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PAID CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT COLUMN: Gutzeit, Ferdman for City Council

Posted: March 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 12, 2014 2:00 a.m.

With a City Council election nearing, it is time for a change at City Hall. Councilwomen Weste and McLean are up for re-election. After 13 years on the council, it is time to send both women packing and thank them for their service.

Both have supported many projects over the objections of our citizens, most recently the electronic billboards that were planned along our freeways.

Both have sat silent over the past years as another council person repeatedly verbally assaulted citizens at council meetings, calling them terrorists and toxic. We need a change; we need new blood on the council.

In a field of 13 candidates, it is hard to choose. I have attended several candidate forums.

Candidate Duane Harte has indicated he would have supported the billboards. Many of his other answers seem to indicate that if elected, we can expect more of the status quo at City Hall.

Candidate Gloria Mercado-Fortine has a controversial past. She was quick to blame her troubles while serving on the school board on the fact that she is a woman and Hispanic.

She offered no evidence to support these charges (

We don’t need drama like this on our City Council.

But there is a bright spot in this race. Two candidates have emerged that clearly will be best for our city.

Candidate Maria Gutzeit is perfect for our City Council. As a mother of a school-age child, she understands the needs of our families.

As someone who has served on the board of the SCV Senior Center, she understands the needs of our seniors.

As a small business owner, she knows the needs of our business community.

As vice president of the Newhall Water Board, she knows the political world.

Maria is an expert on water, a situation very important to our valley. Two of the three seats on our sanitation district are controlled by our City Council members.

They voted to resolve our current chloride issue by increasing taxes on our citizens. This move will cost homeowners hundreds of dollars a year and businesses thousands. The water we discharge will have to be cleaner than when we got it and have the lowest chloride level of any area in the state.

To help sell the plan, the sanitation board spent over a million dollars in “public outreach” with a company that is affiliated with Councilwoman Laurene Weste (

Am I the only one that sees something wrong with this?

The chloride problem will not be going away. Having Maria Gutzeit on the City Council will be a win-win for our city. Maria has outlined other ways to resolve the chloride problem that does not involve levying more taxes on our citizens.

Second, candidate Alan Ferdman would be great for our City Council. Alan has deep roots in this community and has a lengthy record of service in our city.

He has shown that he is not afraid to disagree with City Hall and ask the tough questions. Clearly, we need more of this on our City Council.

I urge everyone to join me in voting for Maria Gutzeit and Alan Ferdman for City Council.



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