Candidate Ranking – Letter to the El Segundo Herald by Michael D. Robbins

The following letter to the editor was published in the El Segundo Herald newspaper ( on Thursday, March 1, 2012 in the Letters section on page 2. The El Segundo Herald has a strict 250-word limit, including the title.

Note that there are three open City Council seats out of five total seats in the April 10, 2012 El Segundo General Municipal Election. This election will determine who will be the new majority.

There are also three candidates running for City Clerk.

Lisa Wood is by far the best candidate for City Clerk.


Measure P, the firefighter union initiative, will also appear on that ballot. Measure P will eliminate the El Segundo City Fire Department and force the City to contract with Los Angeles County for a greatly reduced level of fire and paramedic service for at least ten years under state law. It will permanently eliminate the city’s three paramedic ambulances and force the residents to rely on private out-of-town ambulance companies, significantly increasing hospital emergency transport times and costs.


Here’s my candidate ranking from best to worst:

1. Carl Jacobson – Extremely intelligent, honest, experienced, dedicated. Independent of city unions, special interests. Votes what is best for city. City’s organizational memory.

2. Dave Atkinson – Intelligent, valuable experience turning around businesses, independent of city unions, special interests. Fiscal conservative.

3. Dave Burns – Intelligent. Early critic of Measure P and unsustainable safety union contracts. Open on issues.

4. Mike Dugan – Intelligent, valuable engineering and business experience, understands city must live within its means. But not committed to any specific city union contract reform.

5. Marie Fellhauer – Worst attendance record on Planning Commission, 32% absenteeism rate in last two years. LAPD police union member, most likely to have strong alliance with local safety unions rather than citizens, and give excessive, unsustainable raises.

6. Cyndee Topar – Urged City Council to emulate Santa Monica and ban plastic bags. No substantive or original ideas, no solutions. Official in militant United AFA union that targeted customers, cancelled randomly selected flights, stranded passengers to create “Chaos” (her union trademarked that name!) for customers, employer.

7. Cindy Mortesen – Absentee City Clerk. Works full-time in Redondo Beach City Clerk’s office, seldom in El Segundo City Clerk’s office.

8. Scott Houston – Absolute worst and least transparent of all candidates. Strongly urged City Council to enact Measure P into law without allowing voters to vote on it (2/15/11 Council meeting). In lock-step with local fire and police unions. Endorsement and large contribution from police union in 2010. Progressive liberal (big-spender).

Michael D. Robbins

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