Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Meet The Candidates

Meet The Candidates Santa Clarita’s City Council election takes place in April of every even numbered year.  The elected City council members serve as our governing body that guides the progress of Santa Clarita into the future, and each council member serves four-year terms.  The City Council is responsible for the creation of policies, which are expressed through the passage of ordinances, resolutions and motions.  Through the City Manager and City Attorney, the Council supervises and provides guidance for the activities of the City.  The following 13 candidates will be running for the three councilmember spots available this election.

Question 1:  Name one thing you would do as an elected official to improve Santa Clarita? 

Question 2:  Describe three of your specific qualities and/or experiences that you believe would be assets to the Council.  

Meet The Candidates 1Danté Acosta

A:  I’m passionate about several issues. Choosing only one isn’t possible so here are my top three. 1. Actively attract new businesses and jobs to the city by streamlining business requirements. 2. Enhance public safety. We have situations in Santa Clarita that we must control so we need a Vice Unit and build a Sheriff substation in the Canyon Country/Newhall area. 3. Build a new Senior Center to include more programs for seniors and their families

A: Extensive business, charitable and community involvement plus over 21 years’ experience as a Financial Advisor helping businesses grow.  2. Continue working to stop the CEMEX mega-mine, Chloride Tax scam and supported Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch expansion to bring high-paying jobs to the SCV. 3. Knowledge of City issues and a resourcefulness to seek out information. I’m commitment to listening to citizens about their concerns.

Meet The Candidates 2Sandra L. Bull

A: I would seek to improve school safety.  The crossing guard budget is 54,000, not enough. Many schools do not have crossing guards that are needed and have been requested for many years.  I don’t want Santa Clarita to be like L.A. and LAUSD. Because of fiscal restraints, they admit they don’t have enough crossing guards.  Now that a mother of a student was killed, they will look into increasing the budget.  Lets be proactive instead of reactive.
A: Listening and Communication. I have found that people want respect and recognition for their ideas and thoughts.  I have found listening and communicating, so important working with students and parents in my role as an Assistant Principal.  I would listen to the people of Santa Clarita and do my best to implement and give credence to their ideas, and goals.

Meet The Candidates 3Moazzem H. Chowdhury

A: My main emphasis is to maintain the high quality of living here by increasing safety programs by partnering with law enforcement agencies, by increasing after-school programs, by implementing a stronger “neighborhood watch” program, by revitalizing the neglected part of our city, by improving business development programs, among others.  I want our city to be the first technologically advanced “Smart”.  I will devote my time enhancing outreach programs such as building another senior center and finally, I will increase diversity integration.

A: Building my business from ground up gives me in-depth knowledge of attracting, retaining and sustaining businesses in the city. As a founder and participant on several non-profits, I have the experience in operating, managing and getting resources to keep these organizations active.I can bring a new perspective with a forward thinking approach, think outside the box, shed new light to areas of concerns, provide unbiased opinions and I can add a strong presence of diversity to our community.

Meet The Candidates 4Dennis Conn

A: Give our people something to do, for employment and enjoyment.  Our city must follow the growing cities because; we caught up to 2007 after seven years.

A: I have worked years “without payments” whatsoever, starting in 1986, city 12-15-1987, until today. Advised, sharing proven evidence, printed Government agencies facts, helping improve us.  Going to major cities, I found our needs while talking to leaders in Sacramento about our revenues.  Most cities lose money on housing, the best uses, tourism with TOT revenues, recreation/commercial, dealerships, and shopping.  Lost $3.576 billion not focusing on sister cities, last 27 years.  Four billion loss in bed taxes, “1987” $373,000, “sister-city” $31 million.  That’s 100 times greater the revenue when “I told” founders! Today with “our hotel” help, I forced upon our General plan; our TOT is $2 million as the same distance from LA creates $106 million, why? Our amusement park is larger, growth land around us vote for Dennis Hugh Conn.

Meet The Candidates 5Stephen Daniels

A: I want to re-establish a common sense type of government to the City Council. This means making every decision specifically based on how it would preserve or improve the quality of life for the people who currently live in Santa Clarita-not the developers, or big business. I’ll not just listen to the public, but reach out to them so that they will feel that their government needs and concerns are being met.

A: I don’t have a resume of extensive political or government experience.  I’m not a career politician but I believe that alone should be considered an asset.  I am the average joe resident of Santa Clarita who owns a home, has a family who will make decisions based on how it will affect people like myself. I am also a political idealist who has a pragmatic attitude when it comes to getting things done. 

Meet The Candidates 6Alan J. Ferdman

A: Making things happen on the City Council is a team effort. As a council member, what I will do from my first day is to push for a change in culture.  Our council needs to be transparent by doing the people’s business in public, providing every resident fair and impartial representation, maintaining a welcoming place for our constituents to be heard, giving every issue a fair hearing, and answering all questions completely and honestly.
A:  During my career in aerospace, as a Project/Department Manager and Software Engineer, I became accustomed to dealing with large complex projects. Additionally, for the last 12 years as the Canyon Country Advisory Committee Chair, I have spent many hours interacting with city staff and helping residents deal with city related issues. Those activities have made me very familiar with city processes and procedures and knowledgeable about resident concerns.  I’m ready to hit the ground running.

Meet The Candidates 7Berta González-Harper

A: Tirelessly work to defeat the Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed against us. An American of Hispanic ancestry, I am opposed to segregated voting districts based upon race/ ethnicity denying all residents equal representation and the right to vote for all five council representatives accountable to/working for all Santa Claritans.
Voting districts will irreparably harm residents, including minority voters, pitting districts against each other for coveted taxpayer dollars and placing less affluent communities at a disadvantage.

A: Many years of community involvement: founding member CEMEX Taskforce, Whittaker-Bermite CAG, Canyon Country Advisory Committee, worked diligently to bring needed jobs and shopping amenities to Canyon Country via Centre Pointe and Plaza at Golden Valley shopping centers, instrumental in undergrounding of utility poles along Soledad between Camp Plenty/Sierra Hwy. Full time availability to continue sharing my passion and love for Santa Clarita exemplifying a balanced, independent, and knowledgeable understanding of the issues. Courage and persistence.

Meet The Candidates 8Maria Gutzeit

A: Attract and retain more middle-class jobs to support our local economy, allowing us to fund a thriving community that provide services like public safety,  road repairs, parks and recreation and senior services going forward.  Santa Clarita has a great history, but we must innovate and work with others effectively in the future.
A: 10 years elected experience, Newhall County Water District.  Fortune 500 and small business background.  Wife, mother, caregiver to seniors, and avid outdoor enthusiast

Meet The Candidates 9Duane Harte

A: As a proponent of business I believe we need to do more to attract businesses that would create jobs at all levels of experience while improving the transit system and traffic controls to get people to the additional jobs created which in turn would attract new events to bring visitors to our city creating tourism income for the city and businesses alike.
A: I was the owner and operator of a successful business for over 30 years before retiring last year. I have a BS degree in business/accounting. I have leadership experience in many non-profit organizations. I was involved in the redevelopment of Old Town Newhall and I have been involved in the establishment of many of the city’s parks and programs while a Parks and Recreation Commissioner.

Meet The Candidates 10Marsha McLean 

A: Unlike many California Cities our City maintains a balanced budget with a 17% reserve. One thing I will continue to do is fight to stop the State from stealing local governments’ money through unfunded mandates. This money belongs to our residents to enhance City programs. Our balanced budget allows us to continue to provide law enforcement programs keeping us safe; Allows us to spend money on capital projects, new parks, community centers, new senior programs.

A: I have over 30 years of active community service; working with all levels of government; I have the experience and commitment to wade through red tape and bureaucracy.  I am a small business owner and understand the need for positive economic development providing quality, high paying jobs. I have extensive experience with transportation issues, providing traffic solutions.  I am a full-time councilwoman, available everyday to work with you to answer your concerns and provide solutions.

Meet The Candidates 11Gloria Mercado-Fortine

A: I will listen to what the residents of Santa Clarita have to say and model transparent government that responds to them and acts with their best interests as the priority.  I will work to bring back a climate of respect at city council meetings and work collaboratively to create solutions that benefit our residents.

A: I am a Lifelong resident of the Santa Clarita Valley and I have demonstrated a life-time commitment to my community through public service. Fourth-term elected board member of the William S. Hart Union High School District, SCV’s largest employer with a district budget of $200 million and an educational facilities bond of $300 million dollars.   As district administrator, I supervised 125 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, with a budget of $150 million. I am a small business owner.

Meet The Candidates 12Laurene Weste

A: I will continue our process for locating a new senior center and additional senior housing, complete the Habitat for Humanity 87 unit veterans housing project, win the battle against the Cemex mega mine in Canyon Country, explore new programs to deal with the increasing drug problem with our young people and continue to expand parks facilities for families and youth.

A: My record of fighting for our quality of life uniquely qualifies me to serve on the city council. Whether it is opposing taxes, balancing budgets with a $15-million reserve, reforming our pension system, supporting law enforcement and keeping drugs off our streets, or protecting open space and planning our 74-mile trail system, I’m proud of my record. I truly love Santa Clarita- I’ve lived here for over 40 years and have dedicated my life to improving our valley.  

Meet The Candidates 13Paul J. Wieczorek

A: The one thing I would do as an elected official-- Hire more Law Enforcement. We need more undercover Sheriffs to battle the growing drug problem. Drugs are becoming increasingly easy to obtain in Santa Clarita. I have seen it first hand. We need to get the word out that Santa Clarita will not put up with this, and I promise to go to every Junior High, and High School to spread the word, and let them know there is someone in City Hall that cares.

A: My three qualities, and experiences are--Straight A’s in Mathematics to help balance budget. In my Government job I have had to work with Multi Million Dollar Budgets, Daily, Weekly, Yearly. I am a born Leader, never been a follower, or yes man. I am not afraid to speak my mind.  A vote for Paul Wieczorek is a Vote for Positive change.


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