Readers comments 11-2-18

Zach Courser for council

Dear Editor:

I am endorsing Zach Courser for Claremont City Council. I met Zach at the beginning of his campaign and was so impressed by his knowledge of politics and policy in local government and his incredible intelligence, and thoughtfulness about our city and our pressing concerns.

I felt heard and represented in his campaign as someone who has often felt on the other side of Claremont decision making. Mr. Courser has the expertise, a proven track record, and the necessary leadership skills and knowledge to serve the city well. He possesses the fortitude to withstand the pressures placed on council members.

Mr. Courser has shown that he will do the research and work tirelessly to find solutions to continue to make Claremont a great place to live, such as creating quiet zones around the train tracks so that horns don’t disturb nearby residents.

In my conversations with Mr. Courser and attendance at most of the public forums, I have only grown stronger in my belief that he is the leader we need. I have felt valued, heard, and provided with well-informed replies that make sense. He has a great sense of commitment to Claremont.

As a 24-year resident who has raised her children here, a Pitzer graduate, and a professional working in the city, I am 100 percent behind him.

Terrill Helander, PhD



Ed Reece for council

Dear Editor:

In the COURIER endorsements, Ed Reece was faulted for not “getting ahead of the pack” on community issues. He was pegged as a vote for the “status quo.”

I do not accept this characterization of Mr. Reece and his leadership. He has developed a highly successful IT business here in Claremont. From scratch, when he himself had been homeless, over the past 15 years, he has built a successful enterprise with over 20 employees. That feat in itself demonstrates initiative and perseverance. Mr. Reece is the American success story. He takes care of business. Ask his clients.

On our police commission, Mr. Reece has shown himself to be a collaborator, the sort of team player who would be an asset to our council. He has been liaison to the committee on human relations and a mayor’s ad hoc committee. Through his work on the police commission, Mr. Reece has successfully promoted creative safe and healthy housing programs, new residential and business crime watch programs, and helped to ensure high policing standards in Claremont. This is not “status quo” thinking. 

In short, Mr. Reece has indeed paid his dues. We know and trust him. He has demonstrated that he is a collaborator who can be depended on. He does not push himself to the front of the line, but is a solid team player. When it means getting the job done, Mr. Reece is more than willing to share the credit. In our nation’s present ego-driven political climate, Mr. Reece is definitely a moderating influence.

His business acumen and knowledge will be an invaluable asset to council deliberations. In fact, Mr. Reece is the only businessperson running for council. He has had to meet payroll month after month and knows the value of a dollar. His demonstrated frugality in his own business affairs is proof positive that he will be a trustworthy watchdog over the city’s purse. He is progressive in thought and compassionate in values. I enthusiastically commend Ed Reece to the voters of Claremont.

John C. Forney



Ceraso for council

Dear Editor:

Your description of Mike Ceraso is correct in that he is leading Claremont into the 21st century, however, your tone is misleading in that it suggests that his platform is only limited to the demographic of “the youth and the underprivileged.” Do not underestimate his insight of the city as a whole.

Mr. Ceraso has reached out to small businesses, seniors and homeowners in all areas of the city. He is also interested in budget reform, tree management, the new police station and a plan of action when the Goldline station is built.

How can the Goldline become a major potential income resource for Claremont? How can we connect the Ontario Airport to Claremont business? He is also thinking about creative ways in which to raise funds for the much needed new police station where property taxpayers are minimally affected.

After all, why should property owners hold the brunt of the cost when all residents would benefit from a more efficient police station?

Finally, for you to say “we are watching you,” seems to suggest that Mr. Ceraso is some kind of amateur who is up and coming. Mike Ceraso has over ten years experience working in politics and on the national level.

Claremont is not an island and I believe that Mr. Ceraso has the knowledge and the insight and not only locally: His national and international connections will be resourceful in ways Claremont has not seen before.

This is the most important election in decades, our city deserves Mike Ceraso for city council.

Rocío Medina



Ed Reece for council

Dear Editor:

We were very disappointed to read that the COURIER did not endorse Ed Reece as one of our new city council members. We were particularly surprised at the reasons given for not supporting him, since they are opposite to our personal experience while working closely with Mr. Reece in the Measure SC campaign to finance the police station.

The most incorrect allegation in the non-endorsement was that Mr. Reece does not have the capacity to “stand his ground when time comes for a difficult vote.” We saw the opposite. He volunteered to be co-chair of our volunteer group to pass the bond. Soon after, a determined group of people attacked the plan on social media, anonymous opposition flyers were being distributed door-to-door, and a number of opposition positions were published in the COURIER.

As the early tide ran against Measure SC, we saw prior supporters melt away. Since Mr. Reece was planning to run for city council, he could have held his political finger in the wind and backed off too, turning leadership over to our other co-chair. But Mr. Reece stood firm to finish his leadership commitment.

He hosted our weekly meetings at his office, worked on many campaign details, and contacted the business community for their financial support. He spoke at over 30 coffees and organization meetings. This took a lot of time and political courage. When Mr. Reece encouraged other committee members to speak publicly for Measure SC, it was not a failure of leadership. It produced buy-in and commitment to action, demonstrating a collaborative leadership skill that we need on the city council.

Mr. Reece has led many service and non-profit groups. The police commission elected him as their chair four years in a row. He has been a long-term member of the Claremont Chamber of Commerce, serving on the board of directors during two different cycles. He is their chair-elect for the coming year. His leadership experience goes far beyond what other candidates have reported.

With our current city budget challenges, we need Mr. Reece’s business experience on the council. He founded and has been running a successful technology business based in Claremont for the past 24 years. He employs over 20 team members. He could not have been successful in his business for this long if he did not have good judgement in assessing risk and the ability to make realistic plans.

We need at least one new councilperson with Mr. Reece’s leadership experience, business skills and connections within the business community. We urge you to vote for Ed Reece.

Jim Keith                 Betty Crocker

Bill Buehler               Bob Gerecke

Larry Horowitz        Linda Kovach

Gabriel Raphael             Jose Vera



Leano, Reece, Stark

Dear Editor:

We have many good candidates running for council, but the voters must choose just three. I seek proven involvement with the city and intelligent approaches to our important issues and the ability to listen well and work together. With these criteria in mind, I am voting for Jed Leano, Ed Reece and Jennifer Stark. They are a solid team that will help get things done in a respectful and cooperative way. In alphabetic order, here are my thoughts:

Jed Leano embodies an articulate, hard-working immigration lawyer and family man who gets our issues and has demonstrated creative thinking and great compassion for all our residents.

Ed Reece is a successful businessman with a strong record of leading the bipartisan effort for a better police station and chairing the police commission while sharing concern for our marginalized communities.

Jennifer Stark will bring her life-long residence in our city with demonstrated compassion and great listening skills to community engagement and town-and-gown relations as well as a much-needed woman’s perspective to council decisions.

Jed, Ed and Jennifer are a diverse, smart and multi-talented team. Their progressive and new approaches to budget, environmental, housing, tree, commercial, senior, youth and town-and-gown issues will make Claremont a better place. Please join me in supporting Leano, Reece and Stark for city council.

Mel Boynton



Choose wisely

Dear Editor:

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” (President Dwight D. Eisenhower)

Integrity, character, honesty, self-esteem, courage and commitment—these are the characteristics that I have found to be innate in Ed Reece. Yes, Mr. Reece is a successful businessman in the community; yes, he is the police commissioner; yes, he is involved in a myriad of community events and programs, but it is his integrity and his courage that has won my vote.  

Why is that important for a member of the city council? For the next four years, the council will make decisions that will affect our city, and we need leadership, a person that will have the courage when voting to defend his position or, if necessary, the  courage to stand alone. 

We need a person who takes the job seriously, is knowledgeable, and is prepared. A leader is never afraid to take the road less traveled, for he is confident in his abilities; he is confident in himself.

On November 6, please choose wisely; Ed Reece has experience as a successful CEO, he has proven his dedication to this city, and his commitment to Claremont.

Carolyn Gonzales



Learn more about recycling

Dear Editor:

If readers are still confused about recycling items there will be an Environmental Concerns booth at Pilgrim Place Festival at the corner of Sixth Street and Mayflower on Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10. This location will have examples of materials which can and cannot be recycled to assist us. There will also be a list of locations where items that cannot be processed in the city bins may be taken.

Kay Held



Reach out to neighbors

Dear Editor:

While setting up my booth at Village Venture Saturday, I quickly noticed a rapid change in people’s faces. And after some quick Twitter research, I found the reason for the mood change—11 people shot and killed by a lone gunman at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. 

That afternoon I received an email that there would be a Havdalah at Temple Beth Israel. When I got to TBI, I came upon a circle of people joined hand-in-hand being led in song by Cantor Paul Buch and Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz.

The gathering in the sanctuary was a combination of feelings: confusion, disappointment, fear, grief, and a search for difficult answers.

In the ensuing days I have seen the wave of people showing solidarity on their social media profiles. I am grateful for those willing to show solidarity. I encourage all my neighbors to take that effort beyond your fingertips and smartphones and sit next to our Jewish brothers and sisters in Temple.

Pay a humble visit to TBI and attend a Shabbat service. Attend the annual interfaith walk hosted by the Working Group for Middle East Peace. Show our brothers and sisters of all faiths that we share their struggle and want to listen and learn in hopes of improving ourselves and our community. 

Jed Leano




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