating that the ballot doesn’t say he’s an incumbent. Instead, it calls him a teacher and reserve police officer. Maybe the value of incumbency is slipping. He has done a fine job on the council but not fine enough to recommend him over Edwards and Campbell.

PACIFIC GROVE: For mayor, I’m going with the incumbent, Bill Kampe, though I have found myself disagreeing with him on water issues. I have a hard time supporting anyone who didn’t support the effort to take Cal Am Water public. But challenger John Moore, a lawyer, is too much of a one-note guy, all about pensions. Important thing, police pensions, but not the only thing.

Six candidates are competing for three seats on the P.G. City Council. If I knew more than I do, I’d tell you all about it, but I don’t so I won’t.

SALINAS: Mayor Joe Gunter, the former police detective, is a pretty good guy, though I wish he would vote his conscience more often rather than political expedience. Take him aside sometime and ask how he really feels about cardroom gambling.

If I lived in Salinas, I’d vote for challenger Bill Freeman, the outspoken Hartnell College trustee who has championed progressive causes and who has been a real friend to the instructors. I like his stance on most things, but I’m not going to pretend that most people in Salinas could ever support him. I wish he had run for a seat on the council first. Gunter would be the more practical choice but who says we always have to be practical? Freeman.

No matter what I say here, the three City Council candidates will be re-elected, though Kimbley Craig‘s opponent, Eric Peterson, seems to be coming on. I had initially felt that Peterson was simply too liberal for the north Salinas district, but he has demonstrated a command of the issues. Unfortunately, much of his key support seems to be coming from outside the district, particularly on the Peninsula.

As for incumbent Tony Barrera, I’ll simply remind him that he is still trying to rebuild trust after previous legal issues. His aggressive style can work well in representing the city’s poorest district but the tough-guy persona doesn’t always work. I’d remind Councilman Steve McShane the he’s not 23 any more and remind Councilwoman Kimbley Craig that expectations are rising. She’s not the new kid on the council anymore.

No, it hasn’t escaped my attention that these three incumbents are the very same three incumbents who got together and scolded the former city librarian to the point that she walked away with a big-dollar settlement from the city. But what’s that old saying about the devil you know….

MARINA COAST WATER DISTRICT: Now, to my favorite contest.

Many voters on the Peninsula figure there’s no need to pay attention to the Marina Coast Water District, which supplies water to Marina and much of Fort Ord. The thing is, the district board is an important player in area water affairs. At one time it was a partner with Cal Am in an attempt to build a desalination plant. Now, it may go it alone on a plant and no matter what happens, it has the capacity to play a spoiler role in other water-related efforts. That’s why it is important to have skilled and public-spirited people on the board. Therefore, I’ll start with the candidates who should NOT be on the board.

Incumbent Howard Gustafson and former trustee Ken Nishi are a two-man team apparently committed to keeping everyone confused. They say their motivation is to keep water rates down but it’s hard to tell because they seem to communicate in code.

Gustafson’s the board bully, or would-be bully. His tactics often don’t work because people often can’t figure out what he’s talking about. Nishi is the mischief maker, the sneaky one. Voters should be reminded of the time when he was serving on the Peninsula sewage treatment board at the same time and  arranged for the water district to hire away the sewage district’s chief executive, breaking several confidences in the process.

Gustafson and Nishi have a fast-growth agenda and other agendas known only to them. They have been endorsed by the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, a decision that decidedly cheapens the chamber’s other endorsements. If you live in Marina, don’t vote for them. If you have friends in Marina, call them and tell them not to vote for these guys. Having them on the board reduces the effectiveness of board member Tom Moore, one of the smartest people I know. He’s a Naval Postgraduate School professor and they’re all wonks over there. He also has a remarkable understanding of water politics and water-related engineering. Having Nishi and Gustafson on the board with him again would make board politics so difficult and confounding that his effectiveness could be seriously degraded. He’d have to spend all his time playing their games.

When Nishi and Gustafson were on the board together a few years back, I compared the district to a Moose Lodge. I owe an apology to the Moose.

Incumbent Bill Lee also should be thanked and excused. I’m not sure I understand his game either, but he calls himself a security consultant when he’s actually a bail bondsman. When his brother in law ran for a board seat a few years back, Bill introduced him to everyone without mentioning the relationship.

Initially I was ready to endorse Sarab Sarabi along with two excellent choices, Jan Shriner and Margaret Davis, but I have been urged to do some additional research on Mr. Sarabi. Court records indicate that he is on felony probation following an arrest last year for a minor marijuana offense. I have asked him about it but haven’t received a response. (UPDATE”: SEE RESPONSE AT TOP OF POST).

Shriner has become a water wonk and the board’s monitor of all things procedural. She obviously feels that things will work out well if everything is above board and all procedures are followed to the letter, which puts her at distinct odds with Gustafson and Nishi. She takes her position extremely seriously and deserves another term.  Davis, meanwhile, is an editor and land-use activist. She is fully conversant on the issues and would be a great addition to a board looking for ways to solve the region’s water problems.

Shriner and Davis


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nancy Peden October 5, 2014, 9:05 am

    Well, pooh on you, Royal. Timothy Barrett. Alan Haffa and Nancy Selfridge would be great on our Monterey City Council. They are all concerned about citizens before business. I like that.

  • Henry Gowin October 5, 2014, 9:50 am

    “Pooh on you” – that’s a little harsh. It doesn’t seem very democratic to disrespect someone’s voting choices just because there is disagreement. Royal’s choices are his privilege but why he made his choices and his reasonings are fair game for criticism.

  • Bill October 5, 2014, 10:39 am

    Dont think Bill Freeman would be a good Salinas mayor. He supports surveillance cameras for crime prevention so often he must own a financial interest in selling them to CSU monterey or Seaside.

    • Bill Freeman October 6, 2014, 7:15 pm

      I have never been in favor of camera spying on anyone. In fact, I was the only Trustee to question why cameras were put in the classroom, while Dr. Helm was there.She never gave me an answer. This camera was taken out of the classroom. Your information is false.

      • Bill October 6, 2014, 10:46 pm

        Sorry. The Herald letter must have been from a different Bill Freeman. Its a common name.

  • Dan Turner October 5, 2014, 11:53 am

    Hansen Reed turned up in my front yard a few weeks ago to talk about his candidacy for Monterey City Council. He knew that I’d been active in the “Yes On O” campaign so, when I asked him about his position on public water, he knew where I stood on it. He replied that he really wasn’t up to speed on local water issues. I told him that he ought to be ashamed of himself to be running for elective office in Monterey and not be knowledgeable about our water situation, the players, their political positions and our various options. I didn’t tell him that I didn’t believe him and that I felt a more accurate description of his position would be that he was against public water and in favor of retaining CalAm. He did tell me that he has been endorsed by the hospitality industry which they wouldn’t have done if they were not certain that he was firmly in their court in terms of being against public water. (Reed may be one of those people who claims he likes public water but that now is not the time for it. He told me that he didn’t think that we should change horses in the middle of the stream. I said that that was usually sage advice but, in this case, our horse – CalAm – is dead and we’re going to have to change it if we ever want to develop a new water supply. So, the sooner we do it the better. I don’t think he responded to that.) Hansen Reed would be a very poor choice for City Council, while Tim Barrett would be much better. And, speaking about being ashamed, you, Royal, should be ashamed for bringing up Barrett’s “manhandling” again, not only because its been discussed before & there is no point in bringing it up again – except as a smear tactic – but also because, if you find out what actually happened, there was no manhandling. Cops used to wink at men roughing up/beating their wives or girlfriends and, when it was finally impressed upon them that they should take those offenses more seriously, they responded like automatons who could make no distinction between a light & harmless (although undesired) touch and slugging the lady. Tim Barrett never “manhandled” anyone and I’m really sorry that you felt it necessary to print that.

    • Royal Calkins October 5, 2014, 1:24 pm

      Dan: I’m not ashamed and I have no interest in smearing anyone, but facts are facts, and the facts are as I reported them. I will be ashamed if I ever get to the point of not printing something because of my personal sentiments. I suspect that if the another candidate had exactly the same record, Ed Smith, perhaps, the same people standing up for Tim would be calling for publication of the incident.

      • Dan Turner October 5, 2014, 1:30 pm

        The first time you published the story about Tim Barrett’s legal history I didn’t comment on it because it was just regular news. I objected to this mention of it because it was gratuitous. Everyone has heard about it and bringing it up again, as part of the reason that you didn’t endorse him, was unnecessary and tended toward a smear.

      • Helga Fellay October 5, 2014, 2:04 pm

        This is only an assumption you are making, Royal. I have in the past publicly objected when unfair and unjust ad hominem attacks were printed about people of another political persuasion. Some years ago I defended Lawrence Samuels, an Uber Libertarian, with whom I could not disagree more politically. I have also done the same in a few other cases.

    • Helga Fellay October 5, 2014, 1:56 pm

      Hear hear, or here here. I really can’t understand why Royal would repeat something that he never should have said in the first place. I consider myself a feminist with zero tolerance for domestic violence – but I can also smell a sham from a mile away. This whole thing was nothing but a vindictive act by a former lover, possibly for having been dumped, and the police should never have arrested Tim, any more than the police should have arrested and tried to prosecute that NPGS captain minding his own business in his own Carmel home, or killed Mr. Alvarez because they claimed they felt threatened by the small cell phone he held in his hand. Just because a policeman does it does not mean that it is beyond questioning.

      And there is the issue of logic as well: Royal states that “With lefty Alan Haffa already on the council, his friend Tim Barrett could amount to one idealist too many. He’s a true peace-loving, homelessness-fighting Occupy Wall Street kind of liberal of the sort that has been in short supply here over the decades.” So on the one hand he calls Tim “the sort that has been in short supply here over decades”, and in the same sentence he says that having two of that sort, long in short supply, would make it “one idealist too many.” So one is short supply, but two is one too many?
      Is someone missing something here?

      On a lighter note, Royal, your choice of Sheriff is spot on – hear, hear, here, here! If even the Herald gets it, than those “sharp cookies” in Carmel, who must be smarter than the Herald because the Herald isn’t sharp, must be motivated by retaliation. See, Royal, women can act out of pure vengeance, you seem to get it here, even if you can’t seem to get it in Tim’s case.

      • Royal Calkins October 5, 2014, 10:45 pm

        Helga: I have no interest in attempting to prove Tim’s guilt, but there is nothing to support the notion that this was any kind of “sham” or act of vindictiveness. The woman had broken up with Tim and was at the sports center with her boyfriend. After the confrontation, the police were called by a sports center manager who had witnessed the confrontation. Tim was arrested after other witnesses were questioned. If you have actual information beyond that, you should feel encouraged to share it. Sharing your conjecture, especially if it is injurious to the victim, does not seem to be helpful, however. As to the logic regarding the endorsement, perhaps I could have more clearly stated my concern, shared by others, that a Barrett victory could quite likely come at the expense of Ms. Selfridge.

        • Carolyn October 8, 2014, 9:59 am

          Royal, it’s time to let this one go. Move on. Unless you are trying to make sure you have the last word. Take a chill pill on this one.

  • Eric Petersen October 5, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Thank you, Luana, for the nice words!

    Basically, I’m running for Salinas City Council to get things done for District Five (Northwest Salinas). I’ve got a long-standing record of getting things done, dating back to when I was a teenager. My opponent is really good at talking – and taking credit for what others have accomplished.

    In brief, I stand for working for the residents of District Five:

    1. Expanding the tiny El Gabilan Library from the current 2,000 square feet to something more appropriate for North Salinas. Yes, we lost our world-class Library Director (and $400,000) to the immaturity and incompetence of my opponent and others, but we can still do it. North Salinas is a vibrant area with many families with small children, seniors, teens, etc, and we need a library on a par with the wonderful Cesar Chavez Library – or better.

    2. We need dog parks. We could inexpensively create dog parks in most of the parks in Salinas.

    3. We need to rebuild the Salinas Police Department. We need to significantly reduce mandatory overtime (which is burning out police), fence the police parking lot before we have any more escaped prisoners, and create a fund to reimburse police officers who spend their own money on people in crisis, to encourage them to do so. And, that is just the start.

    4. We need to support our local businesses. I’ve called for a business association for businesses in North Salinas, to allow the city to help our local businesses as the city is now doing for the Oldtown area and Salinas United Business Association in the Alisal District.

    5. We need better communications between City Hall and us. If the city won’t bring back a city newsletter, I’ll do it at my own expense for District Five.

    As mentioned, I’ve got a record of getting things done from when I was in Boy Scouts, in the United States Army, and since. The greatest accomplishment of my opponent is chasing away the Library Director with $400,000 of our money.

    I’m finding a lot of support from within District Five, and am confident that Salinas City Council will be better after the election.

    The best web site is http://www.EricForCouncil.net, or e-mail me at eric939@redshift.com or call (831)758-2474.

  • Royal—thank you for the endorsement for Salinas City Council District 5 – North Salinas! I’m fully aware “expectations are rising”, and plan to exceed them in my next term. I’m also grateful The Salinas Californian endorsed me yesterday, noting I had “drive, willingness to serve, and dedication to the job. (She) routinely is the best prepared for council meetings because she clearly researches agenda topics. Her…lobbying trip to Capitol Hill actually resulted in funding for Salinas…” I have to thank Chief Kelly McMillin for his kind words in the press conference in giving me some of that credit.

    Something I’ve learned in my first term—when a candidate feels like they’re losing traction, they tend to “go negative.” I’ll maintain a positive approach here, and let you (and your readers) know I’ve got the endorsements of the Salinas Chamber of Commerce, Salinas Firefighters Association, Salinas Police Officers Association, Monterey County Hospitality Association, Monterey County Realtors Association, Monterey County Deputy Sheriffs Association, as well as a list of dozens of Salinas residents who are putting their names behind me for re-election.

    North Salinas (District 5) is representative of nearly half the city’s retail sales tax base—about $28 million dollars. So when we’re talking about hiring cops & firefighters, building libraries, fixing parks—the massive portion of those funds comes from District 5. I’m continuing my commitment to being a voice of North Salinas residents on City Council, making sure needs of District 5 are met, while *also* being an advocate for those shopping centers to make sure they’re thriving (since the retail sales tax we get is essentially what pays for everything!) Northridge Mall has a $20 million dollar renovation planned, and they’ve already reached out to me for guidance with the City to ensure construction and development goes smoothly for them…and I’d like to see it through to completion. Over the last four years, at the request of the shopping centers, I’ve also personally met with BJ’s Brewery, Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Famous Dave’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and now Sonic Drive-In….to ask them to open in Salinas, rather than start up in another competing city. I fully understand the responsibility of being the “revenue-generating” district for the rest of the City..

    I’m also fully committed to public safety (as displayed with all public safety unions endorsing me)—I hope to hire more officers in the next four years, increase their training, work with the county to reduce ambulance costs for residents of Salinas, and increase code enforcement. Currently, 20% of our firefighters are paid for by federal grants—certainly not a long-term solution for the city.

    Most of you may know we’re already working to expand the El Gabilan Library (which technically, is not in District 5, but nearby) and I remain committed to making sure it’s renovation is successful. Plans to expand it from 3,000 sq. ft. to nearly 15,000 sq. ft. should make it (finally!) a viable library for North Salinas.

    As always, I’m available—kimbley@kimbleycraig.com. And thanks again for the vote of confidence.

    🙂 -Kimbley

  • Libby Downey October 5, 2014, 4:49 pm

    I support Hansen Reed and Nancy Selfridge. Royal, you were “right on” regarding both of these candidates. Hansen has spent over 6 years serving the city on the Neighborhood Improvement Committee and the Planning Commission. Have the remaining candidates, except for Selfridge, served on any committee or commission for the City? I think not.

  • mike owen October 5, 2014, 9:58 pm

    As a Marina resident & observer of the political scene for 20 years, I have to admit your descriptions of the candidates in Marina, who I have long known personally, are unfortunately amusing & accurate. Sort of what a number of us think, but for which would not want to go on record.

    Thanks Mike Owen

    • tinainmarina October 6, 2014, 9:13 am

      Here Here Hear Hear Mike Owen.

  • Lou Panetta October 6, 2014, 9:32 am

    Why isn’t anyone besides Craig talking about economic development? Are you all out of ideas?

  • Bill Hood October 6, 2014, 2:31 pm

    Royal = I love it that you are free to share your wit, wisdom and points of view the way you are now doing. The reactions you generate are something one would never see anywhere else. You have a droll sense of humor which makes your pieces even more interesting. Keep it up. I could learn a lot from you – my last comment generated one comment!! And, in truth, it deserved that kind of response.

    A big fan,


    • Stephen Collins October 6, 2014, 9:29 pm

      Your piece was good, do not short change yourself. So much of what you wrote is true, not sure what response to give.

  • Eric Petersen October 6, 2014, 8:21 pm

    Regarding ideas for business development, check my literature or web site for some new ideas. I support Salinas getting behind local businesses before there are problems, not lamenting their demise. My informal research shows that we have many vacant locations where there were businesses previously, such as the 99 Cent Store on North Main Street, and many other locations. There are far too many vacant locations which previously had tenants!

    I support a North Salinas business association, similar to the Oldtown Association or SUBA, so the businesses in District Five and the rest of North Salinas can have the benefit of active support by the city.

    Also, I support making the business climate better by rebuilding the Salinas Police Department. Over the past four years, the City Council — including my opponent — has voted to reduce authorized sworn police positions from 180 to 131. This must be reversed! We need to reduce mandatory police overtime to lessen the chances of police burnout!

    We need to actually do things to support local businesses, as opposed to my opponent who takes credit for what others have done. Great talk doesn’t do us any good, working for our businesses will.

  • Dan Turner October 6, 2014, 10:57 pm

    Just one more comment on it being a cheap shot to bring up Tim Barrett’s 20 year old arrest again. When the police came to the Sports Center all they wanted to know from Tim was whether he “touched’ the woman. When he said that he had, they arrested him. He hadn’t hit the woman or done anything violent. If a person had a drinking problem and received a DUI but had been sober for 20 years, would you have felt it necessary to bring it up again? I doubt it. Tim didn’t do anything violent 20 years ago and he’s had no problems for 20 years now. I’m sorry, but I feel it was unnecessary to bring it up again.
    And, although water isn’t the only issue about which we should be interested, it is ten times more important than fixing the streets, policing the homeless or economic development. There won’t be any economic development without a new water source. With Reed on the City Council we would have one more voice against establishing a public water agency and one more voice joining the Hospitality Association’s chorus in favor of “CalAm forever”. He’s a risk we can’t afford.

    • Royal Calkins October 7, 2014, 8:45 am

      Dan– where are you getting your information about the incident at the sports center?

      • Bill October 7, 2014, 2:05 pm

        Dan, Royal, you both are off base. Dan, its not appropos for a sane or sober man to touch a woman who doesn’t like him in public anymore than for an ugly gal to do the same to a man. Royal, using this from 14 years ago as a rating of leadership is rediculous.

        • Royal Calkins October 7, 2014, 3:45 pm

          Bill: What’s the cutoff? Twelve years? Eight? Five?

          • Carolyn October 8, 2014, 10:03 am

            Again, Royal, time out on this subject. Let. It. Go. Unless you have to have the last word.

  • Helga Fellay October 8, 2014, 7:21 pm

    here here hear hear – let it go already! It was never an issue – it is not an issue now – it will never be an issue. Why try to turn it into one now? Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go already! Tim will make a very good city council man! We need him on the city council! We truly do!

  • Eugenia October 9, 2014, 2:04 am

    Kimbley Craig said she asked “BJ’s Brewery, Chipotle, Buffalo Wild Wings, Famous Dave’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and now Sonic Drive-In” (all big chains) to open in Salinas. Eric Peterson supports local businesses. She’s obviously looking for immediate tax revenues. He knows chain stores are changing America (and the world) in ways that are devastating to communities. He knows buying local and supporting local businesses will benefit Salinas and its residents far more over the long haul.

    That’s just one of the many significant differences between them.

    • Eugenia–District 5, factually speaking, is the “big box” side of town. When shopping centers have 60,000 sq. ft. of retail space open for lease, it’s important to get them filled quickly, for—yes—tax revenue. It’s what helps pay for dog parks and libraries. Fortunately, (or unfortunately), North Salinas (District 5) is already designed to be accommodating to big chains, since it’s where all the shopping centers are. They may not be voters, but they are certainly constituents the District 5 Councilperson must represent, along with residents of the area. I should note, however, that I’m a small business owner myself—and spent 3.5 years on the Oldtown Salinas Association. Since I’ve been on council, we, as a city, have set up the Small Business resource center, designed low-interest loans for small local businesses (who may need help purchasing inventory and equipment) and also have advocated (just as we did with big chains) for alcohol licenses for mom & pop restaurants and stores. Saying I’m siding with big business, but not small business (when I’m a small business owner myself) is simply inaccurate… And I have nearly 10 pages of voting records over the last 4 years supporting small *and* big business to back it up. Hope that helps clarify the concern. 🙂

      • Larry Gowin October 9, 2014, 4:11 pm

        Anyone who knows you Kimbley is aware that you represent all the citizens and businesses in your District. Small business is a good idea but just supporting them does not cause them to be created and prosper. Eric Peterson supports small business and I support more rainfall this year but what has been done to make that happen? The criticism that your looking for immediate tax revenue is as off base as it is to say we will wait for the Doctor to stop the blood flow on a dying patient. General Patton said that a good plan implemented today is better then a perfect plan implemented at a later date. Keep up the good work and I am sure the concerned citizens of Salinas will return you to office for another term. 🙂

  • Jeff Haferman October 9, 2014, 10:14 am

    Disclaimer: The only person I’ve publicly endorsed in any race is Scott Miller for Sheriff. With that being said, I tend to agree with most of Royal’s endorsements.

    However, I’ll weigh in in the Monterey Council Race…. I’m no longer a Monterey resident so I won’t be casting a vote. I’ve never met Timothy Barrett, but I’ve heard good things about him. I think the idea that voting for Barrett will displace Selfridge is unfounded.

    I know Ed Smith fairly well, and I think he would make an excellent council person. I don’t think he would be trying to protect police pensions. Frank Sollecito is a very open-minded person (he and I agreed on the light brown apple moth issue, and also on a medical marijuana dispensary vote), and Frank was not biased toward protecting police pensions. I have no reason to think that Ed would be any different.

    Hansen Reed is smart and has put in his time on the Planning Commission, but in my opinion he is not running a strong campaign.

    Nancy and I agreed and disagreed on many issues while we were on the council. She can be difficult to work with at times, and I personally found that very frustrating at times. She is however very tenacious and a hard worker.

    This is not an endorsement, but a prediction: I believe that Smith and Selfridge will be elected.

  • celia bosworth October 9, 2014, 9:21 pm

    Monterey needs Tim Barrett on the city council. He is intelligent, compassionate, and provides a much needed fresh perspective. I agree completely with Helga that your calling Tim a community activist “the sort that has been in short supply here over decades”, and then stating that Tim on the council would be “one idealist too many” (one out of only two) is ridiculous. Can we really have too many idealists (when we are talking about only 2 of them), or is it curmudgeons you want in town govt.? Sorry, Royal, but on that one you really blew it.

  • Tom Hamrick October 9, 2014, 9:56 pm


    I enjoy reading your articles, but here’s a few facts about Nancy Selfridge that may have flown under your radar and these facts are why I don’t think she should be re-elected. Nancy Selfridge while on Council worked with AT&T to put in a cell tower on her property at 1340 Munras which is zoned residential and thus a disfavored location per City code. This IS a residential neighborhood and the proposed cell tower would be 60 feet from the nearest resident. This decision of hers has cost Monterey thousands of dollars so far in unnecessary staff work and may potentially cost the city much more if it goes to trial.

    Meanwhile Ms. Selfridge has a complaint filed against her with the Fair Political Practices Commission for votes she made about personal wireless facilities (cell towers) in April well after she was in contract with AT&T.

    I am not sure how she can be defined as a person who puts citizens before business in this case. The neighborhood signed a petition to stop this, more than 25 people came to Council to stop AT&T and Council voted unanimously to stop them. Ms. Selfridge still won’t pull the plug much less apologize to the neighborhood.

    I think it’s quite interesting that you are bashing Tim for events that happened years ago but you turn a blind eye to more immediate instances of possible corruption with your apparent darling of the Council Ms. Selfridge.

  • Bill Leone October 11, 2014, 12:03 pm

    Your attempt at character assassination of candidate Barrettte earns you the title of at best
    professional yenta, but more accurately a Yellow Journalist. Mr Reed is clearly unqualified for the
    for the job he’s seeking….as is Mr Bernal. You’re unnecessary, overblown virtriol against Mr Barrett
    exposes a personal or political bias. Moreover, the labeling of professor Hafa as a “lefty” is reminiscent of Senator Joe McCarthy’s play book. In short: lousy journalism….a blight on our community.

    • Royal Calkins October 12, 2014, 12:48 am

      Bill Leone: Lefty isn’t an insult.

  • Eric Petersen October 11, 2014, 7:08 pm

    I’m surprised that this thread is still running…

    First, a couple of corrections:

    1. How did anybody get the idea that my support is from the Peninsula?!? I have one person in my campaign who lives on the Peninsula, a long-time friend who lived in Salinas for decades. Yes, I have friends on the Peninsula, and I hope that they join us for human billboarding and the like, but my core support is 100% Salinas. People like Jan Collins, Steve Villegas, Monica White, Eric Quigley, Ken Fontes and more all live within District Five — and are strong supporters. ALL financial contributions have come from within Salinas. Compare that with my opponent, where over 99% of funding is from out of Salinas. This is clearly a local, District Five campaign.

    2. My position on businesses has been twisted. I support *Salinas* businesses! That would include large, small, and even tiny businesses such as that of my opponent. That is why I am advocating a North Salinas business association along the lines of the Oldtown Association and SUBA, to get help from the city for North Salinas.

    The reasons that the North Salinas business community is as good as what we have now is due to those who have served previously, including my supporters Jan Collins, Alan Styles Jyl Lutes and Steve Villegas. We had a thriving business community before my opponent even lived in Salinas, but we can make it better.

    Also, while my opponent currently runs a small business (which could be helped by a North Salinas business association), I am the only one of the two of us who has actually managed employees, and dealt with the complexities of a business open to the general public.

    While I have no empirical evidence, my observations as a long-time resident of District Five is that we are losing businesses faster than we are gaining new businesses. We have hundreds if not thousands of businesses which not only provide livings for the owners but provide jobs for thousands and thousands of Salinas residents — and we need to help ALL those businesses.

    Everything I say can be fact-checked. I have been encouraging people to do so. I have clearly stated that I will complete the full term — no response from my opponent. I have challenged my opponent to a forum in District Five on issues relating to District Five — no response from my opponent. What is she afraid of? Could it be the possibility that somebody might ask her about how she helped chase our library director out of town with $400,000?