Two-term City Councilman Bob Joe is asking District 1 voters to bring him back for a third round in November’s election.
Joe, who was first elected in 2011, has served this year as mayor for the City Council. Having lived for 40 years in South Pasadena, he and his wife raised their family here and have remained involved in public life and volunteerism.
“I believe my experience as mayor during 2020 and my almost two terms of experience as a South Pasadena council member have prepared me to be the best person to help guide the city through today’s unprecedented challenges,” Joe said in response to emailed questions. “My in-depth understanding of the city and my collaborative approach to resolving issues and solving problems are key to this. Our city is resilient and together we will move forward.”
The incumbent highlighted looming financial issues and questions as top priorities for the City Council to tackle in the immediate future. The coronavirus pandemic alone is likely to cut millions from otherwise expected sales tax revenue. The renewal of the utility users tax also will be on the November ballot.
“I fully support this measure, and I want voters to understand just how important this tax is to the city’s long-term financial stability,” he said. “Related to this, we need to strengthen our city administration and stabilize our financial operations. The City Council and I are working together in a collaborative manner to resolve these issues, and I want to continue this effort to right the ship.”
Joe added that upgrading city operational and utility infrastructure has been “one of my highest priorities” since being elected in 2011, adding that he had previously supported committing $2 million annually to road and sidewalk repair. He said that the city also needs to complete its General Plan and find ways to address housing requirements from the state.
“I plan to put to use the valuable knowledge I’ve gained as this year’s mayor,” if elected to a third term, Joe said. “Over the past eight months, I have seen the development of a pandemic and the resulting economic downturn and the devastating impact on our residents and businesses. I have overseen the policies and protocols we needed to adopt to continue operating. I have witnessed the perceived lack of confidence in city leadership and the resignation of a councilmember. I have worked through a number of significant issues this year, and my fellow councilmembers and I have faced and resolved similar issues over my past two terms in office. In my next term, I will accentuate my ability to serve as a problem solver. Additionally, I see the need to be disciplined and diligent as we proceed.”
Before being elected, Joe served on four city commissions — the Transportation Commission, Design Advisory Group, Parks and Recreation Commission and the Freeway and Transportation Commission. He also volunteered for eight years as coach of the American Youth Soccer Organization Region 214 and is an elder at San Gabriel Presbyterian Church.
“My philosophy is that public service is all about helping others,” he said. “City government is the heart of the community. Residents depend on it for basic services, such as streets, water and public safety. They also depend on the family, senior and youth programs we offer through our Library, Senior Center and Community Services Department. If re-elected, I pledge to face the challenges before us and work toward benefitting the common good.”
Joe earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental design from Cal Poly Pomona and later earned a master’s degree from UCLA. Now retired, Joe previously worked for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where he was a special projects manager, group manager for external affairs and executive legislative manager.
He also spent 33 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he was chief of the planning division for the Los Angeles district and the deputy district engineer for programs and projects management.
Joe will face City Clerk Evelyn Zneimer in this year’s election.