Thursday, November 6, 2003
Barbara Livingston, the outspoken member of the Carmel City Council, has announced that she will not seek another term when her seat is up for reelection next Spring.
"Twelve years is a long time," Livingston says. "It''s time for other people to bring up these issues in support of the residential community--and if there really is no interest in them, then why am I doing it?"
Livingston characterizes her two terms on the council under Mayor Sue McCloud as difficult: Livingston says she has had to vote against the mayor and other council members to attempt to maintain the historic character of Carmel over developers'' interests.
"I think of Carmel as a village in a forest by the sea, and I''m concerned that the council understands that."
Livingston says her votes on these pet issues are usually overruled by a voting block of the other council members.
"There''s a feeling of powerlessness," she says. "There''s always a four-one vote, but I do think there is a need for someone like myself to provide a countervailing position on the council."
Livingston charges that McCloud has made discussion of issues impossible, and that the council members have followed her lead.
"This council has allowed this mayor unprecedented power and control over every aspect of city government, and over the city manager," she says.
With plans to take a more active role in groups such as the Carmel Preservation Foundation and Friends of Carmel Forest, Livingston doesn''t intend to drop out of sight in Carmel.
And while Livingston firmly believes that the council requires a dissenting voice, she doubts one will emerge.
"I don''t see anyone throwing their hat in the ring," she says. "I have a facility for forgetting insults and slurs, but I don''t think other people are going to want to put up with that."