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Monterey Herald - Government Must Foster Economic Development

Pebble Beach >> Well, Casey Lucius sure sounds like she is running for office.
The Pacific Grove councilwoman, who said she is exploring a Republican run against Rep. Sam Farr in 2016, spoke Friday to more than 300 business types at the city Chamber of Commerce lunch. Her 10-minute speech to the crowd at the Inn at Spanish Bay spoke in general terms about broad topics related to business and government relationships.
“I would argue that the role of government is to foster economic development,” she said, “and to create an environment in which businesses can succeed.”

Over the clanks of utensils for a filet mignon or vegetable lasagna, Lucius, 38, said she favored partnering with businesses on a local level for economic committees, giving contracts to local businesses for infrastructure repair and other projects, and stopping government from being so “reactive.”
“I would submit that government could better help business by being predictive,” she said. “To do this, we have to be aware of the trends … and be innovative in developing new methods for economic development.”

She said some business knowledge needs to be shared with government.
“It’s these knowledge and capabilities that government leaders need to make the best decisions,” she said. “That’s what makes all of you political actors. We need you to involve yourself in politics so that we can make the best decisions.”
Lucius, a U.S. Navy veteran and professor at the Naval War College’s Monterey’s branch, said she favored “corporate social responsibility,” a concept whereby businesses have a sense of responsibility for its community without a lot of government regulations.

“As for the government side, we owe it to you to be innovative and creative,” she said. “We can’t just pass complicated, cumbersome regulations.”
Leadership of the Monterey County Republican Party — along with Sheriff Steve Bernal — took up the entire table directly behind where Lucius and her husband sat. Party leader Peter Newman said he thought Lucius could attract many voters if she decides to run.
“I think it is a super idea,” he said.
Farr, D-Carmel, has represented Monterey County in Congress for 22 years. He said last year at a debate in Salinas he has no intention of retiring, despite inteThe lunch served as the annual membership get-together for the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce, and several businesses were honored.

The Quill was awarded best retailer; Pacific Grove Optometric Center owner Michael Neunzig won best entrepreneur; Canterbury Woods won best service; Best Western won best lodging; and Red House Cafe won best restaurant.
“We’re honored to receive this today,” Red House Cafe co-owner Chris D’Amelio said. “But it’s not just us; it is everybody that works for us and everybody that supported us through all these years.”

Phillip Molnar can be reached at from Democrats like deputy district attorney Jimmy Panetta.


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