Familiar faces vie for Claremont City Council seats in March

Just 3 months after voting in the United States’ general election, Claremont residents are preparing to return to the ballot boxes again next month, this time for an election a little closer to home.

On Tuesday, March 5, Claremonters will cast their votes in the city’s latest biennial municipal election. This year’s race features 3 candidates vying for 2 open seats, each with a 4-year term, on the city’s 5-member council. Democrat Michael Keenan faces off against 2 incumbents: fellow Democrat Larry Schroeder, current mayor of Claremont, and Republican Corey Calaycay, the longest-sitting member of Claremont’s current city council.

Mr. Keenan heads down the Claremont campaign trail for his fourth time, eager to aid in Claremont’s bid for to a sustainable future while vowing to stand by the council majority approval of water acquisition. Mr. Keenan would also like to steer Claremont in the direction of becoming a charter city, governed by its own laws rather than by state mandates.

“I do not think we can depend, as we may have in the past, on state or federal government to protect us from international holding companies since the repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act,” Mr. Keenan said. “I can as a councilperson.”

City involvement is nothing new to the Claremonter, whose political activism in recent years has included the Claremont City General Plan Citizens Committee, the Open Space, Conservation and Hillside subcommittee and membership with Active Claremont and Sustainable Claremont, on which his platform is based.

“My greatest task as a council member will be to work at reversing that skewed carbon-cycle back into those proportions that sustainable Claremont or any city stands to lose in the short term,” Mr. Keenan said. “My vision and platform is a large order, but I have confidence that Claremont has the nature and capacity to meet this energy/climate challenge.”

Mr. Schroeder, selected as mayor by his fellow council members last March, completes his first term on council after being elected to his post in March 2009. He previously served on the Claremont Community Services Commission, to which he was appointed in 2007. If elected to a second term on council, Mr. Schroeder pledges to continue to keep Claremont on track.

“We must continue the fight to control excessive water rates, sustain balanced budgets, maintain public safety and support our police department,” said Mr. Schroeder, who also mentioned controlling public retirement costs, negotiating fair and sustainable labor contracts, maintaining city streets and open space and developing appropriate retail.

Over his 4-year term, the former municipal finance director and public administration PhD has used his background to help aid his cause by reinstituting the city’s annual review of Claremont’s investment policy. He also led the campaign to add a drop box for outdated prescription drugs to the lobby of the Claremont Police Station and hopes his home energy retrofit will serve as an example to the community. He feels a second term would allow him to continue to move Claremont forward in a positive direction.

“I hope my record over the past 4 years speaks for itself,” Mr. Schroeder said. “I truly love Claremont and I appreciate being able to give back to the community.”

Mr. Calaycay is no novice to city government, having already served 2 terms on council including a year as Claremont’s mayor in 2009. Mr. Calaycay hopes to continue to serve Claremont constituents in his third term on the local city council.

“I extend my pledge to continue to apply my basic principles of honesty, integrity, transparency in government, fiscal prudence and citizen-driven policy as I consider and decide all matters that come before the city council,” Mr. Calaycay said.

His track record includes upgrades to the Old Schoolhouse, expansions to the Claremont Village, improvements to bike and pedestrian safety and the acquisition of Johnson’s Pasture and Gale Ranch properties for incorporation into the Wilderness Park.

Serving as mayor when economic crisis hit the nation, Mr. Calaycay has helped aid the council in weathering economic challenges and is proud of this last year’s $1.8 million surplus in the city’s budget. He plans to help the council in delivering more positive outcomes in Claremont while remaining an advocate for the community.

“I recognize that I work for the voters. They hire me to represent them. No employee is perfect, but I believe that I continue to demonstrate to my residents that I am diligent, fair and trustworthy in serving them,” Mr. Calaycay said. “I love Claremont and I want to continue working for our community. Therefore, I humbly ask the voters for the opportunity to continue serving them.”

Claremont voters will get the opportunity to meet the candidates and hear more about their campaigns at a breakfast held by the Claremont Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, February 12 at 7 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 555 W. Foothill Blvd.

A second candidates forum will be held on Saturday, February 23 at 11 a.m. in the Padua Room of the Hughes Center, 1700 Danbury Rd. Find out more information in our sidebar.

Those Claremont residents who would like to participate in the upcoming general election must be registered to vote at least 15 days prior to the March 5 election. Registration forms may be obtained at Claremont City Hall, the Claremont Public Library and the Claremont Post Office.

For more information about elections and voter registration, visit the website of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk at www.lavote.net or call the county clerk’s Voter Information Division at (562) 466-1323.

—Beth Hartnett



Find out more about the candidates by visiting their websites:

Michael Keenan: https://sites.google.com/site/keenanforclaremont/ or check out his “Keenan for Claremont City Council” Facebook page.

Larry Schroeder: www.Larry4Claremont.com or on the “Re-elect Larry Schroeder to City Council” Facebook page.

Corey Calaycay: http://mysite.verizon.net/resq0kky/calaycay2013 or on the “Corey Calaycay for Claremont City Council on March 5, 2013” Facebook page.

Upcoming election events:

Sunday, February 10

Campaign Kick-Off with Michael Keenan

You can help Michael Keenan kick off his city council campaign this Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. Guests will enjoy food and healthy juice drinks while making signs. Music will be provided by the High Strung Band.

Tuesday, February 12

Candidates Forum

Meet the candidates for Claremont City Council at a breakfast event sponsored by the Claremont Chamber of Commerce. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 555 W. Foothill Blvd. Members $15 with RSVP, $17 on day of event. Potential members $20. RSVP by Friday, February 8 by calling 624-1681 or by emailing marlene@claremontchamber.org with “February Breakfast” in the subject line.

Saturday, February 23

Candidates Forum

The public is invited to a candidates forum hosted by Active Claremont and the League of Women Voters. The event begins at 11 a.m. and takes place in the Padua Room at the Hughes Community Center, 1700 Danbury Rd.


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