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Heated Debate Over Development Goes to Redondo Voters Tuesday

March 03, 1985|PAUL FELDMAN | Times Staff Writer

REDONDO BEACH — Mayoral candidate Jerry Goddard says he and incumbent Barbara Doerr aren't talking. That's news to Doerr, who says, "I didn't know we aren't talking."

The lack of communication has been typical of the campaign leading to Tuesday's municipal election, which has produced its share of heated and bitter rhetoric--but relatively little interaction between the two front-runners.

Still, the choice is crystal clear: In one corner stands Doerr, who urges strong restraints on new development in King Harbor and other areas of the city; in the other corner stands Goddard, a two-term councilman who extols the virtues of economic development while charging that Doerr has an anti-business attitude.

Important Council Elections

Also at stake Tuesday are three City Council seats--the vote on which could markedly change the body's complexion--two school board seats and a new, full-time city attorney post.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday March 5, 1985 Home Edition Part 1 Page 2 Column 1 Metro Desk 2 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Because of an editing error, a story in the South Bay section of The Times on Sunday incorrectly stated the age of Gordon Phillips, part-time city attorney for Redondo Beach, as 27. Phillips is 54. He faces attorney Harlan Swain, 52, in today's election for the post of full-time city attorney.

In two of the council races, incumbents are facing rigorous reelection battles.

North Redondo incumbent Archie Snow--a one-time council gadfly now running for a second term with an $11,000 campaign war chest filled largely by the city's leading business interests--faces political newcomers Steve Reiss and Carl Clark and one-time political ally Valerie Dombrowski.

City school board trustee Dombrowski and sales administrator Reiss, in particular, have said that if elected in District 4 they will stick to Snow's original campaign platform--questioning the need for further harbor-area development. Snow cites his accomplishments, including his part in winning federal money to develop the South Bay Galleria shopping mall now under construction. Clark, manager of materiel systems for TRW, says he would bring business and planning expertise to the council.

3 Challenge Amys

Harbor-area incumbent Ray Amys--often the only councilman to concur with Doerr on major issues--is also being challenged by three candidates. Longtime resident Rene Burke shares Amys' political philosophy but says he would provide better representation to District 2. Real estate broker Kay Horrell, who has been branded a pro-development candidate by Doerr forces, says she opposes negative thinking in government. Political novice Mark Keppler, 27, who distributes Racing Forms and works part time at the Redondo Fun Factory running bumper cars and other rides, says he would provide youthful leadership to the council. Amys says he has served the public by acting as a strong opponent of new harbor-area development.

Candidates vying to replace Goddard in South Redondo's District 1 are City Treasurer Alice De Long, attorney Kevin Stapleton and engineer John W. Chapman.

De Long, who has waged a relatively low-key campaign--spending less than $500--frequently sides with Doerr on major issues, including a proposed voter initiative to limit development at King Harbor.

Hotel Heads Contribute

Chapman, a neighbor of Goddard, has been painted by the Doerr forces as a candidate of the Goddard faction. Chapman denies it, although he was not helped by the latest round of campaign finance reports that showed out-of-town contributions of $1,000 from George Derenia, a Gardena-based contractor, and $500 from the heads of the Marina Plaza hotel and the Marina Beach hotel in Marina del Rey. Chapman, who says his planning background would serve the council well, said the contributors are longtime friends.

Stapleton, who has received $2,062 in contributions, is also trying to walk a tightrope--seeking support from all quarters while pledging allegiance to no particular faction. The president of the city's Crime Prevention Committee, Stapleton says his training as an attorney has provided him with negotiating skills that could come in handy when trying to bring the Doerr and Goddard factions together on major issues.

In the city attorney race, part-time City Atty. Gordon Phillips is battling newcomer Harlan Swain for the $63,286-a-year post.

Phillips, 27, cites his experience in office as the critical factor in his favor. Swain, an attorney for 10 years, counters that he has more expertise in criminal law that would help him better oversee the prosecutor's office.

Council Runoffs Likely

With candidates needing more than 50% of the vote to win, a May 14 runoff is likely for the council seats.

Not so, however, in the mayor's contest, where a third contender--airline pilot Gary Smith--has taken so low a profile that his candidacy appears virtually nonexistent.

Not that there has been that much opportunity for debate, anyway.

The main public forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities, was sparsely attended and did not include face-to-face rebuttal. Furthermore, Goddard left shortly after making his opening statement, saying he had a previous commitment.

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