12 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY MAY 9-15, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com This November, residents of Monterey will be voting in their second-ever district-based election. The open seats on council are in districts 3 and 4—essentially, the Monte Vista neighborhood uphill from downtown, and the latter comprising the North Fremont district in the eastern part of the city. Councilmember Alan Haffa, who resides in District 3, is not seeking re-election to the council. That means the city’s first-ever election for District 3 is open, with no incumbent running. Two candidates have filed so far: Jean Rasch, who’s long been active in the Monte Vista Neighborhood Association, and Eric Palmer, formerly a longtime communications professional for the city who now works for ReGen Monterey. Gino Garcia, an incumbent who the City Council appointed to an at-large seat in 2022, is the only candidate so far to file a statement of intention to run in District 4. Garcia was appointed after former councilmember Dan Albert, Jr. lost his bid to become mayor, forcing him to vacate his seat on council. Mayor Tyller Williamson, who beat Albert Jr. in that race, does not yet face any challengers who’ve filed paperwork or announced a campaign. (Mayoral terms are two years; council terms are four.) Together, Williamson, Garcia and Palmer are running as a slate—a progressive trio who are all homeowners, but younger than the average homeowner in Monterey and focused on the challenges facing renters, who make up about two-thirds of the city’s residents. They’re not looking to turn everything upside-down—Williamson and Garcia already serve on the council— but their aim is to steer the city in a direction that also takes future generations into account, while also addressing the acute concerns of those in the present. Right now, the only contested race is in District 3, with Rasch and Palmer facing off. Rasch, a retired attorney who’s currently vice-chair of the city’s Neighborhood Community Improvement Program Committee, stands on the accomplishments she’s helped achieve thus far, like helping to resolve the pickleball disputes in her neighborhood in recent years, and ensuring 100-foot setbacks for wireless communications facilities in residential neighborhoods. Palmer, meanwhile, is the father of two young children, a former city employee and a sitting member on the Architectural Review Committee. His time as a city staffer also informs his platform: “Part of why I want to run is labor relations,” he says. For Palmer, housing, like others in his slate, is a top priority. Garcia is focused on representing the interests of residents in his district, many of whom are renters and who, before him, never had a council member from their neighborhood. He hears from residents interested in seeing more attention paid to the areas along North Fremont. “We see a disconnect from the larger city,” he says. “Not just in identity, but also resources.” New Lines Two districts in Monterey have open City Council seats; a slate of candidates has coalesced. By David Schmalz Monterey City Councilmember Gino Garcia was appointed two years ago, and is up for re-election this year. “I see a political shift that to me is very inspiring,” he says. NEWS They’re not looking to turn everything upside-down. DANIEL DREIFUSS Try Us First. We Pay The Highest! MONTEREY COIN SHOPPE Since 1970 same street for 40 years Open Mon-Thur 11am-4pm and Friday by appointment only. Call for an appointment: 831.646.9030 449 Alvarado St., Monterey www.montereycoinshoppe.com WE BUY GOLD AND SILVER, JEWELRY, COINS, DIAMONDS, WATCHES, ART & RARE ANTIQUES Monterey One Water • ReGen Monterey • Southern Monterey Bay Dischargers Group GREEN CART Food scraps without a bag TRASH Cooking oil and grease ClogBusters.org Good kitchen habits protect the environment & public health from sewer overflows! www.ClogBusters.org new arrivals suits, soft jackets, sport coats, dress shirts sports shirts, trousers & more… 831-625-8106 • carmel plaza • shop at khakisofcarmel.com