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Pacifica's No. 2 Says He'd Take Top Job

Councilmember Len Stone is the odds-on favorite to be appointed Pacifica's next mayor, but he insists it's a job he's not campaigning for.

First-term Councilmember Len Stone, a heavy favorite to replace outgoing Mayor Pete DeJarnatt for the city's top political job, says he'll take the gig if offered, but insists that he's not campaigning for it.

Stone, who promised he'd work to restore fiscal discipline and promote economic development when Pacifica voters elected him to the council in 2010, currently serves as mayor pro tem, a position that's typically the precursor to the mayor's job.

Voters won't have a direct say in who becomes Pacifica's next mayor.  That will be in the hands of his peers on a council whose makeup is not yet known, with three of city's five seats up for grabs in the Nov. 6 election.

"I haven't really thought about it much, but If I was chosen by my colleagues to be mayor I'd be honored to do so," he said.

"I'd be humbled."

Regardless of the outcome of the council race, Stone said he's committed to pushing for the same agenda he ran on in 2010.

He said he'll continue to push for an economic development director and balanced budgets.

"Whether I'm the mayor or a councilmember I'm going to have the same goals," he said.

"For the last couple of decades, every budget cycle it's been a scrambling to make sure we get through the next year. I'd like to focus on more long-range planning and break that cycle of financial instability."

As is the case with most small towns, Pacifica mayors serve largely ceremonial roles with no more voting rights than any other councilmember.

"It's very much a leadership position," he said. "If my colleagues wanted me to be mayor and had confidence in me I'd be happy to do the job.

"Hopefully people think I'm doing a good job on the council and it would just be more of the same if I was mayor."

Stone touted his role on a council that balanced the budget for this fiscal year to be among his most significant accomplishments, an achievement he said is shared.

"The fact that this year we're no longer going backwards financially is a big accomplishment and I think the council has done a great job, the (city manager's) staff has done a great job and the (city's) employees have done a great job.

"I think it's a big accomplishment for the city."

But Stone bristled when asked what leadership experience he had, if any, that made him suited for the city's top political job.

"I don't have to answer that," he said. "I'm not campaigning" for the mayor's job.

Asked if he has future plans to run for higher office, Stone said it's something he hasn't considered.  In addition to serving on the council,  owns and operates a Pacifica insurance business that employs five, and is the father of two small children.

"My big focus at this point is serving the city of Pacifica," he said.

 

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Bhatman August 09, 2012 at 01:54 PM
"I don't have to answer that ". What hubris! When you decide to do an interview with the press and you are a public servant you answer all the questions Mr. Stone, not just the flattering puffery. The fact of the matter is Stone CANT answer the question as his accomplishments on Council are few, He's a lightweight, in over his head on most matters.
Lionel Emde August 10, 2012 at 03:49 PM
The council selects the mayor, as noted, not the public. It's possible we'll have (I hope) three new councilmembers in November. That would make Len the second-most experienced on the council. He could hardly do a worse job than some past mayors. He has responded to questions from me quite readily, and bothered to call when I've posted public comments. We certainly don't agree about many issues, but I have appreciated the open door policy.

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