Prominent architect challenges Marx for mayor seat

July 26, 2012

Steve Barasch


San Luis Obispo businessman Steve Barasch announced Tuesday he plans to run for mayor in November against incumbent Jan Marx.

The founder and president of Barasch Architects and Associates, Barasch has been outspoken about the city’s fiscal stability. At last weeks city council meeting, Barasch chastised the city for failing to properly maintain many of the more than 200 properties the city owns while at the same time ticketing residents for lessor infractions.

“I am not running against any specific candidate, I am running based on fiscal accountability and  transparency,” Barasch said. “I am a registered democrat and a fiscal conservative.”

Barasch is a 1972 graduate of Rice University with a masters in architecture and urban design. In 1976, he received a doctorate of philosophy in architecture from the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.

Barasch is the fourth formal challenger to Marx, who has already announced her re-election bid. Councilman Andrew Carter withdrew from the race earlier this week.

Oren Levy, who recently moved to San Luis Obispo from Georgia, and long-time resident Don Hedrick have also pulled nomination papers.

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Well, at least the voters of San Luis Obispo will have a choice in November. And give your candidates a little ‘slack’ – they are tyring to change things.

Unfortunately, here in Paso, the story seems to be a little different. No one has yet filed for mayor, so it seems we will get more of the same thing we have had for the past 2 years.

Paso desperately needs a new mayor. Mayor Picanco stubbornly supported Lovely Lisa throughout Chittygate and continues to back puppetmaster Jim App. Paso needs a mayor and council who will be true leaders, not puppets.

Anyone read The Tribune (July 26) letter to the editor where Kathy Smith (current City Council Member) suggests that the City consider whether they want a part time Council or “considering full-time counci members, paying a living wage, providing at least one staff person and functioning more like the Board of Supervisors.” I thought we paid Miss Katie the large salary with few days of attendance to run the City. Now the Council is considering a full wage, an individual staff person plus additional office space, budget costs, etc. Really, is she kidding so we can more of their decisions, regulations and rules, Really!! Yea, vote for that 1/2 cent sales tax increase in 2014 and support your local City Council!!!!

I don’t think SLO is ready to pay a full-time council, but don’t overlook Kathy’s very valid point–a full-time council has a much stronger position over staff than our current weak council where staff nearly runs the city on its own under council guidance. A full-time council is much more involved in day to day decision making, placing elected officials in charge.

I don’t support a full-time council, but the error was made by a previous council that gave a 9-month severance package to our manager. This error literally locked us into a predicament where we are unwilling to even consider changing staff. Thus staff is in a position to push the council around. It was a bad council decision that put us in this predicament.

Here is the amended contract of employment with Katie E. Lichtig city manager . We are getting shafted .

I think after a city manager or city attorney have worked for a city for awhile, the pay doesn’t reflect their skills or worth to the city in their position as it does their knowledge of where the “bodies are buried.”

I’m just saying that photo looks like a Jan and Dean greatest hits album cover. Hope it all works out

OK, I did a search for Mr. Barasch. He appears to have had a rocky relationship with the City due to his desire to develop very high-density properties at his rentals. He also is a 9-11 Truther, apparently, having applied his architectural expertise to evaluating whether or not the Twin Towers could have come down due to having had two jet aircraft loaded with fuel fly into them at roughly 500 miles per hour. Well, he’s entitled to his own opinions and he can run for mayor if he wants. This should be interesting.

“9-11 Truther”. Good for him. Anyone who has paid close attention knows that the 9-11 government facts don’t add up.