Heidi Ashcraft

The City of Torrance has a new mayor and council

On Tuesday evening, the Torrance City Council went through a major changing of the guard, with Pat Furey being sworn in as our new mayor; and Kurt Weideman, Heidi Ashcraft, Tim Goodrich and Geoff Rizzo being sworn in as new council members. Weideman had been appointed to the council a year ago when Councilwoman Susan Rhilinger resigned due to health; and Ashcraft was appointed in December when Cliff Numark was elected to the El Camino College Board of Trustees. They have a combined year and a half of experience compared to the 30 years of experience between the departing Mayor Frank Scotto, and Councilmen Bill Sutherland and Tom Brewer. It is going to be an interesting time for Torrance; no doubt.

The evening began with a ceremony marking the departure of City Clerk Sue Herbers who retired after 20 years of service. In her farewell address she mentioned that she will still be around and be as active as ever; even if it is as an audience member. She did mention that if the council decided to accept applications for the vacant seat that we now have since Furey became Mayor, she would apply. More on that later, but personally, she would be outstanding.

Herbers last official duty was the swearing in of Council members Weideman, Ashcraft, Goodrich and Rizzo; Pat Furey as Mayor and Rebecca Poirier as the new City Clerk. And with that we lost 50 years of experience in one swoop. Continue reading

Photos from Election Night in Torrance

Tuesday, June 3 was the California State Primaries and in addition to state and county issues the City of Torrance voted for a new mayor as Mayor Frank Scotto termed out. I am happy to announce that Pat Furey has been elected to be the next Mayor of Torrance. Garnering 6,687 votes for 40.95% of the votes, Furey beat the next closest contender, Tom Brewer who had 35.49% by almost 900 votes. Bill Sutherland came in third with 23.55% of the vote.

The Torrance City Council had 16 nominees running for the four available council seats. The winners in that contest were Heidi Ashcraft, Tim Goodrich, Kurt Weideman and Geoff Rizzo. Rebecca Poirier was elected City Clerk with Dana Cortez being elected City Treasurer. You can find links to all the detailed election results at http://rrccmain.co.la.ca.us/14062043/2043_CITIES_Frame.htm.

The photos start off at the Torrance City Council Chambers where many gathered to see the results of the absentee ballots. While the numbers and percentages fluctuated a little throughout the evening, the absentee results pretty much called it as far as the final results were concerned. Furey jumped out to an early lead in the mayoral contest; and Ashcraft led from the beginning in the council race. The only real question was the order the top four candidates would finish in.

After leaving the council chambers we made our way to Industry Sports Bar & Grill where Pat Furey was holding his Election Watch Party. While Furey did not seem as sure as everyone else was about his eventual victory, there was an air of confidence in the room as many elected state officials came to congratulate him on his pending victory. The last of the photos were taken at Councilman-elect Tim Goodrich’s home as he watched the returns with his family and a few friends. I would say of the candidates I spoke with before the final results were tallied, Goodrich seemed the most confident of winning a seat on the council. Continue reading

My take on the upcoming Torrance election

Furey family photo

I endorse Pat Furey for Mayor of Torrance

On June 3, 2014 the California Primary Election will be held to vote on statewide measures as well as local offices. For Torrance, this is a pretty important election as our current mayor, Frank Scotto will term out and there are four city council seats that are up for grabs. We have three candidates running for Mayor and sixteen candidates vying for the four city council seats.

As far as mayoral candidates are concerned, we are pretty lucky. Over the past few years I have had the opportunity to observe, interact and talk to all three candidates and I can honestly say that no matter which of them wins, I think Torrance will be okay. I like Tom Brewer, and he seems like a really nice guy; Bill Sutherland is a man of principle and he has no problem saying what he thinks. While I may not always agree, one must respect his honesty. Bill has been nothing but helpful when approached about a few Torrance oddities and that is also appreciated. I have previously written about my relationship with Pat Furey and as he has always been an advocate for children, both in his personal and professional life as well as having close to 25 years of civic involvement, I must endorse Pat for Mayor. A friend mentioned recently that Furey was the only Democrat of the three candidates so that is why she was voting for him. The Office of Mayor is not supposed to be a Republican versus Democrat ideology and the reality is, I do not know what political party Brewer and Sutherland belong to, but if party allegiance is important to how you cast your vote, I am relatively confident Furey is not a Republican. Continue reading

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