Guest Editorial: Don't Let the 'Good Old Boys' Club' Determine Council Election

A campaign phone call sparks controversy.

Guest Editorial from concerned Arcadia resident Jim Helms

I was shocked to hear a message on my answering machine from Bob Harbicht asking me to vote for John Wou for the city council. In the many years that I have been associated with Arcadia politics I have never seen such a blatant effort by a member of the City Council to promote the election of any candidate.

That smacks of the "Good Old Boys Club". It is a game of "Musical Chairs". That is exactly what the voters of Arcadia said that they did not want to create when we overwhelmingly approved a charter amendment limiting council members to two 4 year terms in office.

That is a form of nepotism that can lead to problems such as in Bell and other communities. If elected John would be beholden to support any suggestion by Bob. Councilmen should be independent and think for themselves. 

Fortunately Bob and John and Gary are all good men and have served our city well. The Charter looks to the periodic input of new faces and new ideas on our City Council. That promises new and independent thought. That is the result I hope we will see in this election.  

Jim Helms

Dirk L. Hudson March 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM
As observed by former Mayor Helms, “The Charter looks to the periodic input of new faces and new ideas on our City Council. That promises new and independent thought.” This year we have such new faces and ideas in the form of two eminently qualified candidates for Arcadia City Council: Sho Tay and Mary Dougherty. Sho Tay was honored by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce on March 31, 2011 as Citizen of the Year. Serving several years as a Chamber officer, he was next in line to be President of the board, when he chose instead to run for City Council. He has been President or leader of several other local volunteer community groups, Mary Dougherty served for 16 years on the Arcadia Unified School District Board of Education, three times as president. For 10 years she has served as a Director of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce. Both Sho Tay and Mary Dougherty would provide Arcadia’s City Council with a wide range of experience in Arcadia’s civic affairs. Both would provide new insights to guide Arcadia through the challenging times that lie ahead. Dirk L. Hudson


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