Handicapping the Poway City Council race

Poway Roger Poway Roger 9 Comments


There are two spots available in the November election for Poway City Council. One seat is currently held by Jim Cunningham and the other is open due to Councilmember Merrilee Boyack’s decision to not seek reelection.

Cunnigham has shown himself as a capable member of the Council. I believe he will win reelection easily. That leaves Boyack’s seat, with three trying to fill the position, Steve Vaus, Jeff Mangum and Gary Vineyard.

Of the four candidates including the incumbent, Vineyard is the only one NOT living in the northern section of Poway called “Green Valley.” This area has the distinction of being where the influence is in Poway due to its relative wealth.

In past elections there have been comments that the power of Poway lies in this northern section and that the southern area of Poway is not well represented on the Council. This could be an advantage for Vineyard, with the other candidates splitting the Green Valley vote, but I don’t think his residence will help him in this race based on the qualifications of the other candidates.

Vineyard, the owner of two area businesses and a former police officer, has sought a seat on the Council three times. He has been active with the Elks and Kiwanis, however, he lacks the community involvement of Vaus and Mangum.

Mangum is a successful lawyer and has lived in the area for 23 years. He served on the Board of Education of Poway Unified School District for 16 years before retiring, but his involvement in the current school bond fiasco could spell defeat in this election. However, he did much good while on the board, a big plus, but this bond mess, no matter how hard the board tries to pass the blame on to others, could come back and bite him.

Vaus has been active in the community and he led the successful 2010 recall of Councilmember Betty Rexford. His involvement in her recall could be a plus and a minus. A plus that he was an active leader in the recall, a minus that he did state he wouldn’t run for her seat, and ended up running when his favored candidate dropped out. (Reminds me of Sean Connery’s statement when he returned to film another James Bond movie: “Never again.”)

Yet, Vaus’ consistent involvement in the community over the last decade is a real positive. He also has the endorsements of retiring Councilmember Boyack along with her colleague Dave Grosch, another big plus.

How do I handicap the race? Jim Cunningham wins reelection (get ready for him running for Mayor in 2 years). The race for the second seat will be close, but Steve Vaus will be the victor over Jeff Mangum. While Mangum is a leader, I believe his defeat will be the result of the backlash from the Poway Unified bond troubles. Gary Vineyard will finish a distant fourth.

Assuming I’m right, Poway will have, once again, elected two well qualified and capable members to the Poway City Council. Powegians tend to do well with their Council selections.


Comments 9

  1. Interesting article. Apparently the author is not aware of my continuing involvement in Poway for nearly 30 years, much longer than any other candidate, beginning with the Poway Kiwanis, chamber of commerce, scouts, Poway governmental affairs committee, student site council, Kiwanis, ALL of the Poway veterans groups, Poway Elks lodge as well as Peace officers shrine, Poway Boys and Girls club and the Let Kids Have a Ball foundation…to name more than a few.

  2. Not sure what is worse, School Board costing taxpayers millions to keep the ship afloat or the Mayor and City Council buying property thru the redevelopment agency. Poway becoming a city has made a few rich while costing the taxpayers millions. Maybe time to short sale the city.

  3. Mr. Mangum you have stated that you had nothing to do with the 2011 bond. Yet based on the documents available from the October 2010 Board meeting, it is clear that you not only voted to authorize the bond but that a majority of the details were included in the authorization, including the “no call feature” and the 9 to 1 payoff. So I am asking you, were you being less than forthright when you stated you didn’t know about the Series B bonds measure which have indebted taxpayers to the tune of well over one billion dollars? Answer this carefully Mr. Mangum, because we have the documents to back up the accusations.

    Second, Mr. Mangum do you think it is ethical for a bond underwriter to donate $25,000 to the Prop C campaign and with no other competitive bids get hired to underwrite the bonds?

    Third Question: Please explain why you think it was legal for the District to get an additional $21 million in premiums – $9.1 million which occurred in 2009 while you were on the Board? Attorney General Kamala Harris has stated what the District did was illegal. Why in 2009 and again in 2010 did you think it was okay to sneak in additional cash above and beyond what the voters approved in 2008?

  4. Gary, I’ve lived in Poway for 21 years and have been active in the community. I’m sorry, but until this race, even though you have run 3 times before, I have never heard of you. Talking to my associates in the community, they know next to nothing about you. Vaus and Mangum have been noticeably active and their names are well known in the community. If you’re going to run, you need to have your name known throughout the community, JMHO.

  5. To Poway Roger. As I’ve stated before although the community work I have done in and for Poway for nearly 30 years largely went un-noticed that is because I don’t like to ring my own bell. Well now it’s time to chime in. To correct you I have run twice before, the first time on a whim when I withdrew early in the race to support Jay Goldby, who went on to win and the second time to test the waters. I spent a total of $400 on the second race. This time is for real and I have a $25,000 dollar budget to work with.

    To JrLeague. Yes I owned the Long Branch which was a great little community beer bar. A place where friends could meet and baseball teams would gather after their games. Owning the Long Branch allowed me to donate a great deal of time and money into Poway. Money I made there went to Poway soccer, softball, little league, Chamber of Commerce, Elks National Foundation (which help kids), the Al Bahr Shrine (which helps burn victims, especially children) as well as employing many local residents who would otherwise would not have had a job. We had the undisputed best record of policing our own with minimal law enforcement attention. You define it as a “Dive Bar” so I have to assume you were one of the few people I had to “86” although there weren’t many of you. If you’ll ‘man-up’ and identify yourself I’d be happy to address any further issues you may have.

    I also owned AAA Muffler and Brake (in Poway), Vineyard’s Tex-Mex BBQ restaurant (Poway Road across from the library) and currently own Vineyard’s All American BBQ & Catering Co. and Vinny’s Pool Service both in Poway…ALL in Poway and ALL SUPPORTING THE PEOPLE OF POWAY.

    Thanks for your time.

  6. Gary: Do you have a website for the campaign. Can’t find it. What are your thoughts about using the web for campaigning and staying in touch with the public. BTW, I’m voting for Cunningham and trying really hard to find someone I like for the second seat.

  7. Jeff, a search of the web only comes up with…

    …and his still “under construction” website…

    We don’t know that he will see your question posted here, even though he commented here before. We would typically email someone to let them know of a posted question; but with no website and contact info, apparently…

    That may answer your question, “What are your thoughts about using the web for campaigning and staying in touch with the public.”

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