By Terry Miller
Some of the first questions from editors at a local daily newspaper Tuesday evening at Marshall Fundamental High school took Jacque Robinson and Terry Tornek by surprise.
The initial questions posed seemed to imply that the Pasadena Police Department is in a state of chaos and falling apart at the seams. Quite the contrary, said both candidates, who are obviously deeply concerned about the McDade and Barnes shootings in recent years but feel the department is not “broken …”
Candidates for the office of Pasadena’s next mayor, City Councilman Terry Tornek and Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, strongly defended Chief Sanchez and the boys in blue while acknowledging there are a few bad apples, as in any police force.
Torneck said he is a “numbers guy” when asked about the embezzlement scandal but added that he was not “looking over everyone’s shoulders …” at City Hall during his time in the finance department. Tornek served Pasadena as a member of the Design Commission, Planning Commission, Finance Committee, Municipal Services Committee, Fire and Police Retirement Board and Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.
The pair will compete in an April 21 run-off election that will determine Pasadena’s first new mayor since 1999, when Mayor Bill Bogaard was chosen as the city’s first elected mayor.
The two differed on their idea of affordable housing needs in Pasadena.Robinson said she would be a strong leader with endorsements from the Pasadena Police Officers Association, the L.A. County Democratic Party, and the National Women’s Caucus of Pasadena.
Tornek called himself a “hard worker” and reminded the audience he’s a numbers guy and will keep the city employees accountable.
Tornek led the primary, earning 37.1 percent of the votes. Robinson took 30.3 percent of the votes. Only 20 percent of registered voters bothered to voice their opinion.
Both candidates are incumbents. Robinson, who has served two four-year terms, gave up her District 1 seat to run for mayor. Tornek, a real estate developer who served as Pasadena’s City Planner in the 1980s, has two years remaining on his District 7 council seat.