This is the final week to submit papers if you want to run for the Lake Forest City Council, and all three sitting members in Lake Forest have indicated they will be running again. We covered Scott Voigts and Kathy McCullough in previous articles, so today’s article is about the remaining incumbent, Dave Bass.
Bass was appointed in December 2013 to fill the remaining term left when Peter Herzog resigned. Bass was a strange choice, since he spent his entire working life as a City employee, and many wondered if he could switch gears and perform as a Council member and not as a staff member.
When he applied Bass said:
“In order for the voters of Lake Forest to have the ability to see a ballot in November 2014 without an appointed person claiming as a position “incumbent” or “council member” I will, if appointed, commit to not run for election or re-election for the City Council position.”
The fact that he is now running shows that Bass, like Voigts and McCullough is prepared to part from the truth.
In his application Bass also said:
“I do not have a specific agenda or specific issue that I am champion.”
This time Bass told the truth. He has accomplished nothing since being appointed 9 months ago. He’s championed no issues, introduced no legislation, and contributed very little of substance to the Council’s debates. But we can look at how he voted to get an idea of the man.
Bass vote in favor of:
- Non-competitive contracts (June 17, 2014)
- The highest increase in trash hauling fees in the City’s history (March 4, 2014)
- Giving Council/Commission members expensive iPads (Dec 17, 2013)
- Spending $14K per year to make it easier for Council members to file reports (Jan 7, 2014)
- Giving tickets for street sweeping without first giving warnings (Jan 7, 2014)
Bass voted against:
- A traffic commission to reduce traffic congestion (Dec 17, 2013)
- A non-profit community foundation to help the needy (April 1, 2014)
- Anti-corruption ordinance (May 6, 2014)
- Sunshine ordinance (May 6, 2014)
- Campaign finance limits (May 6, 2014)
- Protecting mobile park residents against unwarranted rent increases (Jan 21, 2014).
Trying to come up with a single term to describe his voting patterns is difficult but there are some trends. He’s against open government and citizen participation, and looks like a “tax and spend” politician, with most of the spending going to feather his own nest. Almost every single vote has been lock-step with Scott Voigts and Dwight Robinson, to whom he owes his loyalty for their vote. Indeed Bass is basically a rubber stamp for the Voigts-Robinson coalition. He even teams up with them on special committees.
Next time we’ll look at some of the other candidates. As of this writing there are a total of 11 who pulled papers – an all-time record for Lake Forest, which seems to indicate record unhappiness with the incumbents.
PS – Full disclosure. Unless the field of candidates improves, I will join the fray and also be a candidate for the November election. I’m waiting until Friday to make my final decision, but given the current candidate roster I will almost certainly file to run.
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.