Words from City Council Candidate Mitch Green

I’ve been interested in hearing more from some of the other candidates running for Simi Valley City Council.  One of the candidates who interests me is Mitch Green.  I’m curious to know more about him and what is motivating him to run for City Council.  I’ve manged to receive a good summary now and then by comments he’s posted on this site.  This is the most recent one from Mitch Green.

Mike,

If Glen Becerra has such a strong following in Simi Valley, why is he running dead last in the only on line poll to date regarding the November City Council race?

http://blogs.venturacountystar.com/dennert/archives/mike-judge-simi/

Not that the Star’s poll is in anyway scientific or accurate, but the fact remains that the man with all the money, all the connections, and everyone who counts on speed dial is running in last place with everyone but the monied elite.

Perhaps to the people who really count, ie the voters, Glen is but the face of the incumbent problem, not the solution for tomorrow.

Right now the city faces a 9.6 million dollar budget shortage and it just wrote a check back to the state for 6 million dollars in state confiscated redevelopment monies.  That’s nearly 16 million dollars that the city is short, and yet what you hear about is great views and incumbents closing ranks to support each other.

That’s leadership?  Of course not.  And the people who count, “get it.”

If you think the city finds itself in a financial mess today, why would you rehire those who broke it to fix it?

Not that it matters too much, but I don’t think ONLY the “monied elite” are supporting Glen Becerra.  Becerra has served the community through the Simi Valley Education Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club among others, organizations that touch people in all walks of life.  Nevertheless, Mitch Green is unhappy with our current leadership, the current financial status of the city, and in response he is running for City Council.

It’s easy to assume that a challenger for City Council like Mitch Green may be targeting one of the incumbents specifically, but not so, says Green.  He commented via email days ago…

I’m not running on a “disgruntled former employee” platform. I just feel that the constituents deserve a choice of candidates who if elected can actually find their way around City Hall, be able to digest complex issues and make a reasoned choice. As the former Assistant City Attorney for civil litigation, I can fill that bill. And while Beccera and Foster have also proven they can “find their way around City Hall,” there is a large percentage of the populace who may refuse to vote for an incumbent. And for those people, they need valid alternatives to choose from.

Those are fair remarks, in my opinion.  But Mitch Green and I were both quoted recently in an article for the Simi Valley Acorn (see that article here) regarding using social media as a campaign tool in local elections.  One of the reasons I publish this website is because I’m concerned that challengers, without the same financial support as the incumbents, have a much harder time getting their name out to the voters.  Interestingly, some of the very accessible and effective tools out there are going unused by the Mitch Green Campaign.  Mitch Green is quoted as follows:

All those running for the two open City Council seats also have a website and a Facebook page— all except challenger Mitch Green.

His 16-year-old son has put up a “skeletal outline of something on Facebook,” but it is not active, and Green said it likely won’t be until he makes the final call to move forward with his campaign.

He said he’d rather “go viral” through his letters to the editor, which he thinks would be more successful than using Facebook or Twitter.

“I get some high fives and funny looks, so that tells me somebody’s reading it,” the former assistant city attorney said of his letter writing.

Green left Simi City Hall in March to become a partner at a Woodland Hills law firm.

“I really think websites are overblown. . . . I think the average person is going to read the printed word instead.”

With so much at stake, and having compelling statements about the state of the city and a candidacy that offers a unique perspective, you want to see candidates like Mitch Green get their name out.  Having said that, I hope Mitch Green changes his mind on the website and using social media to spread the word.  Voters are consuming information from these sources and this is a measurable fact.

City Council Candidate Mitch Green has got our undivided attention — he’s not happy with the current leadership and believes that he represents the solution.  In the months to come, I’m hoping he’ll tell us more about how he’ll be that solution.

15 thoughts on “Words from City Council Candidate Mitch Green

  1. Mike,

    For the record I haven’t claimed my online polls are scientifically accurate at all. They do measure a few things though including the intensity of the supporters of a candidate. Intensity doesn’t always equate to widespread support.

    Take them as serious as you want. I currently have a poll up on cute dogs.

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  2. Hi Brian,

    I know. You’ve always been very up front about your position on the online polls you publish. I think Mitch Green even stated that he’s not exactly banking on the accuracy of the poll.

    On another related note, one of the candidates who sent you a picture of their dog sent a snapshot of their pug. Pugs are not cute dogs. They’re really ugly and snort like pigs. Can you add a disclaimer to that photo officially disqualifying it from the cuteness ranking?

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  3. Brian,
    The problem is once the supporters who have “intensity” find out the polls are pretty cheat-able they stop paying attention. I for one was really into it until I realized it was being hacked or cheated.
    Todd

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  4. I think this city needs someone to challenge the status quo and thats whats happening, no one should be surprised. But I haven’t heard anything concrete on what they will do to turn things around. Mike Judge says he will cut spending but cut spending on what? and yeah, Mitch Green is the solution but how/why?

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  5. Remitch: if you read more carefully, you see Mitch Green is still waiting to make the final call on if he will move forward on his campaign. So maybe that’s when you’ll get the details.

    Mike Chanler: if you read more carefully, you see Mitch Green might actually do social media and web sites if he decides to move forward on his campaign.

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  6. Brian R: if you read more carefully, you will see how laughable it is that Mitch Green claims not to be running on the disgruntled platform but he spends his nights writing letters to the newspapers about the “incumbent problem” and leaving out the part about what he is going to do about it. Oh we are ALL going to vote for Green now!!!

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  7. Hi Mike, many thanks for your generous coverage of my nascent campaign for City Council. And now that your readers have had an opportunity to chime in, I’d like to take the opportunity to say a few things about me and what I’d like to accomplish in the upcoming race.

    First off, my government background. I enlisted in the Oregon Army National Guard as a private at age 18, before I graduated from highschool. I rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in seven years and then graduated from Officer Candidate School to become a second lieutenant in the Oregon Army National Guard assigned to an armored cavalry platoon. As a young lieutenant I had the opportunity to work with and command twenty some cavalry scouts, with an additional four tanks and a mortar section to round things out. From this position I was then assigned to the Army flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama where I trained to fly UH-1 and OH-58 helicopters. Upon graduation I transferred to the California National Guard and assigned to an aero scout platoon where I and my fellow pilots trained with a West Los Angeles artillery brigade. Our job was to fly around in our little helicopters and call in targets to the artillery and hope that we didn’t become a target ourselves. Later I was assigned to the Army Reserve and as a captain I commanded a UH-1 helicopter air assault company transporting infantry troops and supplies. By this time I found myself married to my first wife with a child on the way and made the decision to stop flying. So I cross-trained in logistics with the Quartermaster Corps and became a theater level logistics analyst. Following that I served in a Judge Advocate General unit to round out 27 years in the reserves, retiring as a major.

    The bulk of my military service was “part time.” That is, one weekend a month, two weeks a year, and whatever active duty I was ordered to serve.

    And because my duty was “part time,” I was also able to go to school at night to pick up first my bachelors degree and then to attend and graduate from Loyola Law School, again at night. By day I worked as a claims adjuster and upon passing the California bar, I worked as a defense attorney, then plaintiff attorney, and then, after ten years experience as an attorney, I was hired by the City of Simi Valley in August 2002 as the Assistant City Attorney for civil litigation where I remained until April 2 of this year.

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  8. I can say that I really enjoyed my time with the City. Great people, interesting and challenging work for a worthy cause. But, because of a lack of advancement opportunities, when the new firm came calling in January I decided for the first time to listen. Why? Well, it seems that for the last several years the City has been facing one budget crisis after the next, with City management freaking out every six months or so about tightening up here or possibly laying off there and putting the employees through extreme and needless mental anguish. Who needs the hassle of being told you might be laid off, or you might not be laid off, or then again, who knows? That’s not right for the employees nor was it right for me.

    And, not the least, if I did win a seat on the City Council, the employee rules in place would mandate that I retire from the City, whether I had another job lined up or not. Sometimes the Universe tells provides you with opportunities whether you think the timing is right or not.

    So why run for City Council? I first filed my notice of intent to run back in October 2009. In fact, I was the second person to file an intent to run, only days after Council Member Glen Becerra filed his notice of intent to run. I had been thinking about running for some time after watching the last election cycle involving Council Members Sojka and Williamson. I got the impression that if I decided to run that it might be fun and if I actually got on the council, then I would dedicate myself to serving. And of course, there was the election cycle just prior to that involving Council Members Becerra and Foster where nobody even bothered to run against them. What’s up with that?

    And if I do run, I intend to run to win. And to win it takes money, and it takes a target audience. In my case, I am a Democrat with overlapping Libertarian traits. And in this election, I intend to ask Democrats, Libertarians and Independents to vote for me. And if a few Republicans want to throw a vote my way, I’m happy to take it.

    As far as money is concerned, it takes a lot of money to win if you are a challenger. So far I’ve put together $10,000 of my own money, I’ve rented an office suite off Tapo to run my candidacy from and I’m told it will take at least $40,000 or more to unseat an incumbent. Hence the hesitancy to commit one way or another. I need to come up with at least $30,000 more to even be a viable threat to the incumbents, which monies I don’t have yet. And after speaking with several consultants, even with the additional money I might be wasting my time to try to unseat an incumbent rather than finding an open seat to run for. At least with an open seat Democrats, Libertarians and Independents might have a chance to get someone elected to the City Council who is not a Republican.

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  9. So lets say I do decide to run, or maybe even I decide to run for an open seat instead of trying to knock off an incumbent. What would I run on?

    Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Quality of life for Simi Valley residents has to be issue number one. And the main challenge facing the quality of life for Simi Valley residents is the Waste Management dump expansion plans. I’m against it. And I’d run with that as my primary issue. And if she would give me the time of day I would really like to do lunch with Council Member Barbra Williamson to get educated on the issues facing Simi Valley in regard to the proposed dump expansion.

    Secondly, I would seek to have vacant seats filled by special election rather than appointments. The reason the Simi Valley City Council is so homogenous in viewpoint is when a member runs for Mayor from a safe seat and gets elected, they then appoint a friend with like views to fill the vacancy. And when that newly appointed Council Member then runs for election for the first time two years later, they get the advantage of being an “incumbent” with 90% or better odds of election regardless of who is challenging them. Literally, they get their candidacy handed to them with the four votes of the other Council Members and you don’t get a say and that’s the way it is.

    Thirdly, I would bargain with each of the three employee groups (general unit, police unit and management unit) fairly and equally. I wouldn’t expect one group to give up more in bad times than other units, and I wouldn’t expect one group to be rewarded disproportionately in good times. And I would actually listen to the representatives of each of the groups to hear what their positions are, what their members needs are and how they intend to help out to meet the budget. I wouldn’t automatically take a position of dictating to a bargaining group and tell them from day one “this is the way its going to be, like it or hit the highway!” If, however, concessions need to be made I would work with the groups to solicit their ideas. The City’s employee’s want to help with the budget problem but they don’t want to be run roughshod either.

    Fourth, I would take a long hard look at upper City management. If there is a perceived problem with how the City is run, then perhaps its not just the City Council that needs a good shaking up. However, nothing in this arena can be done until 90 days after an election. See Simi Valley Municipal Code Section 2-6.211. And you need three votes to make this kind of change happen. See Simi Valley Municipal Code Section 2-6.210. Still, there are some very well qualified people in City Hall who could rise to meet the challenge should there be a vacancy in City Hall top management.

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  10. So that’s it for now. I would like to run, and if elected I would vow to serve the people whole heartedly for the betterment of Simi Valley quality of life.

    All I need is money. And maybe find an open seat to fill.

    Warm regards,

    Mitch Green

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  11. Hi Mitch,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to publish such thoughtful responses. It’s much appreciated, and I wish you the best of luck. You’re always welcome here if you need a forum!

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  12. For me, this the most any candidate has said publicly and its is the most satisfying. I hope you get that money……. you should keep printing things like this and have a fundraiser like the incumbents do every election.

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