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City Council Candidate Statement: Jim Gardner

Each City Council candidate's statement will appear on the November ballot.

Editor's note: Patch is publishing one candidate statement each day this week from the seven candidates running for Lake Forest City Council. Order of publication is determined by the order in which candidate names will appear on the ballot. This is the statement voters will see on the ballot in November.

Lake Forest City Council Candidate: Jim Gardner

I will       

Put Lake Forest First. Currently the city spends less than 5% of the $35,000,000 annual budget at home, hiring contractors, instructors, repairmen, etc. from other cities. We need to give priority to our residents/businessowners when we spend our money.

Avoid worsening our traffic problems by temporarily halting new housing developments. We don’t need thousands of new people/cars in the city until we dramatically improve our traffic problems.

Save Our Pets by opening a no‐kill animal shelter which can be operated for less money than we currently spend using the inadequate county shelter in Orange where thousands of pets are killed each year.

Fight corruption. Council members accept thousands of dollars from people/companies doing business with the city and then give them millions in contracts/concessions. That’s wrong. I propose members refuse contributions from anyone with business interests before the council.

About me

Former University Professor/Department Head     

Management Consultant to Fortune 500 companies     

Owned software development and internet marketing companies     

Past President Lake 1 HOA     

Co‐Founder, Friends of Lake Forest Animals   

Graduate, LF Leadership Academy   

Member/Supporter – LF Parade Committee, Breast Cancer Survivors, Soroptimist International LF, RUFF, SCO

Please visit GardnerForCouncil.com for more information.

Tomorrow: City Council candidate Dwight Robinson

Yesterday: 

Summer Hemphill August 31, 2012 at 08:46 AM
What is your stance on the medical marijuana dispensary issue in light of the fact that the city has squandered nearly a million dollars in their losing legal battle to ban them in defiance of state law ! Enquiring minds want to know !
Jim Gardner August 31, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Hi Summer, I started working on a response and I just saw that I was already 5000 characters beyond the allocated space. So I'm going to ask you (and anyone else who is interested) to e-mail me at GardnerForCouncil@gmail.com and I will send you my long response. I'll also post my response on my website at GardnerForCouncil.com. Briefly, I share your concern that so much money was spent on this issue, and the $1,000,000 you refer to is merely the tip of the iceberg and refers only to the legal expenses to date. This doesn't take into account the staff time and energy (that otherwise could be directed at other issues, like traffic), nor does it include the future legal expenses for the appeals.
Mason September 01, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I''ve known Jim from his tireless work on the Board of my Lake Forest HOA. He is a fiscal conservative and I am confident that Jim has the focus, commitment and selflessness to serve the City, as we finally have a chance for some new leadership. I also like the fact that he has listed a variety of campaign issues to work on Day 1. The other candidates have nice resumes, but I haven't heard any positions or seen any substance other than being a good guy.
Heather Gilbert September 01, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Dr. Jim Gardner has been a supporter of Breast Cancer Solutions since its inception. He helped us write grants, used his home to host our events, and regularly attends our fund raisers. I've known Jim and his wife Anne for more than two decades. He'd make a great addition to our city council. Heather Gilbert
pattifarina September 02, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I have volunteered with Jim Gardener on the Lake Forest parade committee for several years. In getting to know Jim through the years I have grown to appreciate his sincere and honest drive to make our city even better than it is. Jim has a keen analytical mind, an excellent business sense and a well rounded approach to make many different aspects of our city better. I am pleased to add my name to the list of his supporters. Patti Farina
Jim Gardner September 02, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Thank you Heather. In case you were not aware, Heather is the founder of Breast Cancer Solutions and this very worthwhile group has helped thousands of people with breast cancer and their families. You can learn more about them by going to http://breastcancersolutions.org/
Odin A. September 03, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Jim has been on the board of our HOA, representing almost 1800 homeowners, for several terms now. During this time he has helped reduce our operating costs so that many of our dues stayed the same, (one year they decreased a bit), even when our HOA was doing needed upgrades to some of our facilities. He would be an asset to the city because of his approach in finding where the money is going and reducing operating costs.
Barbara Foster September 06, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I've known Jim and his wife Anne for a decade. Jim is extremely hard working and dedicated to any project he decides to undertake. I can't imagine a better man for our city council. As president and member of our hoa board, he was, and is, outstanding...fiscally responsible, even-handed, imaginative and fair, and knowledgable about all aspects of our association. I will be sorry to see him leave, but glad to know that the hoa's loss will be the City's gain.
Jim Gardner September 08, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Thanks Barbara for your kind words. It's not my intention to step down from the Board if/when I'm elected to the council. As you know I'm retired and I can probably find time to do both. My current term expires in about 6 months and I see no inherent conflict of interest. However, should an issue arise in which the HOA's interests and the City's interests were in opposition, I would abstain from voting. This is unlikely, but not impossible. There are much more serious conflicts of interest on the existing and past Councils, so I don't anticipate any problems here. BTW - we have some great people in our HOA who are involved right now in our committee work, and I can think of at least half a dozen who could "step up to the plate". And our current President David Glick is doing a great job. And even if I did step down at the end of my term, I would certainly continue to be involved in our community's well being, as I was before I joined the Board. Once more, thanks for your kind words.
Lionel M. September 11, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Dr. Gardner You and Mr. Anderson seem to be the most qualified candidates. But I am worried that some of the criticism you have of the current council practices and some of the city procedures will make it difficult for you to achieve your objectives (by the way – I am very impressed with how you talk about the issues and have real plans to deal with them). Good intentions and plans are fruitless if you can’t get along with the other city council members and with the city employees. Can you comment?
Jim Gardner September 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Hi Lionel In my diverse career I worked successfully with a variety of people, including the heads of multi-billion dollar companies, police inspectors, violent offenders, breast cancer survivors, autistic children, etc. I don’t imagine that city council members and city staff will be any more or less difficult than these groups, although it should be noted that our City Council already has a history of interpersonal problems between council members. Consider this – • 3 of the 4 sitting council members refused to endorse Marcia Rudolph, and in fact are endorsing her opponents. • According to Scott Voigts, Council members Herzog and Tettemer refuse to talk to him except at council meetings. • For years the men (Herzog, Tettemer, Dixon) treated the women (Rudolph, McCullough) shabbily and rarely let them hold office. • At one point, Councilwoman McCullough sought a restraining order against Councilman Herzog. I’m pretty sure this is already a dysfunctional group and I can’t imagine that my presence would make anything worse. In fact, as a licensed mental health professional, I’m probably the only one who has a chance of making things better. As to the staff, I have good working relationships with many and I look forward to working more closely with them and getting to know them better. At the end of the day, we are in this to make our city a better place to live, and I’m sure that despite our considerable differences, we can all work together.
Lionel M. September 12, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Dr Gardner. Thanks for you candid and quick response. I wasn't aware of some of these things. It comes as quite a surprise. At least they don't show up on You Tube like the Taiwanese legislators smacking each other with chairs. I asked some questions of other candidates and yet haven't had a response. So your response is even more appreciated. It's great that The Patch provides a forum for us to do this. I hope the others will follow your example. It's not my intention to put people on the spot, but I think my questions are fair and inquiring minds want to know.
Summer Hemphill September 12, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Your support of reasonable regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries is a stark contrast to those close-minded individuals who have put their personal bias before the needs & desires of their constituents !!! Best of luck with your campaign,Lake Forest would be a much richer place (about $1.000.000.00 dollars richer) if the city hadn't conspired to obstruct state law regarding medical marijuana dispensaries !!!
Jim Richert September 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM
We REALLY need some new faces and new ideas on the City Council. Jim is one of those people who can take an independent view of a situation and make effective recommendations. He will get along fine with the other council members - the way some of them treat each other now leaves lots of room for improvement.
Omolu September 18, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I like your style. You will get my vote!
Helen Wilson September 23, 2012 at 05:40 PM
There has been some discussion relative to the widening of Bake Parkway. Do you support adding more lanes to Bake Parkway?
Jim Gardner September 24, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Thanks for the question. Since you have been involved in the city since before it became a city, I'm sure this issue has come up before. One wonders why this wasn't done years ago since traffic has been poor on Bake for years. At this point, with the opening of Alton after more than a decade of delays, there has been some improvement in traffic flow on Bake, as far as I can tell from simply being a user. I'd like to see some traffic statistics, but that's my impression and I've heard similar impressions from others. The problem, of course, is that the City plans to add 3,000 more homes and 10,000+ new cars, so any gains from the opening of Alton are surely going to be lost as the streets fill up. BTW - I trust you have been following my series "Traffic Tsunami". Today we need to pause and take a step back and say "What have we done?" and "Where are we?" Piecemeal solutions never work out in the long run. Once we understand the entire traffic picture, it will probably become clear what to do, if anything, with Bake. Having said that, I do think Bake would benefit greatly by adding another 5 North bound entrance lane. Even now traffic bunches up at the entrance and there are dangerous lane switches at the last minute. But whether or not this fits into a long range plan and whether or not there are higher priorities I would have to wait until a complete review was done.
Lionel M. September 29, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Excuse the personal nature of these quesions, but since you are running for public office I feel we are entitled to ask. Have you ever declared bankruptcy? Has a business you owned or managed ever declared bankruptcy? Have you ever been arrested? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Are you currently involved in any lawsuit as a defendant or plaintiff? If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, could you please supply more information.
Jim Gardner October 01, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Hi Lionel. Good questions for anyone running for public office. Personal Bankruptcy - no Business Bankruptcy - no Convicted - no Plaintiff in lawsuit - no Defendant in lawsuit - yes. As a Board member of two HOAs we get sued all the time and when people sue the HOA they often name the Board members in their lawsuit. On a personal level I am not a defendant in any lawsuit. Arrested - yes. 25 years ago I was detained in Africa and held as a POW in a Zambian prison during the war between Zambia and Rhodesia. I was suspected of being a spy. They released me after 23 days. Otherwise I have never been arrested.
Jim Gardner October 08, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I just wanted to say that the OC Register endorsed me today as one of their two choices for the City Council seat.

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