Steven Dicterow: Running on his record

Incumbent City Council candidate Steven Dicterow was a virtual

unknown outside of North Laguna, where he lives with his wife,

Catrina, and daughter, Taryn, when he first ran for City Council

eight years ago.

Now he has a track record, to which he points with pride.

"Since I have been in office, crime is down 50 percent, the fire

department is stronger than ever and we have put more money into the

infrastructure than in the previous 20 years," said Dicterow, who has

twice served as mayor.

"I love being on the City Council," he said. "It has been one of

the highlights of my life."

Dicterow, a proponent of private property rights and public

safety, attributes his love affair with politics to John F. Kennedy's

stirring inaugural address in 1961.

"School was closed due to snow," Dicterow said. "I saw JFK's

address. It so impressed me that it stayed with me. I have always had

a passion to be involved."

Dicterow, an attorney and sports management consultant, signed the

city's voluntary campaign spending limit of $30,000 and expects to

spend less than $10,000. As of Oct. 3, he had raised $850 in cash

contributions and loaned himself $700.

He was endorsed by Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn.


1. With the proposed construction of more than 1,000 parking

spaces three blocks from the Village Entrance to Third Street, what

can the city do to alleviate traffic problems in the area?

The primary solution to the traffic problems for the Downtown area

is to have peripheral parking in our outlying areas with a free and

frequent tram service to the Downtown area. Additionally, the parking

in the Downtown area should primarily be restricted to those who have

Laguna Beach parking stickers. In this way, the vast majority who

come to visit the city will be parking well outside the Downtown

area, and will not be coming into the Downtown area to search for

parking. As a result, traffic problems in the Downtown areas and on

Coast Highway and Broadway should be relieved.

2. How do you feel about putting public funds into private

organizations, like the community clinic and senior center, vs. using

the money for infrastructure, particularly the sewer system?

Our budget is currently in fantastic shape, but public safety must

always take the highest priority in the use of funds. It should be

noted that there are no plans for the city to put any money into the

Senior Center. Instead the Senior Center will be funded entirely by

the seniors. With respect to the Community Clinic, if budgetary

constraints would permit, this would be a project that should be

looked at. However, if budgetary constraints do not permit the

project then our funds must continue to go first toward public

safety, infrastructure and improving out water quality.

3. How has the enmity between members of certain political and

community groups affected the city?

I do not agree with the premise of the question. Eight years ago

there was great hostility among certain organizations in town. I

believe that over the last eight years the hostility has decreased

dramatically, to the point where groups once hostile to each other

are now working together. I expect this trend to continue so that we

can be a united city, which works together to solve our mutual


4. What can the city do to help local merchants?

I believe that over the last eight years the council has worked

hard to make the town more business friendly. This has greatly helped

local merchants. We have done this in a number of ways including

taking steps to decrease crime, repave and clean our streets and

clean our water. Additionally, we have focused on helping the arts by

preserving the Laguna Art Museum and the Festival of Arts and

creating a full-time arts coordinator. Further, approval and

construction of the Treasure Island resort will bring many new

visitors to town who will visit our local merchants. In the future,

by adding peripheral parking and a free and frequent tram service, we

can help the merchants even more. I would not, however, support rent

control anywhere in the city.

5. What can the city do to preserve the village character?

I believe that the council, over the last eight years, has worked

tirelessly to preserve the village character of our town. We have

done this by enacting ordinances, which encourage village character

without taking away property rights. Additionally, the Design Review

Board, the Planning Commission and the City Council have worked hard

through the conditional-use permit and design review process to apply

criteria, which ensures preservation of the village character. In the

future, we must continue to be vigilant to preserve the village


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