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