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Unruh Renews Pledge to Oppose Utility Tax

May 14, 1987|KAREN ROEBUCK

Bruce Unruh, whose big-spending but unsuccessful campaign for Redondo Beach treasurer became the focus of the March 3 primary election, has vowed to carry out his promise to fight for the elimination of the utility users tax.

Unruh based his campaign on the abolishment of the 5% tax, saying that if he could not persuade the City Council to get rid of it, he would start a petition drive to place the issue on the ballot. He said he does not have a timetable for mounting a campaign against the tax.

Members of the City Council and other city officials have said that the city cannot afford to lose the revenue the tax generates, but council members have said they will continue to reduce the levy.

Unruh attributed his loss in the primary to poorly focused issues. He raised $133,000 for the primary--nearly four times more than any other candidate in the city's 95-year history--and the two other candidates made it the major issue in the campaign.

Despite his financing, Unruh placed third in the primary election, behind incumbent Alice DeLong and William MacAlpin.

DeLong, who won the runoff election Tuesday, spent about $2,500 on her primary campaign and McAlpin spent about $12,000.

During the campaign, Unruh defended his expenditures as necessary to overcome DeLong's edge and to get his message across to the voters.

"I tried to talk about issues," Unruh said recently, "and unfortunately, I think I became an issue--obviously the money factor."

Unruh said he is continuing to work as finance director for the campaign of his father, state Treasurer Jesse Unruh, and is weighing finance-related job offers.

"I intend to stay in Redondo Beach," he said.

He said he was unsure if he would run again for city treasurer, adding, "Four years is an eternity."

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