They each received three minutes to pitch themselves to the Claremont business community and neither of the two City Council candidates who showed Tuesday morning drew the red card for going over their time.
The Claremont Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Meet the City Council Candidates” event at the Double Tree Hotel on Foothill Boulevard. Incumbents Corey Calaycay and Larry Schroeder, the city’s current mayor, turned up to speak at the chamber’s monthly networking breakfast.
Challenger Michael Keenan, a local professional window cleaner, declined to participate, chamber officials said.
The election takes place March 5. The city recently announced that sample ballots had been mailed to residents.
Calaycay, a 39-year resident, was first elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. He served as mayor from 2009-2010 and said this election is a chance for residents to “judge his job performance.”
He said although the council members have their differences, they still are able to work well together.
The councilman said that Claremont is on fiscally firm footing with a $1.8 million surplus at the end of last year and sales tax on the rise.
“We have a very pro-business city council,” he said. “We’ve been very working hard to retain businesses that we have in this community as well as working hard to recruit other businesses that complement our community and certainly provide services to our community."
Schroeder said he wants an opportunity to continue serving the community. The mayor is running for his second term. He touted his 26 years as a municipal employee, including 19 years as a finance director in Glendora and Lakewood, as experience that has been useful as a council member.
During his first term, the council tapped Community Development Block Grand money to allow existing businesses to expand and new ones to establish, which created jobs, he said. He voted to establish the Business Improvement District and to continue to fund the Chamber of Commerce contract with the city, he added.
The city’s push for new business has helped to create jobs and increase sale tax, he said.
“Other businesses need other businesses. It creates a kind of synergy,” he said. “When you come out of Super King and you take a look over at the Toyota dealership you just might want to buy a car. And when you come out of Vons and look up and think maybe I should have a relaxing day at Massage Envy, it all works. “
Maureen Aldridge, the chamber's chief executive officer, said the organization typically has an event for candidates running for council, sometimes it is a meet and greet and other times a forum format. The business community needs to get to know who is running for council, she said.
“It’s very important because the council votes on lots of issues that affect businesses,” she said.
The city works with a firm, the CB Richard Ellis Group, that helps find businesses that would be a good fit for Claremont and that has been very successful, she added.
“Business seems to be doing really well,” she said. “There seems to be a little bit more consumer confidence.”