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CAMPAIGN 2018: Carmel Mayoral race

There are three distinct choices in Carmel this November – An embattled, but experienced incumbent (Mayor Steve Dallas), a political mainstay unseated in 2016 now looking to hop back in (Dave Potter), and an election and city newcomer (Gene Hughes).

Mayor Steve Dallas has led city hall for 2 years.

KION reached out to Dallas multiple times to speak with us for this report. He declined any sort of comment.

His campaign page promotes a million dollar city surplus, banning plastics, dedicating millions to repaving roads, and halting short term rentals.

But this has also been a troubling year for Dallas, accused of sexual harassment by two women. The City Attorney’s office said the city of Carmel was cleared of “any civil or criminal liability,” back in March. Dallas apologized for what he admitted was inappropriate conduct.

This is part of what brings former Monterey County Supervisor Dave Potter back in the game. Unhappy with the city paying for the defense of both Mayor Dallas, and City Attorney Glen Mozingo, when news outlet Voices of Monterey Bay sued for access to information surrounding his resume. Potter says the public’s concerns aren’t being heard.

“When they are told by the Mayor that ‘if you can’t think positively don’t think at all because it’s so
frustrating to have people disagree,’ that’s just wrong,” Potter said.

Same with businessman Gene Hughes.

“I’m running to revitalize the relationship between the council and the community,” Hughes said.

To improve the city, Potter wants to limit traffic congestion. One idea includes putting new regulations on trucks blocking downtown streets. He also wants to more employee parking so it doesn’t creep into residential housing.

Potter also says there are too many tourists here during the season, so he’s hoping to limit buses coming through downtown, and increase mass transit.

“I think we need to look at marketing the shoulder season, the winter months, the off season, so we can
get people in here on a better basis,” Potter said.

Hughes agrees changes are needed with tourists and traffic. He would consider closing down Ocean Avenue to cars on a regular basis.

“If people can park much more easily at the mission, and there is a simple shuttle bus back and forth
through town, I think they would be very happy to be able to do that,” Hughes said.

Hughes believes tourists crowd Carmel streets during the day. That’s why he wants to work with Monterey and Pacific Grove to entertain them day-side, and keep them as Carmel hotel guests at night.
With tourist guest taxes, Hughes would focus on the city’s infrastructure.

“Improving the sidewalks, which you’ll see in a minute are quite crooked, and working to get Pacific
Gas and Electric lines below ground,” Hughes said.

Dallas won in 2016 with 56 percent of the vote.

Correction (10/30/18): The original report said Mayor Dallas was “legally cleared” after a city investigation. We clarified the report to more accurately describe this statement from City Attorney Glen Mozingo back in March.

“The City of Carmel does not, in the opinion of the City Attorney’s office, have any civil or criminal liability as a result of the allegations made against the city mayor, because based on the law, he did not engage in sexual harassment,” – Glen Mozingo.

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