Decision 2018: Arcadia’s April Election Already Raising Some Eyebrows

This year’s elections are ‘district‘ as opposed to ‘at large’

By Terry Miller

Elections are always fascinating and occasionally contentious, but when Arcadia Weekly learned that embattled and disgraced former council-member, John Wuo initially pulled papers to run for office again we thought this year’s would be a doozie.  Alas, he didn’t file, nor did Paul Van Fleet, who pulled papers in late December. Van Fleet was planning on running for ShoTay’s seat.

This election is for three seats: Members of the City Council for Districts 2, 3, and 5-(Full term of four (4) years).

The nomination period began on Monday, December 18, 2017, at 7:30 a.m., and closed Friday, January 12, 2018, at 4:30 p.m.

If no one or only one person is nominated for an elective office, appointment to the elective office may be made as prescribed by Section 10229, of the Elections Code of the State of California. Two newcomers, Joyce Platt and Jolly Wu round out the more familiar names: Bob Harbicht; Tom Beck; Roger Chandler and Sho Tay.

-Courtesy photo / Candidate Tom Beck

According to candidate Tom Beck, “This election will be different from all previous Arcadia elections. In 2017 the Arcadia City Council voted 3-2 to go to ‘district elections’ instead of ‘at large elections’. I voted “NO” (as did Councilwoman Verlato) to this change. Only two districts, 2 & 5, will actually have a contested election this cycle. My district is 2 which generally is bordered by Orange Grove on the north, Michillinda on the west, Huntington on the south, and Santa Anita on the east.”

-Courtesy photo / Candidate Bob Harbicht

Bob Harbicht, who ran unsuccessfully in the last election, maintains that “private property rights have been under attack in Arcadia.  The latest government takeover of our property rights is the so-called “Historic Preservation Ordinance.”  This would allow government or your neighbors to declare your home a “historic resource” without your permission, thus severely limiting your ability to remodel, add onto, or modify it.  While protecting truly historic structures is admirable, there must be a limit on government infringement on our property rights,” Harbicht said.

-Courtesy photo / Candidate Joyce Platt

Newcomer Joyce Platt had 30 years teaching in the Arcadia Unified School District says, “Currently there is an expansion of new business areas and mixed-use areas being planned for the City of Arcadia, but along with the new development we need to look at our current business areas such as Baldwin Avenue and revitalize those areas and make them more client friendly.

I believe that the biggest challenge in the next four years is long-term financial sustainability.  This is becoming more difficult as it’s a function of what happens in the state legislature and what happens with the economy along with pension costs and unfunded liabilities.”

-Courtesy photo / Candidate Jolly Wu

Jolly Wu moved to Arcadia 17 years ago and is a strong advocate “of equal opportunity for accessibility to the city council by advocating free roll out service from Waste Management for people with physical hardships. In the same year I participated in an effort to successfully rezone my neighborhood from R2 to R1 in order to prevent developers from constructing a huge apartment complex on 3rd Ave., Lee Ave., and Greenfield.”

In 2016 several senior citizens and Wu formed the Arcadia Transportation Taskforce to insure that Dial-A-Ride funding was properly used for seniors and disabled people only.  This led to introducing the option of transporting school children by professional well-trained school bus drivers to increase the safety of school children.  The Taskforce also advocated repairing uneven sidewalk in the business district on Foothill Blvd.  This prompted the city to repair several locations on Foothill Blvd.

-Courtesy photo / Candidate Roger Chandler

Roger Chandler, who has a long history with Arcadia, is a former law enforcement leader who was first elected to office in 1986.  Chandler is a strong advocate to get more police officers on the beat in Arcadia. “We are being inundated with dangerous criminals preying on our neighborhoods. Early prison release won’t end; it’s up to us to protect ourselves. Our police have arrested more felons for residential burglary and street robberies in 2017 than in the past several years combined,” Chandler says.

-Courtesy photo / Candidate Sho Tay

Sho Tay, originally from Taiwan, is running unopposed as Van Fleet decided not to run at the eleventh hour.  Tay, has been very active in the Asian business community and like Chandler, has a background in law enforcement serving as a reserve officer for Alhambra PD. “I want to bring more attention to public safety by sponsoring a citywide program to install doorbell cameras and alarm systems. We will look at new technology to aid our law enforcement. And we need to preserve the special qualities that make Arcadia unique,” said Tay.

To read the candidates’ full statements, please go to:


January 18, 2018

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ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Decision 2018: Arcadia’s April Election Already Raising Some Eyebrows”

  1. Janet Baker says:

    I would like to know the legal aspects of contesting this election based on the elimination of many Arcadia voters , who will be subject to the decisions the new counsel makes, and for whom they had no say in electing.

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