Bill Rabenaldt, the censured but uncensored Pismo Beach City Council member, says he will run for mayor.
- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- NO LAPTOP NEEDED : Pismo Beach City Council Member Bill Rabenaldt, who was stripped of his city-issued laptop and credit card in a February censure, says he's running for mayor.
# Rabenaldt revealed the news in e-mails distributing his newsletter, sent to about 960 people: "I've decided to run for Mayor of Pismo Beach in November. Any thoughts?"
In an interview, he said he's holding off on any formal announcement, but confirmed that he plans a bid he says will be aimed at keeping Pismo Beach government focused on residents instead of just tourists.
"We give nothing back to the community," he said. "Most people I know don't even go downtown."
Rabenaldt was formally censured by his peers, for the second time in his four-year term, in February after they ruled that a chain of e-mails he'd sent, raising questions about the city's plans to put in paid parking kiosks, violated city ethical guidelines. Last month he lost a bid to reverse the censure, which cost him use of a city laptop, credit card, and city-paid travel privileges.
Those same parking concerns will be a central part of his campaign, Rabenaldt said. In particular, he'd like to see city residents allowed to park for free downtown.
He describes himself as a former staunch Republican-turned-independent who now is increasingly focused on environmental concerns.
He also said that he wants more long-range planning for the beach town, which gets deluged with tourists from inland cities on summer weekends. Rabenaldt said that the town's decisions are too often focused on appeasing or making money off of those tourists rather than serving the needs of year-round residents
Pismo's current mayor, Mary Ann Reis, said she doesn't plan to make any announcement of her own plans until closer to the election. But she said she's not surprised by Rabenaldt's words.
"It's not news to me," she said. "He has been saying that right along."
Asked if she would consider him a threat, she immediately answered "No." Then she paused and added, "If I were to run, I would run my race to the fullest regardless of who my opponents were."