Alhambra City Council members Stephen Sham and Gary Yamauchi endorsed Councilman Dr. Steven Placido last Wednesday in his re-election race against Elizabeth Salinas, World Journal (世界日報) reports. The election will be one of various local contests, along with the presidential race and initiatives, on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Sham told the Journal that Placido is familiar with Alhambra's current issues, including traffic, education, and health care. Placido said he has been living in Alhambra for 48 years and has richer political experience compared to his competitor Salinas. Since entering City Council in 2005 he has helped the public library, balance the city’s budget, and shorten police and fire response time, according to the Journal.
If reelected, Placido said the first thing he is going to do is advocate for the 710 Freeway extension, which will connect the 10 and 210 Freeways and will relieve traffic congestion, improve air quality, and provide safer and healthier living environment for children. He also supports housing development in Alhambra to attract more residents.
Salinas told Alhambra Source that she believes that the 710 Freeway may be nothing more than a political pitch. "Dr. Placido has been in office for eight years now, why hasn't it been completed yet if he is such a champion for its completion?" Salinas wrote in an email Friday in response to the council members' endorsement of Placido. "It seems to me like the City is first creating the traffic problems (i.e. by overdevelopment all along Fremont, current projects and proposed ones), and then they come up with the solution: complete the 710, which becomes the typical slogan heard around election time. Alhambrans are a lot smarter than that and can see right through the gimmick."Salinas also said that she felt years of local political experience did not mean that Placido was more fit to represent residents' needs. "Alhambra could use a true advocate and someone who will truly represent the residents of Alhambra and not be afraid to ask the developers for more concessions when it comes to their proposed projects," Salinas said. "We need a leader that won't stand quiet. I am that leader."
Alhambra Source is still waiting for responses from Mayor Barbara Messina and Councilman Luis Ayala about whether they are endorsing a candidate.