As part of our VNC profile series we are asking candidates why they want to serve their community.
Mark Standring is a man with a plan.
A retired business consultant who migrated from the United Kingdom to work in Century City, VNC community officer hopeful Mark Standring has detailed a comprehensive plan of action on his website, www.venice2gether.com so that stakeholders and locals can truly understand his candidacy and platform.
“I’m retired. I have the time and energy to serve. Venice has big problems and I consider myself a problem-solver. I don’t promote crazy ideologies. Deterioration is unfortunately the current state of Venice. We are in crisis,” observed the 66-year old homeowner, husband, father of three adult children and one grandchild.
Standring came to the US in 1981 where he worked in several fields of endeavor and married his wife Gila, a native of Israel in 1985.
A homeowner in the historic canals district, Standring believes his experience in the private sector was all about “fixing problems.”
“I implemented techniques, practices and methods that get results.”
Because of rising crime, Standring had to install bars on windows and update his home’s personal security.
“My home was broken into three times. But I don’t shy away from these challenges. I have the private sector skill set to deliver the solutions we all seek.”
Ironically, the arrival of Hunter Biden to the Venice Canals has actually helped in decreasing crime in his neighborhood.
“His presence has made things better. Many of the transients have moved on.”
The candidate was asked about the current city leadership and specifically Councilman Mike Bonin (CD-11).
Standring noted that while he has never met Bonin, he has tried to communicate with Bonin via e-mail to no avail.
“Mike Bonin has made Venice a magnet for even more homeless. His policies are the wrong approach. Things clearly have gotten worse.”
The candidate stressed a better direction for all Venetians.
“Street camping must end. 30% - 50% of those in the streets are not necessarily homeless. We must get people off the streets quickly. We need a timeline,” noted Standring.
Standring’s observation on the current homeless population is that most are male, in their 20’s and 30’s.
“There are few older people. It is a younger demographic. We have to stop the public defecation and current conditions that are just unacceptable.”
The conversation then turned to the race for VNC president.
“I’m supporting Jim Murez. Murez is the strongest candidate.”
The discussion then turned to housing and development.
“The revisions being considered to the Venice Specific Plan are crucial. I’m committed to the character of Venice. I support slow growth and reducing density. Parking continues to be horrendous. I’m also concerned about our coastal environment as well as noise control too. I recently observed a seagull wrapped in plastic and that was disturbing to me.”
The candidate was also asked about the way candidates for the at-large community officers are selected. Currently voters can only elect one of the thirteen community officers.
Under the current voting guidelines, Venetians and stakeholders only select 43% of the entire twenty-one member board.
“It’s an insane process. I find myself at a disadvantage politically speaking given the way we’re currently elected. Every potential voter is a high value target.”
The candidate spoke thoughtfully about considering different ideas and policies to improve the state of Venice.
“I want to fix things. I think VEXIT (the notion of Venice seceding from Los Angeles) is something worth considering. I believe the VNC needs to exert influence over the city.”
I asked the candidate if he would try to solicit the vote of Hunter Biden in his campaign.
“Yes. I have a plan to win and a plan to serve and I don’t plan on losing,” offered Standring and his optimistic vision for the community.
“Something is terribly wrong here in Venice. We have big challenges and I’m offering bold solutions. It’s important everyone vote. America has been generous to me and my wife and family, and Venice despite everything remains beautiful.”
For more information on how to receive a ballot and cast your vote, contact email@example.com