In one of the first debates of L.A.’s 2001 mayoral race, candidates recently appeared before the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association and laid out their agendas. Recognizing the political importance of the San Fernando Valley, nearly all of them tried to position themselves as pro-Valley candidates. So the San Fernando Valley Business Journal asks: Who do you think is the best candidate for the Valley? Lee Alpert Principal Alpert & Barr I’ve endorsed Steve Soboroff. I think in terms of the financial and business aspects, he has the best understanding of the city. Through his business ventures and his capacity as a commissioner for parks and his helping put together the Alameda Corridor project, he has the knowledge to get things done. I think any of the candidates who are serious about running should support a study of secession and, depending on what that study shows, they should take a position for or against. I don’t think they should have to sign an oath saying they support the study. That to me seems somewhat childish. I would like to see them express it publicly. Judy Kessler Block Chief Executive Encino Chamber of Commerce I don’t have enough information yet on the candidates running to say who’s best for the Valley. Obviously, it helps to always have a candidate from the Valley. I’d like to see them support the Valley and at least say they are for a study of secession, if not secession. At the very least, I think they should do that before I take a position on who should be mayor. I think they need to not look at the Valley as a stepchild and take the voters of the Valley into consideration when they plan their strategy. Sadi Sepassi Owner Deco Asphalt I don’t know who would be best for the Valley. I think Richard Leyner (chairman of the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley) should run. I think it’s important that a mayor come from the Valley. I think we need a lot of help out here, and no one in L.A. is listening. I’m sure they’re listening more this time because of secession, and I hope we see more Valley issues come up in the race. Dale Jacobs First Choice Business Solutions I have not heard all the candidates yet and cannot make a decision. I would look for someone who’s fair and equitable in terms of the Valley. I’d like to see them take a fair and balanced approach and be open to discussion about secession. I don’t want them to support secession, that wouldn’t make sense. But I would like them to support a study. I’m a strong supporter of the study. I can’t make a decision on the candidates based on sound bites, and that decision won’t come until the end. Who knows what will happen before then? Everyone’s got their issue. I want someone who will step up when they see the Valley isn’t getting its fair share and say, “Make sure the Valley gets its share.”
Right Mayor for Valley?