CLAREMONT - Three candidates answered citizen questions Saturday to convince a crowd of about 25 that they deserved one of two available seats on the City Council.

Incumbents Corey Calaycay and Larry Schroeder mostly defended and explained what they've done on the council, while professional window cleaner Michael Keenan said the city needed to focus on environmental issues.

All three emphasized that they wanted citizen-driven policies, though.

In response to a question, the three said they would seriously consider extending a two-hour parking limit on Wednesdays.

"I certainly would support the idea of getting some kind of relief, especially on Wednesdays, because we do want people downtown," said Schroeder, adding that it would also to help have a counter on the parking structure to show how many parking spots remain.

Schroeder is currently mayor. In Claremont the post is rotated by council appointment.

In response to another question - when closed-session discussions with Golden State Water over increased water rates would become public - Calaycay said he was committed to transparency but that revealing negotiations before a deal is made would weaken the city's bargaining position.

"When the vote's taken we'll report it," Calaycay said. "I think you have a trustworthy group in the City Council. We do not always agree...but when we do, I hope there's some trust there."

Keenan said movement toward more sustainable policies such as pushing solar energy were necessary to prevent harmful climate change and that those policies would also help the city.

"Solar makes money," Keenan said. "We should've been doing solar two years ago when I recommended it."

Keenan has made three previous attempts to run for the council. Schroeder was first elected four years ago. Calaycay was elected in 2005.

The forum was hosted by Active Claremont and the League of Women Voters of the Claremont area at the Alexander Hughes Community Center.

The election for the two council seats is March 5.


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