Sunday, March 27, 2022

Quittin' Cliff Numark: Torrance Needs a Mayor Who Will Stay in Office

This year, the voters in the city of Torrance will be selecting a new mayor.

Two candidates have emerged to run for the seat: Cliff Numark and Councilman George Chen.

One would think they both have considerable resum├ęs, since both of them have served as city councilmembers, along with their long-standing reputations of service to the community.

However, there is one crucial, unmistakable difference between the two, and it makes all the difference whether the city residents should elect one or the other.

Consider this when looking all the mayors of Torrance, from the first election that the mayor's seat was elected at large by the voters:

Albert Isen

Ken Miller

Jim Armstrong

Kathy Geisert

Dee Hardison

Dan Walker

Frank Scotto

Patrick Furey

What do all of these mayors have in common?

First, they were all sitting members of the city council when they ran mayor.  Voters in Torrance have wanted mayors with some experience serving on city council.

No one really wants a neophyte for mayor who has to learn on the job. Working with colleagues before the public eye, considering the complexities of the city budget, the different relationships at work with the civil servants in city hall, and the political dynamics throughout the city require considerable knowledge and experience. 

Moreover, the city is facing another set of hard times for the next three to four years, and the last thing that the city of Torrance needs is a mayor-in-training who will take at least a year to get used to the levers of power and responsibility.

To make it very simple, we need a mayor who already has on-the-job experience.

But there's something else to take into account with each of the former and current mayors of Torrance: 

 They all pledged their dedication to the citizens and voters of Torrance. They made it very clear: "Vote for me and I will commit to you for the term of office."   

They all fulfilled that promise. 

Quittin' Cliff Numark

Except for one candidate: Cliff Numark.

Numark was elected to the Torrance city council in 2008 (he was the bottom vote-getter), and then elected to a full term in 2010.

Unlike all the other mayoral candidates and mayors once elected, Cliff Numark did not keep his commitment to the Torrance voters. He resigned in 2013 to serve on the El Camino College Board. He ran for that office and got elected, and then left Torrance in the lurch.

During the Seaside Homeowners Association debate on March 23, 2022, he argued that serving on the El Camino College Board would better serve the city of Torrance. Also, because state law prevented him from serving on two boards, he had to resign his position on the city of Torrance.

That is not an excuse, of course. Numark should have known well enough that running and winning the El Camino College Board seat was going to force him to resign his city council seat. That lack of commitment to the city of Torrance is really disconcerting.

It's been nine years since he served in any government capacity for the city of Torrance, and times have really changed. Sure, he helped other city councilmembers weather the fiscal storms of the Great Recession, but like many of his colleagues then--and as he asserts now--he has no problem raising taxes to restore city revenue. Furthermore, Cliff has shown that he is more ambitious than principled. Instead of considering the needs of the city, he wanted to take advantage of another political opportunity. Most people run for college board so that they can curry favor with labor unions and contractors in order to seek higher office.

Cliff cares about Cliff, and he has no qualms about quitting if it furthers his political pursuits. Torrance has had to deal with this dynamic already (think "Ted Lieu"). Torrance deserves better than another office-seeker looking for the highest bidder.

None of Torrance's eight mayors EVER broke their commitment to the city and its residents. They kept their promise when they ran for city council, and they kept their promise when they served their full term as mayor. None of them quit. They were engaged, they knew what the obligation was, they were active, they gave their time, and they were dedicated when making a promise to be Torrance's mayor.

None of them quit because they didn’t have the time. None of them quit because they wanted to take advantage of other opportunities along the way. For many of them, opportunities did pass by, but they rejected them: excellent job promotions, campaign bids for State Assembly, running for congress corporate jobs etc.  None of the mayors quit.

Actions speak louder than words, and Quittin' Cliff has made his political career more important than the city and its citizens. His yard signs all over the city reasd "Former City Councilmember." That pretty much sums up his experience. He is a "former," and it should stay that way.

FORMER Councilman Quittin' Cliff
is trying to hide his "former" self

Vote for George Chen for Torrance Mayor on June 7th, 2022.

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