"The third council seat became open when Councilman Michael Noll retired after serving in local government for more than 30 years. For this seat, we are endorsing newcomer Keir Jones, owner of an insurance agency and a community volunteer." By The Editorial Board, Long Beach Press Telegram
Signal Hill, which used to be seen as an oil town, now boasts spectacular views, hillside homes and questions about how to deal with the development of its remaining vacant land.
Voters will have an opportunity to shape the future of the two-square-mile city in the March 7 election as nine candidates battle for three nonpartisan City Council seats.
Two of the candidates are longtime Councilman Ed Wilson and relatively new Councilwoman Lori Woods, who are campaigning to be re-elected.
The editorial board is endorsing Wilson and Woods to continue on the council.
The third council seat became open when Councilman Michael Noll retired after serving in local government for more than 30 years.
For this seat, we are endorsing newcomer Keir Jones, owner of an insurance agency and a community volunteer.
Wilson, Woods and Jones will bring a blend of experience, fresh ideas and renewed energy to the council.
Wilson, a certified public accountant, has served on the council since 1997. Woods, a realtor and stay-at-home mom, is finishing out her first term on the council.
They have done a good job in keeping Signal Hill fiscally stable while developing a popular park system with several pedestrian trails that connect parks and roadways.
But a top priority among all of the candidates is how to develop vacant parcels throughout the city.
Wilson supports a master plan for these parcels, including what he calls a “premium,” multi-use outlet mall but without big-box development.
Jones says it’s time for fresh ideas to create spaces that are flexible and include entertainment with shopping and dining.
Woods favors a balanced approach in developing remaining land as unique “gathering places” for residents.
There are other strong challengers, including Carol Churchill, a former council member and longtime community activist; Tom Benson, a small business consultant; Robert Copeland, part-time city clerk and Boeing environmental engineer; Larry Blunden, Signal Hill city treasurer; Maria Harris, retired public administration professor, and Jason Aula, a deputy voters registrar.
We recommend Ed Wilson, Lori Woods and Keir Jones for the Signal Hill City Council.