Save Carmel Valley . org - Jake Odello, 18, is C.V. council candidate

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Jake Odello, 18, is C.V. council candidate

Carmel Pine Cone: July 31, 2009


HE ISN’T the first person to announce his candidacy for the city council of the proposed Town of Carmel Valley, but he’s certainly the youngest.

A 2009 graduate of Carmel High School, 18-year-old Jake Odello is scheduled to attend college at the University of the Pacific in the fall. But that won’t stop him from campaigning for public office — and if he’s successful — serving on the town council.

“I am against incorporation, but if the city were to pass, I would do a good job,” said Odello, whose family first name is synonymous with the former artichoke fields at the mouth of Carmel Valley. “I love this community and I want to protect it. I don’t think this is the time to incorporate. Our state is broke and issuing IOUs. I don’t think it’s fair to put the people of Carmel Valley through this.”

Odello is one of five incorporation opponents this week to declare their candidacy for town council. Joining Odello are Michael Addison, Ernie Bizzozero Lee Lightfoot and former Monterey County treasurer Tom White.

Addison, a businessman who serves as treasurer for Congregation Beth Israel, insisted he will make a good town council member, even if he’s against incorporating.

“I would not be running if I didn’t want to be elected,” said Addison, who once served as president of the Prado Del Sol Association homeowners group. “I believe my background will help the city in making decisions.”

But until he is elected, Addison will campaign against the formation of the town. In particular, he’s worried the new town would be pressured to approve new development.

“I’ve seen nothing to convince me that incorporation is economically viable,” said Addison, who once served as a U.S. Navy officer aboard a nuclear submarine. “Once a city has economic problems, its leaders start looking for ways to make money, like building things.”

Happy to serve

Even though he is opposed to incorporation, retired U.S. Coast Guard officer Bizzozero said he’ll be happy to serve the new city if he’s elected — and he won’t take any pay as compensation.
“Towns are going broke all around us,” Bizzozero observed. “I’m a fiscal and social conservative. I believe in limited government. And I don’t think the residents of Carmel Valley have been provided with enough information about incorporation.

Ultimately, Bizzozero is concerned about the town’s economic viability. “Where’s the money going to come from?” he added.

Lightfoot, who recently graduated from U.C. Berkeley, is a winemaker and is opposed to incorporation.

“It’s a ridiculous gerrymandered joke,” Lightfoot said. “The whole idea of having another bureaucracy in our area is aggravating.”

Lightfoot, 27, said he believes he would make a good town council member, even though he is opposed to creating the city. Until then, though, he hopes to convince other young voters to oppose incorporation.

“My generation will have to clean up the mess,” he added.

Odello, Addison, Bizzozero, Lightfoot and White join a growing list of candidates which already includes Lawrence Samuels, Noël Jensen, Glenn Robinson, Amy Anderson, Larry Bacon, Karin Strasser Kauffman, Scott Dick, Priscilla Walton and Savva Vassiliev.

Last Updated: Aug 06, 09

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