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Two more candidates beat deadline for C.V. race

By CHRIS COUNTS

Published: August 14, 2009

JUST BEFORE the Aug. 7 filing deadline, two more candidates — one against incorporation and the other undecided — joined the crowded race for Carmel Valley town council.

Thomas C. White III, whose resume includes a stint as Monterey County treasurer, and retired military officer John Barry Smith announced their bids for public office.

The vote for town council will happen Nov. 3, the same day Carmel Valley residents decide if they want to incorporate their community. If the town is created, the council will be, too, with the five highest-vote-getting candidates taking office. If incorporation fails, the votes for council won’t mean anything.

White, who lives at Hacienda Carmel, is particularly worried about the impact incorporation could have on the retirement community’s flood insurance rating.

“It’s going to cost us between $71,500 and $232,000 as a result of increased flood insurance premiums,” explained White, who has lived in Carmel Valley off and on since 1955. That would happen, he said, because insurance companies would then consider Carmel Valley an “urban community.’”

Despite opposing incorporation, White insists he will “diligently serve the city” if he gets enough votes to serve on its council.

While many Carmel Valley residents are still undecided about incorporation, all but one of the candidates are taking strong stances for or against creating a town. Smith, though, counts himself among those who haven’t made up their minds.

“I think there are a lot of people on the fence,” said Smith, who served 10 years in the U.S. Navy as an airplane navigator and crewman, and 10 years in the U.S. Army as an audiologist working with communication disorders.

Regardless of how he stands on incorporation, Smith believes he’ll make a good town council member.

“It’s better to light a single candle than curse the darkness,” suggested Smith, who moved to Carmel Valley in 1988. “Instead of complaining, I decided to get involved and see if I can help improve things.”

Seemingly rejecting claims a new city would simply add another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy, Smith said supporters and opponents of incorporation have something in common.

“I think we all want less government,” he added. “So the choice is: Do we want to be governed by strangers or people we know?”

Also running for town council are proponents Amy Anderson, Glenn Robinson, Karin Strasser Kauffman, Larry Bacon and Pricilla Walton. Anti-incorporation candidates include Noël Jensen, Savva Vassiliev, Michael Addison, Lawrence Samuels, Lee Lightfoot, Jacob Odello, Ernie Bizzozero and Scott Dick.

Incorporation proponents have long lobbied for a public debate on the issue, and they’ll get their chance Saturday, Aug. 15, when the Hacienda Carmel community hosts what will likely be the first of many discussions about whether the Town of Carmel Valley should be created.

Town council candidates Glenn Robinson and Amy Anderson will defend incorporation, while candidate Mike Addison and outspoken incorporation opponent Bob Sinotte will argue why creating a Town of Carmel Valley is not a good idea.

The debate will begin at 3 p.m. Hacienda Carmel is located on Via Mallorca on the south side of Carmel Valley Road, about 1.5 miles east of Highway 1.