Two city council seats up for grabs

Two seats are up for grabs on the Claremont City Council. Incumbents Larry Schroeder and Corey Calaycay will both seek reelection.

The filing period for nomination papers and candidate statements for the March 7, 2017 Claremont City Council election began Monday, November 14. Claremont city councilmembers are elected to staggered four-year terms, with three members elected at one election, and two at the next.

“At this point, we have two official candidates—Larry and Corey are both qualified as of Tuesday afternoon,” Claremont City Clerk Shelley Desautels said.

Should no opposing candidates file, the election will be canceled and Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Calaycay will retain their seats.

The 2015 city council election was cancelled due to lack of candidates. Michael Keenan had expressed interest in making a fourth run at a seat but opted out at the last minute.

Prior to 2015, the last time a municipal election was canceled was in 1988 when former councilmembers Bill McCready and Judy Wright were reappointed.  

Three other potential candidates have pulled papers for next year’s race, Ms. Desautels said, but no one had completed the filing process as of Wednesday afternoon. The deadline is December 12.

“All it really means right now is that the filing deadline is set at December 12. There will not be an extended deadline,” Ms. Desautels said.

Should an incumbent have elected not to rerun, the deadline to file would have been extended to December 14.

Potential candidates need a minimum of 20 supporter signatures from Claremont residents who are also registered to vote. Ms. Desautels recommends that candidates collect up to, but no more than, 30 in case signatures need to eliminated due to voter registration status or overlapping.

“Residents are not permitted to sign more nominations papers than seats that are available,” she explained. “We recommend up to 30 in case there are any throwaways.”

For the March election, residents may only sign the nomination papers of two candidates; any more than that will be disqualified.

Councilmember Corey Calaycay, who officially filed with the clerk on Tuesday afternoon, will seek his fourth term on the council.

“We have challenges that need to be focused on,” Mr. Calaycay said. “We have round two with regard to the water. We need to take a look at that and see what our options are with that fight, because residents spoke pretty loudly.”

Another issue Mr. Calaycay would like to continue working on is public safety.

“There’s been an uptick. We need to continue to be vigilant in our efforts to support our police department to keep residents safe,” he said.

A third pressing issue for Mr. Calaycay is the city’s management of storm water.

“We need to continue to try to work with the agencies involved to find good ways to address concerns while keeping it cost-effective. We don’t want to contaminate our ground water,” he said.

Mr. Calaycay is in the early stages of his campaign, but has selected Bill Bueller as his treasurer.

“I have people who are prepared to become involved when we get to that point. Now I’m taking care of what I need to do to file my papers.”

Mayor Pro Tem Larry Schroeder is in his second term and said, should he be re-elected, he would like to continue to focus on financial sustainability.

“Eight years ago the economy was bad—we had finished the Village West but many of the shops were empty. Through a combination of the council and recovering economy, we hardly have any retail open downtown now,” Mr. Schroeder said.

During his last two terms, Mr. Schroeder said he is most proud of the city’s ability to maintain a balanced budget.

“We got the financial sustainability committee together—it was a good committee—we made a course adjustment and, after some trying times, the city is in the black. So that’s good.”

Mr. Schroeder also has interest in seeing the water system acquisition through, among other concerns.

“One of the reasons I’m running is to shepherd this water thing through,” he said. “Other projects are to finish the master plans for Foothill Boulevard and the Wilderness Park. We’re coming along with those projects.”

But finance is first and foremost for Mr. Schroeder, who cites the recent opening of Keck Graduate Institute in Village West as the successful introduction of new business without altering the character of the city.

“Look at Keck at First and Indian Hill,  and then on the ground floor is Blaze Pizza. That’s perfect. That’s the sort of thing we need to do with retail. We have more work to do to keep Claremont the way it is,” he said.

As for his campaign, he served as his own treasurer twice before and said he plans to do it again.

Individuals interested in running for city council must be at least 18 years of age, be a citizen of the United States and resident of the state of California, and be a registered voter and resident within the Claremont city limits. Potential candidates should visit the city clerk at 207 Harvard Ave., Claremont to file.

For more information, contact Ms. Desautels at (909) 399-5460.

—Kathryn Dunn


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