In recent years, campaign financing in Monterey has grown way out of proportion to the needs of citizen politicians in this relatively small city of 28,000.
For example, one candidate for City Council raised over $53,000 in his first-time campaign in 2016. That represents nearly $2 for every citizen in Monterey and over $7 for every registered voter. For a part time job that pays only $500 or so per month, it is easy to conclude that the purpose of such disproportionate donations is to buy influence. Indeed, the case can be made that donations did influence Council voting in the past four years.
I will propose and push a campaign finance reform ordinance that would require that a council member recuse his or herself from voting on any matter before the Council that involves an individual campaign donor of $500 or more.