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Introducing Laguna Beach Council Candidate Steve Dicterow

Posted by Greg Woodard on October 18, 2012

We now move on to that bastion of conservatism, Laguna Beach, and council candidate Steve Dicterow.

Steve previously served on the City Council from 1994-2006.  He recently has spoken to a large number of individuals and groups who have told him they need him back on the council.  Steve missed his service on the council and he was told he improved residents’ lives while he was serving and he want to help the Laguna Beach residents yet again.

Steve believes public safety is critical for the city.  He wants to create a Public Safety Committee so residents can work with police, fire, and marine safety officials to determine the best way to protect the residents.  Steve wants the Public Safety Committee to make recommendations to the council on how to best protect the residents.

Steve also is a proponent of fiscal responsibility.  He said that the unpredictability of pensions is plaguing cities, and he feels the council needs to work with public employee unions to achieve greater certainty on compensation and benefits to get costs under control.  Steve will keep the existing compensation and benefits in place for current city employees, but he wants to explore a 401k-type plan for future employees.

Steve also thinks that it is critical that the city has a strong infrastructure.  He wants the council to monitor infrastructure plans as they go forward.  When he previously served on the council, he created a 10 year rolling Capital Improvement Plan for the city that allowed those plans to be monitored on an ongoing basis.  The city had neglected its sewer system before he was on the council, and Steve believes that as a result of his actions, the city’s ocean water quality went from last to first in the state.

Steve wants to promote businesses, the arts community, and children.  He wants to cut the red tape for businesses.  Steve said that the current regulatory climate in the city costs businesses too much, takes too long for decisions on projects, and the applicant does not know if they will be approved or not.  Steve will work with the business community to make the city an attractive place for them to come.  Steve has served on the Board of the Festival of Arts for 6 years and he supports the artist community.  He believes it is very important to make Laguna Beach affordable for artists so they can live in the city.  He said the existing Live-Work Program is not effective and he wants to work with the artists to see how the current rules can be modified to make the city affordable for them.  Steve also said the city needs to pay attention to its children.  He wants the city to have a teen center, a skate park, and he will work with the school board to create effective anti-drug and anti-drinking programs.

Steve said that employee compensation should be reviewed in the context of other cities, both in similar size, and in similar geographic regions.  He does not want to lost quality people to other cities.  He also believes that, while the amount of compensation employees are receiving is important, he is more nervous about the certainty of the compensation.  He wants to know how much the city is paying its employees to make sure it fits within the budget.  He said that the current pension system creates uncertainty.  Steve feels his expertise as a pension-plan attorney will serve the council well.

Steve said the city is essentially built out with no open areas for new development.  He did note that it is important to protect the rights of existing property owners who come to the city with remodel projects or small-scale developments.  Steve will address each applicant on a case-by-case basis.  He believes that the content coming out of the existing Design Review Board is good, but the process is too contentious, often pitting neighbor against neighbor, and Steve will try to make the process better for all parties.

Steve is endorsed by, among others, the Orange County Register, the Laguna Beach Taxpayers Association, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the Orange County Republican Party, and state assembly member Allan Mansoor.

You can find out more about Steve at http://www.stevedicterow.com/.

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