With two weeks to go before voters head to the polls, Ron Moody of Imperial Beach has decided to throw his hat in the ring and run for City Counci.
The longtime local resident was notified that signatures he gathered received final approval Tuesday, the final day to enter the race as a write-in candidate.
Moody joins a field of five candidates vying for two seats on the Imperial Beach City Council.
He has contemplated running for office since the last time he ran six years ago, and more seriously in the past six weeks. He admits he's unprepared, and that he didn't want to have to run, but feels compelled to get involved.
The reason he's running for office can be summed up in words he shared with a colleague:
"I said 'Dave, you know, I'm just tired of getting promises and seeing nothing happen, and I couldn't not do anything about it anymore. The council's broken. Nobody is speaking to that issue,'" he said.
Moody has lived in IB for more than 30 years and said he entered the race primarily to return accountability to City Council. None of the other candidates are addressing what he calls IB's biggest problem.
"They make promises about how they're going to fix the economy, but none of them want to talk about how they're going to fix the council," he said.
"Not one person that I've talked to feels they're being represented by the city. Not one person feels like they know why the development at 9th and Palm has been stalled for most of the year," he said.
Moody wants to see progress reports on projects the city undertakes become a regular service so Imperial Beachians are aware of city actions.
"The information that ought to be coming out of the city is not coming out. There seems to be a lack of accountability. A real sense that what goes on within the city chambers, stays within the city chambers, unless they're pressed to get that information out," he said.
Developing tourism, bringing in new businesses and promoting IB are also among the issues he wants to address if elected.
"There's a strong political no growth lobby in this city that has perpetuated a myth that there is going to be uncontrolled development if the city tries to move to improve its commercial areas," he said.
IB can't even get 9th and Palm built when millions in free land was given to a developer to seal the deal, Moody said.
"Where are the high rises and rampant development these individuals that put down any kind of development proposals are talking about? It's a cry wolf tactic. And what it's doing is preventing you and me from having the services and the opportunities that everybody who lives here deserves," he said.
Moody has not attended a city council meeting since July 2011, when the city passed a strict ordinance regulating medical marijuana in Imperial Beach.
Moody is not in favor of Prop S. He believes medical marijuana began with the intention of serving patients with debilitating illnesses, but the issue has been "hijacked" by the "marijuana lobby" as a way to make marijuana virtually legal.
"Ganja Mama, Black African Killer Weed… I mean the names, these are not medical names. Look in the [San Diego] Reader, and you'll see it's the drug counterculture that is pushing this whole movement," he said.
The city already has a stigma and poor reputation for drug use in the past, he said, and Prop S won't help Imperial Beach.
"You cannot move a community forward if you're recognized for dysfunction, for non-productivity and all of the promises that the council makes never address that issue," he said.
Moody said he first ran for City Council six years ago after an alley assessment district failed to pass, but it was living through Hurricane Camille in Mississippi in 1969 that first pushed him into public service.
"Going through that taught me the value of community and standing with others, and it's a lesson that stuck with me the rest of my life," he said.
Local residents who want to learn more about Moody can visit writeinib.com.