10 Questions with District 1 San Diego City Council candidates: Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis, Kyle Heiskala, Bruce Lightner and Louis Rodolico

La Jolla Light asked “10 Questions” with candidates for District 1 San Diego City Council: Barbara Bry, Ray Ellis, Kyle Heiskala, Bruce Lightner and Louis Rodolico. The primary election is Tuesday, June 7 with polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Answers from all five District 1 candidates appear below (in alphabetical order):


10 Questions with Barbara Bry:

Barbara Bry is a high-tech entrepreneur. She was on the founding management team of Proflowers.com that started in 1998 in a small office in La Jolla with five employees and is now a successful company with hundreds of employees in San Diego. She has also been an entrepreneur in the non-profit sector as the first Associate Director of CONNECT and the founder of Athena San Diego and Run Women Run. Her community involvement includes serving as the team manager for her daughters’ La Jolla Bobby Sox softball teams and as Vice Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation. Her awards include induction into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame, the CONNECT Distinguished Contribution Award for Technology Innovation, and the KPBS Local Hero Award. Barbara is married to entrepreneur Neil Senturia, and they have four grown children and a grandson.

On the Web: barbarabry.com

What brought you to La Jolla?

Barbara Bry: I was working for the Los Angeles Times, and was pregnant with my first daughter. We moved to San Diego because my husband and I thought it was a better place to raise our children. In 1983, we bought a house in La Jolla, and I have lived here for the most of the last 33 years.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Barbara Bry: With a snap of my fingers, I would establish on-demand tram service all over La Jolla (I live on Mount Soledad), so that it’s easy to get to the Village and the Shores without driving your car. Second, I would instantly repair our aging infrastructure so that there are no more potholes, our sewer and water pipes are pristine, and our sidewalks are in perfect condition. Lastly, with a snap of my fingers, I would clean all of our beaches and restrooms.

Who or what inspires you?

Barbara Bry: My greatest inspiration and role model is my mother Adelaide Bry who died too young at the age of 62 (she lived in La Jolla for the last few years of her life). She was a woman ahead of her time. She was an entrepreneur, psychotherapist and author, and she broke many glass ceilings. Because of her, I believed that I could succeed in the business world, and I earned an MBA from Harvard. Also because of her, it’s been important to me to empower other women, so I started Athena San Diego for women in the tech and life science community and Run Women Run to elect qualified San Diego women.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Barbara Bry: My mother Adelaide, so that she could meet my husband Neil Senturia, my two daughters Sarah and Rachel (who never knew her), my son-in-law Jason, my future son-in-law Daniel, my grandson Colton, and Margaret Mead.

What are your five favorite movies of all time?

Barbara Bry: “Casablanca,” “Some Like It Hot,” “The Imitation Game,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Birdman.”

What is it that you most dislike?

Barbara Bry: People who pretend to be something that they’re not.

What do you do for fun?

Barbara Bry: I enjoy long walks at the beach or hikes with my husband; any time spent with my 19-month-old grandson Colton; family dinners; reading (when I used to have more time!) historical biographies, mysteries and whatever my book club is reading.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Barbara Bry: Grand passion and relentless pursuit will take you further than good grades. At the same time, never ever underestimate the power of timing, luck and fortune or overestimate your own influence over those events.

What would be your dream vacation?

Barbara Bry: Our best vacations have been visiting national parks — the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yosemite, and Death Valley. A dream vacation would be spending a month visiting more of them.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Barbara Bry: Grilled cheese and tomato soup; apple pie with vanilla ice cream AND whipped cream.


10 Questions with Ray Ellis:

Ray Ellis is an independent problem solver who works to make San Diego a better place, especially for those who are struggling. Through his volunteer work with numerous non-profits, he has helped improve the lives of abused children and homeless people, and the environment. He also led on important civic challenges like implementing pension reform as volunteer Board President of San Diego’s pension board. He recently received San Diego Social Venture Partner’s Community Leadership Award for “A life dedicated to community service.”

Ellis is a successful small business owner who started a national marketing firm from his garage. He is running for City Council “to fix our roads, protect pension reform and create good-paying jobs.” Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Ernest Rady and community leaders from La Jolla, University City, Carmel Valley and Del Mar Heights have endorsed him.

On the Web: ellisforcouncil.com

What brought you to town?

Ray Ellis: I first came to San Diego on business and through family connections. I realized immediately it was a special place and I knew this was where I wanted to live, raise a family and start a business. One of the best decisions I ever made.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Ray Ellis: I would add more thriving businesses in the Village to fill the empty storefronts. I would eliminate the stench at the La Jolla Cove that we all want to go away. I would improve our streets throughout La Jolla.

Who or what inspires you?

Ray Ellis: I’ve always been inspired by our Founders and their vision and commitment to freedom. I’m also inspired by volunteering with others to address homelessness, education, foster care and other tough issues in our community.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Ray Ellis: Of course my wife, Gina, and then: Harry Truman, Condoleezza Rice, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Bill Gates, Jack London and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

What are you reading?

Ray Ellis: During the campaign, I’m reading a lot of public policy reports and related materials. For fun, I’m reading “The Generals,” by Winston Groom.

What is it that you most dislike?

Ray Ellis: Intolerance. It’s fine to respectfully disagree, but I have no patience for intolerance. Some people in politics forget the lessons all of us learned at a very young age. You can disagree without being disagreeable. Take the high road. You’ll be glad you did.

What do you do for fun?

Ray Ellis: Family is very important to me, so hanging out with Gina and our kids is something I make time for regularly. I also enjoy watching my 14-year-old, Jake, consistently beat me on the golf course.

What is your philosophy of life?

Ray Ellis: The past is the past. Learn from it and move forward.

What would be your dream vacation?

Ray Ellis: Staying in a nice house on the beach with family and friends.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Ray Ellis: All homemade: tortellini soup, beef bourguignon and wood-fired pizza.


10 Questions with Kyle Heiskala:

As a Representative for San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner and a graduate of UC San Diego, Kyle Heiskala has been dedicated to improving the communities of District 1. A native San Diegan, he was first inspired by the impact of local government when he interned in the Council District 1 office in 2010. Ever since, Kyle has dedicated his life to public service. Environmental sustainability is one of his greatest passions.

The lack of affordable housing and alternative transportation options in District 1 are Kyle’s top priorities. As a hopeful future homeowner, he wants to ensure that there will be affordable places to live that are located near quality jobs with easy options to get to work.

One of his proudest achievements was implementing an overhaul of the UCSD student transit program, the new Triton U-Pass. He negotiated with Metropolitan Transit System officials and developed the $20 million five-year proposal that secured overwhelming approval by a student vote. The Triton U-Pass program gives 31,000 students unlimited access to all bus and light rail routes in the San Diego region until 2019 with the option to renew the contract in five years. On the Web: kyleheiskala.com

What brought you to La Jolla?

Kyle Heiskala: I first came to La Jolla to attend the UC San Diego and got my degree in Environmental Systems.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Kyle Heiskala: A reliable public transportation connection that could get you between La Jolla and downtown faster than a car.

Who or what inspires you?

Kyle Heiskala: That would be the genuine appreciation that happens when you help someone with their problem. That keeps me going each day.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Kyle Heiskala: Theodore Roosevelt, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr.; Eleanor Roosevelt, Beyoncé, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, J.K. Rowling and John Oliver.

What are you reading?

Kyle Heiskala: I’m currently reading Elon Musk’s biography detailing his forays into technological startups.

What is it that you most dislike?

Kyle Heiskala: When people are disrespectful. Love and kindness can guide us toward a better world. I can’t stand it when people are not accepting or respectful of the differences in people.

What do you do for fun?

Kyle Heiskala: I ride my bike to a locally owned coffee shop to read or work on creative writing.

What is your philosophy of life?

Kyle Heiskala: Life’s too short to wait around for someone else to have fun solving the world’s biggest challenges.

What would be your dream vacation?

Kyle Heiskala: A six-month backpack trip through Europe hitting Ireland, Scotland, the U.K., Spain France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Greece, Austria, and ending in Finland.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Kyle Heiskala: Macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese and tater tots.


10 Questions with Bruce Lightner:

Bruce Lightner is an experienced business owner and community activist who fights for the neighborhoods of District 1. Bruce and his wife, Sherri, are both UC San Diego graduates. Bruce and Sherri own a successful engineering business. Bruce is a design engineer with more than 33 U.S. patents in computer architecture, electronics and software algorithm design.

He has been involved in multiple high-tech startup ventures over the last several decades, collectively employing hundreds of people with high-paying jobs and creating hundreds of millions of dollars in shareholder equity. The employees and partners in these ventures have created several San Diego-based high-tech companies.

Both Bruce and Sherri have volunteered for many community organizations over the past 20 years, with Bruce providing tech support for the La Jolla Shores Association and the La Jolla Town Council. Bruce also led the successful fight to keep paid parking from La Jolla’s streets and beach areas.

On the Web: brucelightner.org

What brought you to La Jolla?

Bruce Lightner: At age 17, I moved from Los Angeles to La Jolla to study at UC San Diego. I’ve lived and worked in San Diego ever since, including the last 25 years in La Jolla Shores.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Bruce Lightner: How about having the same minimal amount of traffic on the freeways as the day I moved here — and more sand on our beaches?

Who or what inspires you?

Bruce Lightner: My beautiful and scary-smart wife of 43-plus years, San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Bruce Lightner: Aristotle, Plato, Mark Twain, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Ayn Rand, and of course, my wife, Sherri.

What are you currently reading?

Bruce Lightner: “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace. (It would make a great Coen brothers movie!)

What is it that you most dislike?

Bruce Lightner: I’m allergic to BS. (Will Smith stole my line in the movie “I, Robot”.)

What do you do for fun?

Bruce Lightner: I take daily walks in La Jolla Shores with our dog, drive dune buggies and dry-camp in the desert, especially Baja California.

What is your philosophy of life?

“Keep it simple stupid (KISS)” — Kelly Johnson, lead engineer, Lockheed Skunk Works (creators of the U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes).

What would be your dream vacation?

Bruce Lightner: Anywhere tropical with beaches and lots of reading — Guam, Kauai, Costa Rica.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Bruce Lightner: My wife Sher’s homemade meat sauce over spaghetti noodles.


10 Questions with Louis Rodolico

Louis Rodolico has been a resident of District 1 for 15 years. He was a licensed California architect before retiring last year. He said he worked mostly on hospital projects, but was also a project architect for the renovation of the US Grant Hotel and the Viejas Gymnasium. He has served on numerous boards, including the YWCA. His volunteer life includes donating blood and coaching youth baseball for seven years. He has a 30-year history of pro-bono work, including being an advocate for a $300 million transportation center, gymnasiums, a women’s shelter, commercial stores, playgrounds and others. He also builds houses in Mexico with a church group. He has two children and deep ties to the community.

On the Web: louisrodolico.com

What brought you to La Jolla?

Louis Rodolico: It’s not so much what brought me, but whom. I met my wife Katie when she was in Philadelphia, we got married at Cuvier Park in La Jolla on Jan. 1, 2000. I always know exactly how long I’ve been married. Katie was born and raised here and it did not take too much convincing for me to agree to move to this wonderful city.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Louis Rodolico: I would like to see the Regents Road Bridge built. Developer Impact Fees to build the bridge were placed in the community account almost half a century ago. Talking to doctors, medics and fire personnel, the bridge is sorely needed. Not having it lowers response times and the time it takes to get a patient to a hospital. The number of deaths and consequences of the delays remain a part of private hospital records. I will do what I can not to leave those deaths and late treatment consequences on the table.

Who or what inspires you?

Louis Rodolico: I have known countless community volunteers, some with overwhelmingly powerful positive personal force. Some of the other candidates have provided unpaid volunteer work for their community as well. These individuals have a strong sense of community and do not simply complain, but put their own time in to help those most in need of support. I see them as angels on Earth.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Louis Rodolico: Whoever invented the wheel, Abraham Lincoln, Lady Gaga, Dwight Eisenhower, Kim Novak, The Three Stooges, Uncle Fester and Bob Dole. And I would take lots of pictures. I know you said eight, but our table holds 16.

What are your five favorite movies of all time?

Louis Rodolico: “Picnic,” “Avatar,” “Midway” (1976), “A Fish Called Wanda” and “Moonstruck.”

What is it that you most dislike?

Louis Rodolico: Waiting in traffic with static.

What do you do for fun?

Louis Rodolico: Go fishing, play guitar, garden and travel.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Louis Rodolico: I have a “Nap for the Cure” T-shirt. All that running around? Just set up cots and the last one to wake up wins.

What would be your dream vacation?

Louis Rodolico: I’ve already had several. Last summer we went to Europe for nine weeks. Our children were in middle school and they got to see a lot, as well, and of course, there’s gelato. I have dual citizenship with Italy. I appreciate European cultures. I like being able to discern the difference between what is human and what is cultural.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Louis Rodolico: Gelato. I also make a killer lasagna; my secret ingredient: a little chorizo.

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