Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Citizen Voices

When I sat down to write about the Mayoral race in Coronado, I thought I was going to tell a story of five dedicated public servants who wanted to serve their fellow townspeople.  Traditionally, local Coronado political races have been non-partisan with the common goal being the good of the community.  Factions haven't always agreed; and as in nearly every community in America, balancing development against the quality of life for the residents has been an issue.

In researching this race, however, I have witnessed so much elitist economic profiling, gay baiting, Rovian Disinformation, religious crusading, greed, smugness, and blatant grandiose posturing, I find there is enough material for a pulp novel. Throw in Loyalty Oaths from the San Diego County Republican Party and you've got a sad story about the destruction of civic health of a small town.

Chuck from Escondido, CA
October 25, 2008 at 03:59 AM
Great post Candace. Interesting to hear about the 'loyalty oath.' Don't know if anyone up here signed it, but it explains why some of the local Republican candidates in Escondido are being featured in mailings that tie them to their party's (failed IMHO) platform.

Alika from San Francisco
October 25, 2008 at 06:17 PM
As a former Coronado resident, I was interested in reading your article and appreciate your objectivity. I was previously informed about this email from Mrs. Stickel and was struck, as you were, with the line about the mayoral candidate being "a teacher's union member," "unmarried" and "not a homeowner." Since when are any of these traits partisan issues or characteristics on which one should base his or her vote? Besides, it's common knowledge that teachers don't earn a three-figure salary and in order to own a home in Coronado, one would need at least that. The fact that this mayoral candidate remains a renter in the city that he loves in order to be close to his work, city council, students, and family says a lot.

Tom Stickel
October 29, 2008 at 07:07 PM
Who is the "pit bull"...the person who advances the "private" email or the one who wrote it? God bless, Tom...husband of Tracy, the author of the private email...

Ella Croshier from 25 Blue Anchor Cay Road, Coronado, CA 92118
November 01, 2008 at 03:54 PM
Pitt Bull Politics in Paradise....Great reporting. A wise man once said,"The first step to resolving problems is to educate yourself". Unfortunately all candidate platforms tell only what they want you to hear to get elected. They're not telling the bad stuff. The venemous overtones and paranoid like demeanor throughout the Stickel advertisement attached should be enough to turn voters off. Endorsements by two unpopular mayors and other shady characters is also not helpful. The S.D. Union Tribune didn't endorse Stickel nor print much of his past negative history. However, website of The Reader (search Stickel) will provide enough information to decide whether or not you want to vote for him. I'm voting for Barbara Denny and Pete Fagan because they are the BEST qualified and have no strings attached. WE NEED A CHANGE.

Story Vogel from Pine Valley, Ca
November 02, 2008 at 07:49 AM
As a twenty-eight year resident of Coronado and the co-proponent of the 2006 ballot initiative,Prop J, Tom Stickel's behavior does not surprise me. Prop J was a voters initiative to change the arbitrary zoning map of Coronado that was created in 1973., changing the R1B zone to the existing R1A(e) zone. Since the early nineteen eighties developers had been tearing down single family homes in the R1B zone and replacing them with two railroad car shaped slab sided dwellings, called Billy Boxes,. on the same parcel that once contained a single family home. R1B had a minimum lot sizeof 3500 sq ft. Most of the single family homes, like miine, in the R1B zone were built on a parcel of 7,000 sq ft. since the 1920's. Single family homes on similar sized parcels in other parts of the city were designated R1A(e) with a minimum buildable lot size of 5500 sq ft......which meant that these homes could not be torn down and replaced with two Billy Boxes. There is no difference in these streets other than the zoning designation. On my street where once stood 7 single family homes and a 1940's 6 unit apartment building, ther are now 27 Billy Boxes and condos. The goal of Prop J was to retain the historic development pattern of Coronado and preserve its historicity and prevent the continued over development of these blocks which diminished neighbors privacy and devalued their homes. Prop J won by seven votes after a contentious and dishonest public relations campaign by the Billy Box developers and their allies like Tom Stickel, who is the chairman of Coronado First Bank which apparently finances some developers in town. The soon to be former Mayor, Tom Smisek ,who has endorsed Tom Stickel despite his lack of municipal experience, engineered a lawsuit by the City of Coronado seeking to have the citizens initiative overturned. A year later a judge ruled that because it was missing the words, Prop J amends the General Plan, the initiative was overturned. I received numerous emails from Tom Stickel and one of his developer realtor allies, Dave Gillingham, which like the email to a former council woman and longtime republican accused me of being a Socialist. Stickels comments focused mostly on his membership in the republican party and his close association with god. One can oly posit that Stickels extremist religious beliefs combined with his obvious financial intersest in over developing other people's neighborhoods contribute to the

Story Vogel
November 02, 2008 at 07:58 AM
-nonsensical prattle that he send around by emaiil to others. It is clear to me that Mr.Stickel possesses a bizarre view of others constituitonal rights to free speech and association, focusing mostly on his clearly distorted view that his being a republican and a believer in some kind of god entitles him be Mayor. A person who conducts himself as Mr.Stickel has, attacking other citizens of Coronado on the feeblest of basis, his party affiliation and his own religiouslty, clearly has some issues that warrant a professional's attention. After twelve years of a pro developer Mayor and City Council, the last thing Coronado needs is a Mayor who is not only pro developer but is clearly lacking in good judgement.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.