A story about a debate among Pinole City Council candidates incorrectly reported one of the companies Ivette Ricco said she has worked for. The company is Security Pacific Real Estate, not Security Pacific Bank.
PINOLE -- A recently retired, longtime chamber of commerce official seeks to convince voters to yank either of two incumbents from the City Council, one of them a 20-year veteran.
Two council seats are at stake Nov. 6; Ivette Ricco is challenging incumbents Roy Swearingen and Mayor Peter Murray.
Swearingen, a semiretired construction consultant, served one term in the late 1980s but did not run again until February 2008, when he won the right to replace Maria Alegria, who was recalled. Swearingen and Murray were re-elected in November 2008, defeating a comeback bid by Alegria.
Murray, the business development director for Contra Costa Electric Co. in Martinez, has been on the council continuously since 1992.
Ricco was with the Pinole Chamber of Commerce from 2002 until earlier this year, as executive director and later as president. During that time, the chamber has been an advocate of local merchants even as it opposed the establishment of some new businesses, citing concerns over parking and the threat of competition to existing businesses.
Ricco ran for council once before, in February 2008, losing to Councilwoman Debbie Long in a race for a seat vacated by the resignation of former Councilman David Cole.
Ricco has worked for Security Pacific Real Estate, Capital Credit and Working Capital, she said in an interview with this newspaper in 2008.
Over the past four years, the council has wrestled with budget deficits, slashed the city workforce and closed one of the city's two fire stations.
All three candidates support Measure M, an eight-year extension of the 8 percent utility users tax that raises just over $2 million a year.
Ricco has the endorsement of the Pinole Police Employees Association and claims the endorsement of Pinole firefighters. The two organizations were displeased when the council, facing severe budget shortages, imposed "last, best and final offer" labor contracts in mid-2011 that froze wages, exacted higher employee contributions for retirement and health care and applied a less-costly retirement formula for new hires.
Ricco also is endorsed by the Contra Costa County Democratic Party for what is nominally a nonpartisan office. Swearingen and Murray are endorsed by the Contra Costa Times editorial board and the Concerned Citizens of Pinole.
The candidates will debate at Pinole City Hall on Tuesday night, with Contra Costa Times political editor Lisa Vorderbrueggen moderating.
Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at twitter.com/tomlochner.
IF YOU GO
What: Pinole City Council candidates forum
Where: Pinole City Council Chamber, 2131 Pear St.
When: 7-9 p.m. Tuesday
TV: Comcast Channel 26 and AT&T Channel 99, sub-menu Pinole TV