February 26, 2010 - Dantona files to run for clerk-recorder
Paper: Moorpark Acorn (CA)
Title: Dantona files to run for clerk-recorder
Date: February 26, 2010
Author: Sylvie Belmond
Simi Valley resident Jim Dantona last week announced his candidacy for the Ventura County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
The clerk-recorder oversees 59 employees while managing a budget of about $9 million. In addition to keeping vital public records, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses and business permits, the office heads up the county’s elections division, which is responsible for guaranteeing fair elections and timely results.
“I’m running to improve the voting system and streamline operations in the department,” Dantona, 61, said.
The election for the four-year term beginning November 2010 will take place in June. James Becker is the acting clerk-recorder.
Dantona, who lost a tight race against fellow Simi resident Peter Foy four years ago to represent the 4th District on the Board of Supervisors, is president of Governmental Impact, a legislative consulting firm in Simi Valley.
He represents private companies before various government agencies.
Ironically, Foy’s chief of staff, retired CHP officer Mark Lunn, is Dantona’s primary competitor. Lunn filed his intent to run for clerk-recorder earlier. Arnulfo Carbajal of Fillmore has also filed.
Dantona said he will implement cost-cutting measures that would save a substantial amount of money for taxpayers in the long term.
“I’ve always said we don’t need new taxes. I will work to create more efficiency and embrace competent, proven technology that saves money and protects our records and our votes,” he said.
He would also seek to improve the county’s current voting system by correcting past mistakes, Dantona said.
For example, the county invested about $4.5 million in 2005 on defective voting machines manufactured in Venezuela, he said.
“There have been studies by major universities that show that the Sequoia machines are about 50 percent inaccurate. The high malfunction rate not only delivers late returns, but it also may deliver inaccurate results,” he said.
The faulty machines also force county employees to recount votes by hand, Dantona said, which costs a lot in overtime.
To improve operations in the clerk’s office, Dantona said he’d ask qualified volunteers to help modernize overall operations and upgrade software for the voting machines.
“You don’t have to buy new machines. By having a plan that works, we’ll not only save money, but also ensure that people have more trust in the electoral process.”
To help businesses during tough fiscal times, Dantona said he’ll employ technology that would allow businesses to obtain permits online.
“Many business filings must go through the office. The process is time-consuming and confusing, so I want to simplify it to help businesses get their records through,” he said.
As a local business owner and single father of three, Dantona said he’s aware of the needs of county residents and he wants to help people who are struggling through personal and professional hardships.
“Believe me, I have been there and my past opponents have tried to exploit that fact, but I know that leadership, hard work and determination are what will ultimately get us through,” said the 28-year Simi resident.
Richard Francis, former mayor of Ventura, said Dantona is a good fit for the office of clerk-recorder
“Having been involved with a number of election issues, including SOAR (Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources), I know that Jim has a good sense of judgment in how things should work,” Francis said.
Candidate Lunn said he welcomes the new competition.
“One of the greatest gifts we have living in America is our ability to vote without harm and have successful transitions of power. This will give voters the opportunity to take a look at the backgrounds, skills and experience of all the candidates to make a choice,” Lunn said.
Record Number: a059e7af7a1fbf01d51de6e4c207241aacabd
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