REDONDO BEACH — Mayor Barbara Doerr will face two challengers--City Councilman Jerry Goddard and airline pilot Gary Smith--in her bid for reelection this year.
Thirteen candidates for four other city offices also filed nomination papers before last week's deadline for the March 5 municipal election. With Councilmen Ray Amys and Archie Snow facing serious challenges and with City Treasurer Alice De Long seeking the seat Goddard will vacate, the election could result in a significant change in the outlook and flavor of city policy.
Doerr, seeking her second four-year term, has sought to limit development at King Harbor and elsewhere in the city. Her successes have been limited mainly to backing successful ballot measures saving recreation space at Aviation High School and blocking a major road-widening project in the Prospect Avenue/Flagler Lane corridor.
At the council level, she has faced tough going because of the opposing philosophy of the council majority, led by Goddard. Goddard, who will step down next month from his post as principal of Redondo Union High School and return to teaching, is expected to have strong backing from the business community.
Smith, is seeking office for the first time. A pilot for Continental Airlines, Smith said he won't spend much money on the campaign but will "put in my two cents if I can."
In the race for Goddard's seat, De Long--who would have to quit her treasurer's post if elected--has sided with Doerr on most major city issues during the past two years. She will run against John Chapman, a county engineer, and Kevin Stapleton, an attorney.
Amys, Doerr's most frequent council supporter, faces opposition from both pro- and anti-development forces.
King Harbor businessmen, who have felt Amys' repeated jabs at their new hotel projects and other development proposals, are expected to throw their support behind real-estate agent Kay Horrell.
The opposition from within Amys' own anti-development constituency will come from supporters of another candidate for Amys' seat: long-time resident Rene Burke, who has sided with Amys on many issues. Burke denies he is running because of his concern that Amys has made too many enemies to win a second term. Burke did say, though, that he'd "like to see a little more representation from somebody that knows the people."
Amys' other challenger is Mark Keppler, a distributor of Racing Forms who is making his first run for public office.
In the District 4 council race, Snow faces three challengers, including six-year Redondo Beach Elementary School Board member Valerie Dombrowski.
Snow, who had been expected to run for mayor until Goddard, an ally, took the plunge, has received harsh criticism for having swung to the side of the business community on major issues. Both Dombrowski and Steve Reiss, a toy company sales administrator and chairman of the city's Public Improvement Commission, say they will seek office largely on the same limited-development platform that Snow ran on four years ago. Carl Clark, manager of materiel systems for TRW, said his campaign will focus on the "poor cousin" treatment that North Redondo Beach receives in city affairs.
In the race for city attorney, which has new significance this year since it will now become a full-time job, incumbent Gordon Phillips faces Harlan Swain.
A runoff for those offices for which no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote is scheduled for May 14.