With the filing period now closed, the election season is in full swing for the first district election on Fullerton City Council history (the full list of candidates who have qualified and their candidate statements can be found here).
As someone who has run for office before, I know that the single biggest challenge for any candidate is raising enough money to get your message out so that voters even know who you are. Nobody likes the direct mail pieces that inundate our mail box during election season but the candidates who pay for mail are the ones most likely to win, like it or not. And as a voter who has cast a ballot in every election since his 18th birthday, my biggest challenge for every election cycle is sorting through all that BS to find out which candidates have an actual plan, and are sincere about and committed to that plan.
So as a service to both candidates and the electorate, we have prepared the official Friends for Fullerton’s Future City Council candidate questionnaire, which we will email it to all candidates who qualify for the ballot. Unlike most questionnaires, ours has no word limit. Brevity is always recommended, but if you think your position takes three or more paragraphs to explain, then that’s what it takes. Whatever you write, we will publish it, in full, and let other residents know where you stand and why. The first one to turn in their questionnaire will be the first article we will publish.
The complete questionnaire is below the cut.
- The City of Fullerton currently has a budget deficit of $5 million, and the deficit is expected to grow. Are there any expenditures the council approved in the last few years (whether infrastructure, pay raises, benefits, etc) which you would consider a mistake in light of this deficit? If so, please identify the expenditure:
- Moving forward, what steps would you take to address the current budget deficit:
- Do you consider current spending on roads in the City of Fullerton to be adequate at this time? If not, please identify what steps you believe should be taken by the city to ensure there is sufficient money to perform required road spending.
- Last year, the Fullerton Planning Commission tabled a project at Nutwood Avenue near the freeway known as “College Town”, which at the time called for allowing an additional 3400 apartment units in the area, the closing of Nutwood between Titan and Commonwealth, and rezoning much of the surrounding area into mixed use. Do you favor this proposal? Why or why not?
- Do you favor keeping the City’s current overnight parking ban in place, repealing the ban, or modifying it? If the latter, how would you modify it?
- Do you favor or oppose the practice of rezoning properties to allow for higher density development as a way to generate additional revenue into the City? What is you reason for support/ opposition?
- The City of Fullerton’s unfunded pension liability for its current employees and retirees is almost certain to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Would you be willing to consider any of the following proposals to reduce or eliminate such liability:
- Eliminate defined benefit pensions for new hires? (Y/N _____)
- Eliminate defined benefit pensions for current hires for work that has not already accrued? (Y/N ______)
- Filing municipal (Chapter 9) Bankruptcy? (Y/N ______)
- Contracting out work to outside agencies (such as the county or private contractors)? (Y/N _____)
- Any other options or proposals that you would consider? If so please specify:
- Do you favor or oppose the creation of an independent oversight board of civilians who would be responsible for investigating complaints of police officer misconduct and making recommendations for disciplinary action to the Chief of Police and/or City Council? What are your reasons for supporting/ opposing such a plan?
- Would you support or oppose turning the City-owned parking lots in downtown Fullerton, which are currently free, into paid lots? Why or why not?
- Would you favor or oppose creating a sales tax in the City of Fullerton? Why or why not?
- Do you favor or oppose the Centerline (OCTA’s proposal to build a 9.3 mile light rail system down Harbor Blvd., from Garden Grove to Fullerton)? Why or why not?
- The City Council is expected to take up the issue of allowing dispensaries to do business in the City of Fullerton (currently they are not legally zoned in any part of the City). Under what circumstances, if any, would you favor this proposal?
- Currently, the City of Fullerton has a requirement that any emergency homeless shelter that wishes to be built without a CUP must be at least ¼ mile from schools, parks or residences. Some residents advocate increasing number of properties which would be utilized for shelters, which would require reducing or eliminating these restrictions. Do you favor modifying this resolution? If so, how?
- Describe your position concerning the development of West Coyote Hills. Do you support the current City Council plan (which calls for Development on some portions of the property)? Also, as to any portion of the West Coyote Hills property that you wish to see preserved, do you believe those efforts should be controlled locally or should the State of California step in and take over?
Please list the three issues that are most important to you in the upcoming City Council election, regardless of whether they have been identified on this questionnaire.