Five candidates will vie for a spot on the Hermosa Beach City Council in a special election to be held May 11. The all-mail election is to replace former Councilmember Hany Fangary, who surrendered his seat on the panel when he moved his family to Manhattan Beach.
The new councilmember will serve out the remainder of the term: 22 months.
Los Angeles County will begin mailing out ballots April 12 to registered voters in Hermosa Beach.
For Hermosa Beach residents who are not registered voters, the deadline to register to vote or transfer voter registration is April 26 in order to vote in the May 11 election.
The candidate's forum, on March 24, will begin at 7 p.m. and is hosted by Leadership Hermosa Beach and Easy Reader newspaper.
The five candidates are:
- Randy Balik - Contractor/business owner
- Dean Francois - Retired budget director
- Raymond Jackson - Retired Colonel, Army
- Daniel Rittenhouse - Renewable energy executive
- Tara McNamara Stabile - Film journalist
Entrepreneur and business owner Randy Balik said through email his top priority is fiscal management and smart spending during the pandemic as well as focusing on the city’s infrastructure.
Balik, who co-owns and operates an environmental contracting business and is also a co-founder of a geothermal technology company, has run companies with as many as 75 employees.
Balik is married with two children in the Hermosa Beach School District, and has lived in Hermosa Beach for 25 years.
Balik is involved coaching local youth sports, Hermosa Beach Little League and AYSO with his sons.
Dean Francois, a retired budget director, said his experience with federal budgets, as well as experience working with elected officials and public agencies, prepares him to balance the city’s financial interest while promoting transparency as well as helping those in economic need during COVID-19.
Francois, through email, said he has four decades of involvement in Hermosa Beach and the South Bay when it comes to environmental issues. He's been involved with the Sierra Club, has been appointed to city commissions and has done volunteer work with organizations such as the Red Cross.
One of his goals if elected, he said, is to guarantee the city’s Greenbelt remains natural and allows access to everyone.
Raymond Jackson retired from the Army in 2015 and immersed himself in the Hermosa Beach community, where his family moved to in 2014, by volunteering in local schools and by coaching sports.
Jackson, married with two children, first enlisted in the Army in 1980 and served until 1985. He was later commissioned as an officer and reentered the Army where he rose to the rank of Colonel. He last served at the Pentagon in the Office of The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs.
Jackson said through email his public service defines who he is and wants to bring a “can-do” attitude to Hermosa Beach City Hall.
Daniel Rittenhouse, a renewable energy business executive, is running for city council to revitalize commerce in Hermosa Beach and to protect the South Bay environment.
Rittenhouse said that many younger Hermosa residents are detached from local politics and are troubled when they learn that foot traffic has been declining for several years, even prior to the pandemic.
He said in an email that the City Council would benefit from having a new member who is able to engage a younger demographic and bring business experience and fresh perspective on how to revitalize Hermosa Beach.
Tara McNamara Stabile
Entertainment journalist Tara McNamara Stabile said through email she wants to tackle various issues in the city including crime, drug incidents and homelessness, with community involvement, through a problem-solving app that she feels would increase engagement, communication and transparency with citizens and city government.
In 2004, she co-founded KidsPickFlicks, to create young movie critics as a way to develop critical thinking. She then worked at Common Sense-Media to advice parents on questionable film content and created 80sMovieGuide.com as well as co-hosting a podcast with her daughter. She also co-founded a talk radio show in Washington D.C., with a format to crowd-solve issues with diverse voices.
The Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Association will also host a Zoom debate Thursday, April 8, from 7 to 9:30 pm.
For more information on the election, visit hermosabeach.gov.