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Meet Your City Council Candidates

San Juan Capistrano's council hopeful came together for a meet-and-greet at the Sun Dried Tomato Cafe.

If you could use just three words to describe San Juan Capistrano what would they be? We posed that question to the town's five City Council candidates and here's what they came up with:

Ginny Kerr:  History - Horses - Home

"I will fight to preserve the character of our city," said Kerr, who considers herself a newcomer after 14 years in in town, compared against some families who have lived here for generations. She said she supports the Western heritage and traditions of the city.

Roy Byrnes:  Unique - Historic - Bedroom

"Scouts honor, I will not serve more than three terms," jokes the 89-year-old doctor. He notes that "Bedroom" doesn't refer to Mustang Ranch, but to a decision made in 1975 to limit the number of residents projected for the city. Although he was mayor 37 years ago when that plan was designed, he said it has created problems attracting businesses. Byrnes said he wants to protect longstanding local businesses.

Sam Allevato:  Tradition - History - People

As a City Councilman, Allevato said he knows "Getting our financial house in order is the most important job, along with public safety." Allevato said he appreciates the rich traditions of the city, which he attributes to two centuries of history. "Layers" of culture including the native Juanenos, Spanish padres, Mexicans, Anglo farmers, and people from other areas who have "morphed" and melded to create San Juan's culture and traditions. 

Tom Marantz:  Evergreen - Hospitality - Bustling

"We have a lot happening in our town," Marantz said. "Bustling" means the town enjoys activity, businesses growing and a lively atmosphere, he said, adding that San Juan is "timeless." Marantz is a Marine veteran who spent years in Iraq rebuilding cities and towns.

Kim McCarthy:  Little Girl's Dream

"I was a little girl living in Detroit who dreamed of riding a horse," said McCarthy, who now owns two horses and a rescued goat. She said she wishes more of San Juan's little girls could realize that same dream. McCarthy said she knows the value of a dollar and understands retailers need to turn a buck everyday. She said residents and retailers have been overlooked in San Juan and that many of the city's traffic problems are "self-inflicted."

Lon Uso September 29, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Interesting answers: Ginny: Generic answer. what about the City's finances. What will you do about the structural deficit facing the City? Roy: We attract businesses, scared people and weak politicians chase them away. Target, Home Depot, In N out Burger, etc. People were afraid Builders Emporium would chase out Denaults. People were afraid Costco would end Vons, Ralphs, buy my bikes and Capo Vac and Sew. Saying you will protect local businesses is UN-American and naive, they will just build the big box in MV and take our tax revenue. Sam: I'm happy that you are all morphed and melded but if you are concerned about the City's financial future why did you let In N Out and Home Depot walk when you supported them both and now have your "for sure" three votes? If you are concerned with public safety why have you voted down the line with the firefighters union breaking the backs of our volunteers and breaking the financial back of OC Fire with lavish and unsustainable pensions. Tom: I don't know you but you are a Marine, we could use someone that would bring discipline, courage and honor to City government and perhaps more of a "can do" attitude. Kim: you are actually riding? The last time I saw your little appaloosa mare she hadn't been ridden in years, she was standing in 3 feet of manure and her toes were so long she looked like she was going skiing. your dream, her nightmare! But that was two years ago, I hope things have changed for the poor horse's sake.
Lon Uso September 29, 2012 at 07:32 PM
To explain my UN-American comment about Roy, I just feel that politicians protecting one business over another is more of a Progressive, Liberal, Socialist attitude kind of like President Obama picking winners and losers regardless of free enterprise. This is not the attitude you would expect from someone running on a Tea Party, SJC Americans, Common Sense ticket.
Roy L. Byrnes September 30, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Roy Byrnes Dear Lon You are correct; At the “Chamber Candidates Night” I mis-stated something backwards . On that evening Sam was congratulating himself about all the businesses he had “brought into town”. Of course he was omitting to tell the folks about the low interest loans, fee reductions and tax breaks this cost the City. I wanted to express a concern that “Economic Czars” in City Hall might recruit outside businesses by giving them unfair loan and tax advantages over the “tried-and-true” commerce people of our town. As you said, City Hall can not “protect” specific concerns.. The point is that there is a danger should City Hall offer new businesses unfair competitive advanatages. The playing field should be level. Greetings to you.
Lon Uso September 30, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Roy, I am not surprised that Sam would take credit for things that he was marginally responsible for. When we opened Los Rios Park I gave credit to the previous Councils and made it clear that I was just the new guy that was elected. It is true that the Governor would have had a much more difficult time getting rid of Redevelopment Agencies if not for the abusive policies like in our City, but hey, those days are gone so no more $5 million gifts to auto dealerships, thank God. The other edge of that sword is that future downtown redevelopment is probably dead for ever. Your wife will be happy but the City will suffer financially. We did need to make our development fees more competitive to get economic development in a very competitive environment but giving away 85% was ludicrous. We just needed to be at par with other local cities. The developer wanted to build the hotel, we just needed to throw him a bone not the whole bloody cow. If San Juan is to survive financially we need to be competitive and accommodating. If we take the attitude of "our way or the highway" they will be met down the road with open arms by realistic Cities that are less arrogant and unaccommodating. This has happened over and over again and our coffers are proof of it. There is a way to do this without hurting the character of the City but to not do it is folly and dangerous. Cheers my friend, I will be unable to support you in your campaign
Jill McGovern September 30, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Frankly I am really taken aback by the attacks on people is such a public forum Lon!
Lon Uso October 01, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Gosh Jill, would it be better if I attacked them anonymously in a more private forum? It is necessary to call BS on people running for public office when they use a public forum to deceive the people that they would ultimately serve. How long do you want to hear all the platitudes about horses, history and public safety? BTW, were was your outrage when I was being crucified by the dozens of disgusting, lying flyers paid for by the special interests that continue to sink your city
Tony Brown October 01, 2012 at 12:31 AM
In case anybody is interested, I was up at the Franz Stable/corral last week and I saw Kim McCarthy's two horses and goat. They all looked to be in fine shape. The place is very well maintained. Kim loves her stable animals just as she loves her dog, cats, and rabbits.
Lon Uso October 01, 2012 at 12:42 AM
And I am sure that you saw her riding her little mare, she was scared to death of it. I visited Kim several times there and tried to help her with her horses, I guess i must be lying about the conditions I witnessed. But as I said, that was two years ago and if it took a political campaign to clean that place up, I am glad.
Tony Brown October 01, 2012 at 01:03 AM
I'm not calling anybody a liar, but I've been going up there for over 4 years and can't recall ever seeing 3' foot deep manure.
Happy Trails October 01, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Lon, based on your postings here on Patch and your voting record on the San Juan City council, you have to admit your ability to determine what is manure and what isn't is questionable at best. And even though you and Kim often disagreed, didn't she host a fundraiser or two for your city council campaign? I heard her defend you over some employee relations issue not long ago. Why is this so personal for you? What is the matter? Aren't the fish biting in northern California? Seriously pal, you are embarrassing yourself.
Lon Uso October 01, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Not only that, but she was one of five people that worked on my campaign, so you have to admit that I know her rather well. She in fact was one of the people that I talked to openly about what concerned me most in the City government. I feel strongly that she would be a disaster as a Council member. Since I have a limited number of characters on this blog I won't go into detail here. BTW, spent the day kayaking on a beautiful lake. The fish were jumping but that doesn't make Kim a good candidate. Finally, who takes an anonymous poster seriously, man up, use your real name.
Lon Uso October 01, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Well, I guess I wont call anyone a liar either but Tony, you should seriously consider getting your eyes checked.
SJCNative October 02, 2012 at 07:29 PM
You have hurt our City so much Dr. Uso that it will take generations to pay back the incredible spending that you did while on the city council. You Dr. Uso were the disaster to our city, not Kim McCarthy.
Lon Uso October 02, 2012 at 08:24 PM
You have been fed hot tripe on a platter and you seem to be enjoying it.
Todd October 02, 2012 at 09:35 PM
yes the people of San Juan were fed menudo. And if they didn't exactly enjoy it, well they made the best of it until they removed it from the menu. But every once in awhile, a wind blows down from the north and the aroma lingers.

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