Editor’s note: This is one of several articles in a series of profiles on Mar Vista candidates that Patch will be running leading up to the election.
What would you prioritize if you were voted in?
I believe that the primary value in having a neighborhood council like the Mar Vista Community Council is to advise the elected and appointed officials of Los Angeles on our stakeholders’ opinions of significant issues. Since I’m retired, I have the time to engage with several City Council members, their staffs and the Office of the Mayor. I was instrumental in getting Measures I and J on enhancing the governance of the LADWP and creating the Ratepayers Advocate on the ballot for the March 2011 municipal election.
In addition to getting the city fathers to recognize the legitimate concerns of the Mar Vista Community, our Neighborhood Council can be a prime mover in a number of local initiatives, such as the Fall Festival at Mar Vista Park, the Green Garden Tour, and remaking Historic Fire Station 62 into a Community Center.
I hope to be a voice of reason on the Board of the MVCC so that our motions to City Hall will be considered seriously and not be dismissed as the ideas of a few extremists.
Who are your primary supporters?
I choose to represent ALL of the stakeholders in Mar Vista and not any single constituency or special interest.
What issue do you feel most strongly about and what’s your position?
I am deeply concerned with the future of the Santa Monica Airport. In the five decades I have lived in the area I have seen this airport grow from a lightly used field that catered mostly to pilots flying for recreational purposes to a major general aviation facility with noisy, polluting, dangerous jet traffic. When the current agreement with the FAA ends in 2015, I wish to see SMO converted to a use that is much more benign and safe to the community. While closing the airport is a possibility, we need to be engaged with the City of Santa Monica to be certain that any new use is compatible with the desires of nearby residents in Santa Monica and Los Angeles.
What's one thing most constituents don't know about you?
I had a long career in aerospace as a software engineer. From this, I have developed a keen sense of the analysis of processes. After all, the essence of a computer program is the way a process is broken into small steps to that a solution can be implemented. While I can share my colleagues’ aspirations for grand solutions, I also try to see that there is an underlying process in what we propose that will ensure the success of our ideas.
Why did you decide to run?
This will be my second term. I chose to be a candidate because I want to make a difference to our community and see that Mar Vista gets a fair share of services from the city. I believe in the promise of the Neighborhood Council system in Los Angeles. It’s now ten years young and beginning to get some real traction. I hope to be part of making these 95 councils city wide live up to the promise of the 1999 City Charter rewrite that created them.
It’s important that you come to the Farmers Market on October 28th and vote. The more stakeholders that vote, the louder our voice will be at City Hall. While you’re voting, I hope you will consider voting for me.
Chuck Ray is running for at-large director, a two-year term. To read more candidate profiles, click here.