This Friday is the deadline for filing papers to run for local City Councils in Orange County, in the November General Election. The three sitting members in Lake Forest whose terms are up have all declared that they’re going to seek re-election, so it’s timely to look at what they’ve promised in the past and how well they delivered. We’ll start with Scott Voigts who was elected in 2010.
Voigts various campaign pieces can be viewed by clicking on the images accompanying this article.
Of course any one Council member is only one person, and one of 5 votes. But, Voigts has been there for nearly 4 years now, and in all that time he has been in the majority. By clever maneuvering he managed to form an alliance with (former Councilwoman) Marcia Rudolph and existing Council member Kathryn McCullough from 2010 to 2012, and then he reigned supreme with the election of his BFF Dwight Robinson in 2012. So if anyone could put into motion his promises, it’s Voigts. Let’s see what he promised and what he delivered.
- He promised to “increase law enforcement” but instead he increased the amount of the City’s budget by nearly half a million dollars without any more services, and under his Mayorship the vital Neighborhood Watch Coordinator position went vacant. Crimes like murder, forcible rape, narcotics violations, vehicular homicide, etc. all went up under Voigts.
- He promised to “keep our community safe” but since Voigts took office, Lake Forest became the “Murder Capital of South Orange County.” There have been more murders in Lake Forest in the past 3 years than all other 9 cities managed by the OC Sheriff’s Dept. in South Orange County combined.
- He promised to “synchronize traffic signals” but didn’t. In fact on 2/18/2014 he voted to extend the time to complete the project.
- He promised to “relieve rush hour commutes” but voted instead to allow 42,000+ more vehicle trips per day into the City, and he rejected the idea of a Traffic Commission (12/17/2013).
- He promised to “improve city revenues” but in fact Lake Forest has lost jobs and the projected sales tax revenue is less than half of our neighbors. Since Voigts took office, the percent of Lake Forest’s budget spent on local people and businesses has shrunk from 5%+ to less than 2% – an all time low.
- He promised to “practice conservative fiscal management” but voted the biggest increase in fees in the City’s history (March 3, 2014), voted himself an expensive iPad (Dec 17, 2013), voted to spend $14K a year so that he didn’t have to file forms manually (Jan 17, 2014), voted a $10,000 bonus to one of the highest paid City Managers in OC who makes $350,000 a year (Aug 6, 2013), and voted to remove the investment oversight review from the recurring agenda items (Feb 2, 1014). Hardly the acts of a conservative!
- He promised to “invite citizen participation” then voted against a Community Foundation (2/18/2014) and a Traffic Commission (12/17/2013).
- He promised transparency and then voted against the Sunshine Ordinance (March 5, 2013)
- He promised to “complete the Portola Extension”, but didn’t.
- He promised to “revise the competitive bid policy to reduce waste” and then voted against competitive bids (March 3, 2014, June 17, 2014)
- He promised to fight against the Musick Jail expansion, then supported it and allowed maximum security cells to be built and a $100,000,000 expansion to take place.
The sad fact is that most of the promises that Voigt made he broke, and on some occasions he actually did the opposite of what he promised to do.
Voters need to recall Voigts’ record as he comes before them again with more promises about the next 4 years.
Next time, we’ll look at Council member McCullough.
About Jim Gardner:
Jim Gardner is a Clinical Psychologist/Businessman who has been a Management Consultant to Global 500 companies, Police and DEA and is the Past President of the Lake 1 HOA, Co-founder Friends of Lake Forest Animals, Member of the Lake Forest Parade Committee and a Supporter of Breast Cancer Solutions, South County Outreach. He ran for the Lake Forest City Council in 2012, garnering 5,894 votes. He just missed getting elected to the Lake Forest City Council in 2008, by about 6% of the vote.