The forum Saturday for the 10 candidates vying to succeed Councilwoman Wendy Greuel filled the Sunland-Tujunga auditorium Saturday with residents from all over the sprawling and cruelly-gerrymandered Council District 2.
Deputy LA Weekly Editor Jill Stewart and I served as moderators for a 2 1/2-hour session in which all the candidates made a positive impression, as far as I was concerned.
Several close observers credited Michael McCue, a Studio City Neighborhood Council member, with being the most impressive. I also thought businessman August Bisan. with his declaration that he’s not an activist or a politician, made a strong positive impression with a common sense view of government as an instrument for cost-effective problem solving.
Michael Higby of Mayor Sam sent out a play-by-play of what the candidates had to say and his own POV on Twitter.
Jill Stewart asked the best question, pitting the LIttle 7 — McCue, Bisani, Mary Benson, Josef Essavi, David “Zuma Dogg” Saltsburg, Peter Sanchez and Frank Sheftel — against the Big 3 of Chris Essel. Tamar Galatzan and Paul Krekorian. The dividing line is official positions, access to campaign money, connections to special interests versus grassroots and citizen activism.
Writer Joseph Mailander offered his take at Mayor Sam, saying:
“Conventional wisdom is thinking Paul K and Chris in a runoff, but I
think this debate may change conventional wisdom. Tamar may eke out
Paul K, and I think Chris E is brought more than a little down to earth
in facing community groups, which she’ll be obliged to do more. A good
race and I think it showed its first signs that it’s not necessarily
going to follow CW.
“Thanks for great work on debate coverage,
Michael. David Hernandez made a great point to me before the debate. He
said that Internet transparency means that who works for you is more
and more of a factor, and the less known the better. That fact helped
Carmen and it helped Measure B and it may hurt Paul K most, enough for
Tamar to come close if not pull into a runoff.
because it seems nobody will come close to 40%, let alone 50%. So the
top three better be polite to everyone else, Zuma too.”
Video of the comments on this question and others will be available later. Here’s video of the opening statements provided by Joe Barrett, the event’s lead organizer: