Meet the Candidates | Feb. 17

The Signal Tribune contacted all nine candidates running for city council in the March 7 Signal Hill General Municipal Election and have published here the responses of those who participated, in the order in which their emails were received.


Larry Blunden

Larry Blunden
Age 66
Years residing in Signal Hill 32
Business owner in Signal Hill for 28 years
Currently Signal Hill city treasurer
Previous elected office(s) held Signal Hill city treasurer
Education Computer sciences/graphic arts
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Signal Hill Historical Society– president
Friends of the Signal Hill Library– treasurer
Promontory Crest HOA– president
Carlsberg Business Park Owners Association– president
California GLBT League Officials– treasurer
Goals if elected/platform
With our neighborhoods going through a series of home invasions and vehicle break-ins, we need to see a stronger police presence in our streets to help deter crime.
More after-school programs for our kids. A senior center and more involvement with our elderly. Add value to our community with better restaurant and shopping choices.
Future development- a well planned town center to take advantage of our unique hilltop views and parks. Higher standards for energy efficiency and sustainable development with the future in mind. Continue our fiscal responsibility and be prepared for whatever the future may bring.
Councilmember Mike Noll
Councilmember Larry Forester
Commissioner Gary Dudley
Commissioner Jane Fallon
Commissioner David Hopper
Trestle Property Management
Campaign website


Carol Churchill

Carol Churchill
Years residing in Signal Hill 37
Occupation Lawyer in private practice
Previous elected offices held Signal Hill City Council
B.S. wildlife biology, Colorado State University
J. D. in law, University of West Los Angeles School of Law
Licensed by State Bar of California and State Bar of Washington State
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Signal Hill Community First– founding member,
Rotary Club of Signal Hill– School Supplies Project 2014-2016
Sierra Club of Long Beach– “Tidelines” editor for six years
Long Beach Mayor’s Environmental Task Force– Sustainable Communities
Long Beach Area League of Women Voters, president and Sustainable Communities Committee
Visiting Nurse Services of Long Beach Foundation– president
City of Signal Hill Planning Commission
Soroptimist International of Long Beach– Women of Distinction
State Bar of California– Legal Specialization Committee
Long Beach Bar Association– board member
Goals if elected/platform
Financial experts report festival tourism is the key to attract people to our town with fun events, concerts, shopping, outdoor activities and restaurants that bring new revenues to the city. Let’s “brand” the city to attract visitors and revenue.
Let’s improve our seniors’ quality of life. Provide free shuttle transportation to city services, and require new housing have modifications for seniors, disabled and veterans.
Mentor and engage community activists to cultivate future leaders and a fresh perspective on shaping our future.
Reduce criminal activity by reallocating budget priority and making infrastructure improvements to areas where crime is occurring.
Endorsements Los Angeles County Democratic Party
Campaign website


Robert Copeland

Robert Copeland
Age 46
Years residing in Signal Hill 14
Occupation Environmental engineer– The Boeing Company
Previous elected office(s) held
City clerk– City of Signal Hill (since 2015)
J.D., Southwestern School of Law
M.B.A., Pepperdine University
B.S. chemistry, UCLA
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Chairperson, Signal Hill Sustainable City Committee
Signal Hill Police Foundation
Signal Hill Historical Society
Signal Hill Friends of the Library
Public member alternate, South Coast AQMD Hearing Board
California State Bar
Patent Bar
Goals if elected/platform
For 14 years, I have enjoyed living in Signal Hill with my wife and two children. I am passionate about doing my part to improve the city for my family, residents and the business community. I have four goals as a councilmember:
• Increase focus on public safety to reduce the opportunities for crime and address budding traffic issues.
• Generate a comprehensive development plan in consideration of residents’ needs.
• Maintain the City’s budgetary discipline.
• Further engage the community by enhancing our communication channels.
There is so much to do, and I want us to work together for a better Signal Hill.
Tina Hansen, Signal Hill vice mayor
Michael Noll, Signal Hill councilmember
Larry Forester, Signal Hill councilmember
Campaign website


Keir Jones

Keir Jones
Age 44
Years residing in Signal Hill Eight
Occupation Small-business owner
Previous elected office(s) held N/A
B.A. in business administration
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Signal Hill Foundation
Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce
Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Pride Real Estate Professionals Association
Women Council of Realtors
On Broadway Business Association
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
Equality California
Goals if elected/platform
As a small-business owner and longtime community volunteer, I am ready to bring creative and collaborative solutions to the city council to create a brighter future for us all.
Strengthening development– By creating a strong business environment and a unifying vision for the future of Signal Hill.
Improving safety– By working with our police and fire officials to target and eliminate property crime and improve our fire resources.
Enhancing our quality of life– By adding more public spaces for family time with our kids, improving our air and water quality, supporting our schools, and sprucing up our city.
Mike Noll, Signal Hill city councilmember
Larry Forester, Signal Hill city councilmember
Patrick O’Donnell, State Assemblymember
Robert Garcia, Long Beach mayor
Melissa Guy, president, Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce
Joe Mendez, president, Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Rex Richardson, Long Beach vice mayor
Campaign website


Maria Harris

Maria Harris
Years residing in Signal Hill 20-plus
Occupation Retired University Professor/Consultant
Public Management
Nonprofit Management
Previous elected office(s) held
Elected faculty positions: Senator, Cal Poly Pomona Faculty Senate
Faculty representative, National Association of Schools of Public
Affairs and Administration
PhD, Public Administration, USC
Master of Public Administration, USC
Bachelor of Arts, UC Santa Barbara
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Signal Hill Community First– present
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration– 2008/09
Goals if elected/platform
Work to:
Ensure robust community policing procedures and maintain high law-enforcement standards.
Increase city revenues and provide responsible budgetary oversight so
our tax dollars are properly managed.
Collaborate with the business community to develop a strong and
diverse local economy with a focus on small to mid-size businesses.
Find ways to relieve neighborhood parking/traffic problems and
deteriorated housing stock.
Find ways to address hilltop and trail concerns expressed by homeowners.
City collaboration with residents and the business community is
necessary to achieve these goals. When we all know the problems, we
can be a part of the solution.
Michelle Aguirre
April Canche
Angel Canche
Carol Churchill
Don Clark
Leslie Dew
Raleigh Dew
Dennis Miller
Deborah Ferris
Glen Negroni
Campaign website


Lori Y. Woods

Lori Y. Woods
Age 53
Years residing in Signal Hill 18 ½
Occupation Real-estate professional
Small-business owner
Previous elected office(s) held
Signal Hill Council Member since March, 2013
Signal Hill Mayor since March, 2016
BA Office Administration, Temple University
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Member National Association of Realtors
Member California Association of Realtors
LA County Sanitation District Director
METRO Gateway Service Council Member
I-710 Project Committee Member
California Contract Cities Association Representative
Goals if elected/platform
I welcome the opportunity to continue serving on the city council. I hope you feel you have been well represented.
I’ll continue leadership in:
• city-wide emergency preparedness
• growing our citizens emergency response team
• expanding our Map Your Neighborhood program
• completion of our library
• adding to the savings of operating reserves
I will continue to build on the knowledge I’ve gained and apply that knowledge to the multifaceted decisions that are necessary for Signal Hill to continue to run smoothly, provide services that residents need and remain fiscally sound into the future.
My campaign materials distributed to the voters will have a printed list of Signal Hill businesses and individuals who have contributed to my campaign financially. This is the best type of endorsement I could receive.
Campaign website


Tom Benson

Tom Benson
Age 66
Years residing in Signal Hill 29
Business person
Previous elected office(s) held
Planning Commissioner
Appointed Civil Service Commissioner
Bachelor of business in finance and recently completed a six-part certification in project management at the University of California, Irvine
Introduction to Sustainability, University of Illinois (2013)
Currently enrolled, Digital Marketing, University of Illinois
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Children’s Miracle Network
Friends of Signal Hill Library
Civil Service Commission (1993–1994)
Library Design Committee
North Slope Development Committee
Signal Hill Historical Society
National Federation of Independent Business– Leadership Council
Planning Commission 95 96 2005 -2017
Sustainable Cities Committee 2008-2017
Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce
Signal Hill Rotary, Chairman Fundraising; Past Chair, Public Relations Community Emergency Response Team (certified by FEMA in 2016)
Goals if elected/platform
I have a strong history of service and have displayed leadership through commitment on the Planning Commission, Civil Service Commission, Sustainable Cities Committee and Library Design Committee, and numerous community projects and events.
I am committed to: work to keep affordable, safe and plentiful water; work to update and support public safety in light of the State passing Props 47 and 57 and releasing 40,000 convicted felons; team to develop innovative and timely community-development strategies to optimize land use, business development and regulatory compliance for the next decade.
Council Member Tina Hansen
Council Member Michael Noll
Tom Scott, National Federation of Independent Business
Campaign website


Jason Aula

Jason Aula
Age 31
Years residing in Signal Hill Less than one year
Occupation Full-time student
Contract political campaign consultant
Previous elected office(s) held
(appointed) CSULB ASI Senator College of Mathematics
Nonprofit/professional affiliations
Member–American Association of Political Consultants
Executive director– Long Beach NORML
Outreach chief– Long Beach Americans for Safe Access (past)
Internship– American Federation of Teachers 1521
Apprenticeship– Law Office of Matthew Pappas
Associate Delegate– California Republican Party
Deputy registrar– LA County Registrar of Voters
CSULB alumnus
Pierce College– associates degree– political science
LA Trade Tech– certificate– labor studies
Goals if elected/platform
If elected to office, I will legislate term limits for council members of two four-year terms. In addition, I support further pension reform to cover city liabilities by implementing use taxes on marijuana and sugary drinks to help cover said costs. I support the use of renewable resources in Signal Hill and will promote use of solar- and wind-powered city-owned buildings. I will create jobs by permitting recreational cannabis facilities of all kinds in town. Join me and reimagine Signal Hill by way of new policy for the ages!
Campaign website

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