Top campaign issues for seven contenders seeking a seat on Anaheim City Council include revitalizing aged and deteriorating neighborhoods, reducing crime and assisting school districts in providing quality education.
The candidates in the Tuesday council election are vying for the seats held by Councilman Lou Lopez, running for Orange County supervisor, and Councilman Bob Zemel, who is challenging Mayor Tom Daly for the separately elected mayoral post.
This year's slate includes a former councilman and three candidates who have run for council unsuccessfully in the past.
Paul Bostwick put in his bid for council twice before, in 1988 and 1994. Trying for a third time, Bostwick, a 42-year resident, said his community experience and leadership can "help the city." He favors improving neighborhood safety, protecting residential areas from high-density development and providing additional school facilities to maintain small classes.
Elected to the council in 1992, Frank Feldhaus lost his seat in 1996--he came in third for two seats. Feldhaus, a 40-year resident, said he wants to continue to attack crime, graffiti and abandoned shopping carts; revitalize downtown and west Anaheim; and create recreation programs at parks and youth centers.
First-time candidate and third-generation resident John R. Karczynski wants to eliminate blight and invest in neighborhoods, including new street lighting and sidewalks. He also supports a police station in west Anaheim and more services for seniors.
Todd Kaudy contends the council has "lost touch with the people who put them in office." Kaudy, an Anaheim native also seeking a seat for the first time, pledges to work with school districts to reduce overcrowding, limit commercial development in the hills and form a panel to review citizen complaints against police.
Lucille Kring, a nine-year resident who finished fourth in the council race two years ago, said she's trying again for several reasons: to cut taxes, fight crime, bring in businesses and protect jobs for residents.
Retired government teacher Leonard L. Lahtinen said he's worried about the exodus of residents and businesses from Anaheim, the deterioration and neglect of older neighborhoods and areas infested with drug dealing and other crime. Lahtinen, a 36-year resident, first ran in 1994.
Political newcomer Sean F. Leonard is sending an unorthodox message: He is encouraging people not to vote. "Voting isn't going to get rid of crime and better the community--only people can do that by getting to know their neighbors. No politician is going to change your life." A 12-year resident, he has made crime-fighting issues part of his campaign.
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Anaheim City Council Candidates
There are seven candidates seeking two seats on the City Council:
Occupation: Business owner, recreational vehicle supply and service
Background: Anaheim Planning Commissioner, 1995 to present; board member, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce; president-elect, Anaheim Kiwanis Club; member, Anaheim United Methodist Church, Anaheim Memorial Medical Center Foundation, Anaheim Private Industry Council and Anaheim Sister Cities Assn.; former board member, Anaheim Community Foundation; former Anaheim Redevelopment Commission member
Issues: Improve neighborhood safety by expanding community policing, enforcing strict anti-gang policies, increasing code enforcement and insisting on tough prosecution of criminals; expand role of community and neighborhood associations in planning process and protect neighborhoods from reckless high-density development; provide additional school facilities to maintain smaller class sizes; supports zero-tolerance for weapons and drugs on campuses
Occupation: Retired president and chief financial officer of telecommunications company
Background: Anaheim City Council member, 1992-1996; board member, Western Medical Center Hospital, Anaheim; Anaheim Planning Commission member, 1987-1991; Anaheim Redevelopment Commission member, 1991-92; founder and committee member, Anaheim Fall Festival; co-founder and committee member, Anaheim Nutcracker Holiday; member, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce; board member, Anaheim Family YMCA
Issues: Reduce crime so all residents feel safe in their homes, streets and parks; eliminate gang tagging and graffiti, abandoned shopping carts, aggressive panhandling, nude juice bars and prostitution; work with school boards on issues including overcrowding and transportation safety and provide supervised after-school recreation programs at parks
John R. Karczynski
Occupation: Business owner