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Incorporation opponents are first candidates for C.V. town council

By CHRIS COUNTS

Published: July 17, 2009

TWO CANDIDATES have already emerged for the proposed Town of Carmel Valley’s city council — and they freely admit they don’t want the city to exist at all.

Carmel Valley residents Lawrence Samuels and Scott Dick have taken out candidacy papers from the Monterey County Elections department. If they get the 20 required signatures before the Aug. 7 deadline, they’ll officially be candidates for the Nov. 3 election. No other candidates have stepped forward.

Samuels, a familiar face at incorporation hearings and an outspoken critic of the proposed town, said opponents plan to run a slate of candidates who will use their campaigns to encourage people to vote against incorporation. And Samuels also plans to ask residents not to vote for him, either.

“I’m going to say, ‘Don’t vote for me and don’t vote for the city,’” he explained, while describing himself as “somewhat of a libertarian” who “doesn’t like politicians.”

Dick, a retired U.S. Army officer who served 20 years in the military, decided to run because he believes that, without the right council, incorporation will lead to population growth and a lot of new construction.

“The ultimate act of development is creating a city,” Dick insisted.

The process of running for office turned out to be an eye-opener for Dick, who was accustomed to wading through bureaucracy in the military.

“The candidacy process was amazing,” said Dick, who once served as operations officer for two military communities — totaling 8,500 residents — in Germany. “It was like reenlisting in the military. It was pretty intimidating. I had to take an oath just to get the paperwork.”

The election will settle the decades-old question of whether Carmel Valley should incorporate or remain under the jurisdiction of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. If voters decide to incorporate, the election will give residents a chance to pick a town council of five members. The vote will also decide how those council members would be elected in the future — by district or at-large.

According to Kate McKenna, executive director of the Local Agency Formation Commission, council members will be elected at-large in November. She said it would be up to the new council to pick the town’s first mayor. The new council members would have their terms staggered, and those receiving the most votes Nov. 3 would receive the longer terms.

In anticipation of the vote, McKenna said LAFCO has made changes to its web site to make it easier to search for reports and data pertaining to Carmel Valley’s incorporation.