Monday, August 28, 2006

Desert Dispatch Article - August 28, 2006

Note - This is a copy of the actual article on the candidates with the responses edited. Only my portion is reprinted here. Hey, let the others get their own blog!

Meet your candidates

Lawrence "Larry" Halstead

Monday, August 28, 2006

He said he received a degree in political science from the University of California at Davis in 1976 and has spent a lifetime as a community activist fighting for issues such as the environment, freedom of choice in health care and civil rights and against government corruption.

He is founder and CEO of businesses relating to publishing, graphic arts, health product distribution, international marketing and political consultation, he said. Currently, he said, he is founder an director of the Earth Haven Foundation for Kids, a non-profit dedicated to advocating on behalf of children who are born addicted.

What really sets him aside from the other candidates, he said, is that he is the only viabl e voice for change and reform. He said he would not be the choice for anyone who likes the current leadership at city hall.

His priorities if elected would be youth and more activities to keep kids out of gangs, opening the Al Vigil pool and keeping the Henderson pool open as well as economic development with a more active enterprise zone and the support existing businesses in places such as Route 66 and the outlet malls.

Another priority would be safety, and he said he helped police get their recent pay raise. The city needs to realize it is ill-pre pared for any natural disaster such as an earthquake, he said. Pointing to the recent city raw sewage spill as an example of one of the challenges that face the city he said he would work hard to clean up the water supply.

The biggest challenges that face the city are supporting youth, economic development, fire, police, clean water and quality of life, he said.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Desert Dispatch Questionnaire and Responses

Note- The Desert Dispatch Newspaper sent our a questionnaire consisting of four questions that each candidate was asked to respond to with answers in the range of four sentences. Without an actual word count limit, there is no way to know if this will work or be cut, but this is what was submitted.

The Desert Dispatch Newspaper

Candidate Questionnaire and Responses for:

Lawrence (Larry) Douglas Halstead

What in your background is important to holding the office of Barstow City Councilman?

I received my degree in Political Science from the University of California at Davis in 1976. I have spent a lifetime as a community activist fighting for issues such as: the environment, freedom of choice in health care, civil rights, and against government corruption. Professionally, I have been the founder and CEO of businesses relating to: publishing, graphic arts, health product distribution, international marketing, and political consultation. Currently, I am the Founder and Director of the Earth Haven Foundation for Kids, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of children that are born addicted to drugs.

What do you believe sets you aside from the other candidate?

To begin with, I am the only candidate that has a background that includes over 30 years as a Political Scientist, community activist, and business management. But what really sets me aside is that I am the only viable voice for change and reform. Unlike most other candidates, I attend ever City Council Meetings, speaking out on the current policies that reflect an attitude of: mismanagement, insider deals, misleading, closed sessions, conflicts of interest, do nothing, or total lack of vision. If you like the current stagnate mundane leadership at City Hall, then I am not your choice. But if you are looking for a change toward a better quality of life in Barstow, I will work hard to improve Barstow for all of our citizens.

If elected, what would be your priorities for the City of Barstow?

1. Youth. We need more toward youth activities to keep our kids out of gangs. We need to get the Al Vigil pool open and keep the Henderson pool open. We need to do more to support and improve our local schools and utilize those resources that already exist..

2. Economic Development. Jobs, jobs, jobs. We need to be more active in marketing the Enterprise zone and attract the type of business that would add to our quality of life. At the same time, we need to work hard to support our existing businesses, especially Route 66 and the Outlet Mall.

3. Safety. I fought hard (against the Mayor) to help the police get their raise. More still needs to be done. The fire department likewise needs more support. Most importantly, we are ill prepared for any natural disaster such as an earthquake when it occurs.

4. Environment. The quality of our water is an enormous challenge that we face. An outdated sewer plant resulting in 1.5 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Mojave River when high nitrates levels are showing up in local wells is a perfect example of City leadership doing too little too late. I will work hard to clean up our water supply instead of continuing the policy of adding to it.

What do you believe are the biggest Problems Facing Our City?

The biggest problems are the same challenges that constitute my priorities when elected and listed above. Supporting our youth, economic development, fire, police, clean water, and a quality of life, are all aspect that represent enormous challenges that desperately need strong leadership

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Desert Dispatch Article - August 12, 2006

Nine run for city office

Saturday, August 12, 2006

By HOWARD DECKER / Staff Writer

BARSTOW — Ten citizens pulled papers to run for the two open City Council seats, and nine returned them to the City Clerk's office by the 5 p.m. deadline Friday.
The Council seats of Gloria Darling, who resigned, and incumbent Helen Runyon are open in the Nov. 7 general election. The two candidates who receive the most votes will be awarded the seats. The office is non-partisan.
The candidates are:

* Helen Runyon, incumbent Council member who was first elected to the Council in 1990 and was re-elected in 1994 and 1998.

* Marvin Ellis, a military intelligence analyst at Ft. Irwin who retired from the military after 20 years.

* Carmen Hernandez, a retired human-services supervisor for San Bernardino County and currently a city-planning commissioner.

* Nathaniel H. Pickett, who listed his occupation as project manager but could not be contacted Friday night for more information.

* Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre, who recently finished serving five years on the Barstow Fire Protection District board of directors and is a restaurant supervisor for her family's Del Taco on First Street.

* Tim Silva, a mortgage banker for GEM Mortgage and president of chamber of commerce.

* Larry Halstead, founder and director of Earth Haven Foundation for Kids, which works with children with drug-related problems, and a community activist.

* Manuel Gilbert Gurule, a businessman. He could not be contacted Friday night for more information.

* Patrick Aleman, a Web site designer for a community Web site and formerly a member of a citizen oversight committee for Barstow Unified School District.

An initiative called the Barstow Tax Limitation and Accountability Act will also be on the city ballot. It would attempt to provide more accountability in city fiscal matters by requiring public disclosure of certain financial information.

Candidates Ballot Statement
Lawrence Douglas Halstead

I'm asking for your vote and
your help to take back our City!

For way too long the City Council has been unresponsive to the needs of the people of Barstow. The challenges we face are difficult and complex. Jobs, city growth, law enforcement, street repair, youth programs, education, crime, drugs, gangs, water quality, are just some of the more notable problems that need strong leadership.

All too often those needs are ignored or mismanaged by our elected leaders. Corruption, conflict of interest and incompetence have become the status quo at City Hall. Currently there is no vision for the future of our City. The downtown district is in desperate need of revitalization as are our neighborhoods. The Outlet mall is suffering from declining business.

With some vision, our Route 66 City could become a tourist destination. Now more than ever we need strong leadership. I received a degree in Political Science from UC Davis in 1976. I have a small business background and have been a life long community activist for the environment, medical freedom, civil rights, and against government corruption.

Barstow is a great City! Together we can make it better!
I want/ need your vote!
Thank you!

Why I am Running for Barstow City Council

My Decision To Run For City Council of Barstow

In the past various people have suggested that I should run for elected office and I have always rejected the idea for various reasons. But recently, just three days before the deadline to do so, I was contacted by a group of concern citizens of Barstow that urged me to make a run for City Council.

My initial reaction was to reject the idea out of hand. My own personal opinion on this is two fold:

First, I have never had any political ambitions toward any elected office. I have been a life long activist and I have learned from that experience that it is easier, more powerful and effective to speak truth to power as a political activist than a politician. As an activist your words are not challenged as having a personal agenda for personal gain. Politicians are always accused as saying whatever it takes to get elected.

Secondly, I did not initially see myself as in a position to win this seat at this time. To start with, I do not personally have the financial resources to finance a campaign with signs, buttons, bumper stickers, advertising, and other advertising that is necessary to win an elected office. More importantly, experience has taught me that when you make a practice of speaking truth to power, you usually make more enemies than friends. The existing power structure always controls the media and the means to get their message out more effectively than you can. This is certainly true here in Barstow with the Desert Dispatch.

Still I was open to the arguments being put forward as to why I should set those issues aside and make a run for the Council anyway. Those arguments were as follows:

1. I'm a Democrat. The makeup of the existing council has been dominated by Republicans with the sole exception of Helen Runyun, a 4 term incumbent who is a senior citizen. As the President of the Mojave Desert Democratic Club and a Delegate from the 34th Assembly District to the San Bernardino County Central Committee, I am a prominent and vocal representative of the Democratic Party. Democrats enjoy a slight majority within the registered voters this City of 22,000. At the least, my candidacy will be an indicator of how much the Democrat label will pull votes here in Barstow.

2. Give voters a choice. I have been quite vocal in where I stand on a host of issues that we face here in Barstow. I attend every City Council meeting that I am able. Most of the other candidates are people who stand on the opposite side of those issues from me and are essentially aligned in every way with Mayor Dale and politics as usual. In the last election in June, we had two Republicans running against each other that were deeply divided on the issues. This time around there will again be mostly Republicans candidates that are largely in agreement with each other on the issues. There is one Republican and one Independent that are voices for change. However, they are both running to get their message out and have no real expectations about getting elected.

3. Unite Democrats. By increasing my visibility there is a belief that my candidacy will bring more attention to the existence of the Mojave Desert Democratic Club and motivate local Democrats to join the Club and get involved in Democratic issues. We live in a largely red zone. Four out of five council members are Republicans. Our California State Assemblyman, Senator, and Governor are all Republicans as is our Congressman. Yet in Barstow, Democrats enjoy a slight majority in registered voters.

4. Get the issues out! As a candidate, you are able to participate in any candidate debates that are scheduled. In addition, there is usually some candidate statements that are put in the local paper. The campaign platforms are issues that are given attention that exposes voters to those issues that are important and need voter attention.

All of these arguments that were put forth to convince me to run, are the reasons that made me conclude that a run would succeed in getting the word out, whether or not I was successful in my race. So quite reluctantly I agreed to throw my hat in the ring. On Tuesday, August 8, I stopped by City Hall and took out the papers to run as a candidate for City Council. In order to qualify as a candidate, I had to first collect 30 signatures of Registered City residents on a petition that had to be turned into City Hall, three days later on August 11.

That was barely 48hrs to gather the signatures and fill out the paper work to qualify for the ballot. In addition, it cost $300 to have a candidate statement included on the ballot and that money along with the 200 word statement also had to be turned in by the same deadline or forgo the benefit of having a statement on the ballot. Without having the funds personally, I decided to forfeit the advantage of having that statement on the ballot.

The signatures were hastily collected and the forms filled out. All of this was turned into the City Clerk just a couple of hours prior to the 5 pm deadline. It was only then that I learned that if you didn't have the $300 for the statement, you could fill out an application to have the fees waived. I filled out the application while I was still at the City Clerk's office and raced home to draft my statement. I finished at exactly 200 words and with just minutes to spare before I emailed it to the City Clerk.

I was contacted by the City Clerk a couple of hours later and congratulated as a qualified candidate. Then another hour later, I got a call from Howard Decker to get information on how I wanted my name listed in the Desert Dispatch. My campaign as a Candidate for the Barstow City Council was now begun!