Candidate Sun Focuses on Renovating Stoneman Building

Eugene Sun
Eugene Sun

Oh, the familiar places for former City Councilman Eugene Sun.
Having served two terms and run three campaigns prior, Sun said this fourth campaign has been a bit of a trip down memory lane for him.
“In a sense, I did miss it,” he said. “There are many people I hadn’t seen or talked to in years.”
Sun is one of seven candidates for the three open spots on the five-member City Council. The election will be held Nov. 7.
Having emigrated from Taiwan to earn his master’s degree from Purdue University in 1978, Sun moved to San Marino 32 years ago, where he has been owner and operator of Region 1 Realty. He had worked a number of chemical and engineering jobs before moving to Southern California to sell real estate.
Sun said he hopes his previous experience and familiarity with the city will speak for itself on Election Day and has specifically targeted finding an answer to a question remaining from his last term: what to do with the Stoneman building, which has long housed the city’s Recreation Department.
“Remember, the Recreation Department moved to Stoneman in 2003, when they rented it from the school [district],” he said. “Since then, two things happened: the city bought the San Marino Center and then the city bought the Stoneman Center. Once the Stoneman has been renovated, we should really consider renting out in a similar fashion and perhaps moving the Recreation Department.”
Sun has suggested the city renovate the Stoneman to bring it up to code, rent out the building, sell some of the surrounding land for home construction and use the proceeds to help pay off the city’s unfunded pension liability.
On the topic of historic preservation, Sun opined that the city should proceed carefully toward its goal of protecting the buildings that are truly part of the city’s heritage.
“The majority, I think, think we should proceed carefully with deliberation,” he said. “Some say that any homes that are 85 years old should be preserved. That means any home built before 1932 should be preserved and that probably applies to close to a thousand homes in the city. I think that’s a bit of an overreaction.”
Rather, Sun emphasized separating the “mansionization” debate from the preservation debate, focus on identifying the structures with strong historical relevance and avoid imposing rulings on property owners.
“You cannot just arbitrarily designate someone else’s house as historic,” he said. “I think it’s very dangerous.”
Sun decided to throw his hat in the ring at the end of the registration period, in part because he said he felt the city needed someone with institutional knowledge to help guide it through the widespread personnel changes in City Hall. He said he would let his experience and record speak for itself during the campaign.
“I’m a low-key person,” he said. “I have the vision, experience and track record to prove I can fulfill my pledge. The residents of the city already know me and they know what I’m going to do. If they agree with me, I hope they vote for me.”

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