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Off And Running…

The 2017 City Council Campaign Season Gets Off to A Hot Start

Gretchen Shepherd Romey, Susan Jakubowski and Calvin Lo, three of the six announced candidates for three open seats on the San Marino City Council at the November, 2017 election, fired the first salvos of the campaign season at open houses on Sunday, June 25.

Jakubowski and Lo were hosted by Alice & Paul Su at their home on Shenandoah and Shepherd Romey booked the familiar surroundings of the Hill Harbison House given her 17 years as a Girl Scout volunteer.

Public safety was a common theme on the scorching hot afternoon as each candidate addressed a rise in local home burglaries and other crimes.

“I am shocked and angry,” said Lo, declaring that San Marino is “facing an invasion” of criminal activity. Lo proposed a series of community forums and safety meetings, increased installation of surveillance cameras and a renaissance of the Neighborhood Watch program as possible solutions.

Shepherd Romey was equally alarmed by the increase in crime.

“When my family moved here over 20 years ago, San Marino had long been considered extremely safe,” she said. “The rapid escalation in criminal activity over the last year is cause for alarm.

She also proposed a revival of Neighborhood Watch programs “for our community’s protection.”


Jakubowski urged the city to immediately fill open spots on the San Marino Police Dept. and proposed “mid-day citizen visual patrols” which she said have “had great success as an extra set of eyes and ears in other cities.”

Jakubowski also proposed the creation of a new five-year strategic plan for the city, calling it a “road map ranking specific issues to be addressed, timelines to get there and the allocation of human and capital resources. Goals we hope to achieve and reporting points will be included in this transparent plan.”

Lo said he would fight for the “preservation of San Marino’s heritage,” and also encouraged community involvement in city affairs.


Shepherd Romey struck a similar tone, pointing out that the city has already granted 13 demolition permits for 2017 while noting that the previous high for any prior year is sixteen, a mark that seems to be in danger of falling. She also addressed the city’s aging streets and infrastructure.

Jakubowski noted that area as well and also addressed the city’s quandary of funding the CalPERS retirement system.

Dr. Hai Sou Chen held his campaign kick-off event on Sunday, July 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the home of former Mayor Dr. Matthew Lin. Coverage of that event will be in the July 7 edition of The Tribune.

Scott Kwong has not yet scheduled a campaign kick-off event. His campaign can be reached at kwong4citycouncil@gmail.com.

Ken Ude told The Tribune that his campaign is in the process of organizing a series of town hall meetings, candidate receptions and our team-building event in August. His campaign can be reached at info@kenudeforsanmarino.com.

A filing period for candidates with the San Marino City Clerk begins on July 17 and ends on August 11.

The filing period will likely be extended to August 16, as incumbents Dr. Richard Sun, Richard Ward and Dr. Allan Yung have not yet expressed their intention to make a declaration of candidacy.

The election will be held on Tuesday, November 7.


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