Having the floor
Lindsay City Council, school board and House candidates introduces themselves to voters
Eight Lindsay candidates faced a plethora of questions on Thursday night at the candidates forum hosted by the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF) and El Quinto Sol.
“It was good, especially because before we had a lot of concerns about how people made the questions,” said Irma Medellin director of El Quinto Sol.
Six of the seven Lindsay council candidates; including incumbents Mayor Ed Murray, Mayor Pro Temp Esteban Velasquez, Councilmember Pam Kimball, and challengers, Steven Mecum, Timothy Daubert and Rosaena Sanchez, were on hand to answer questions.
Facilitator Irlanda Ramirez of the DHF welcomed the crowd, went over the rules and introduced Lucia Velasquez, a community organizer in Lost Hills for the DHF, who asked the questions.
One question involved monetary funds.
“Do you commit to advocate and/or allocate funds for youth programs directed to reduce juvenile delinquency?” asked Velasquez.
Murray who serves on Healthy Kids Healthy Lindsay, supports providing more activities for children and had a suggestion.
“Get people involved in churches,” stated Murray.
Esteban Velasquez agreed.
“I voted to support the Student Resource Officer. Identifying students earlier helps prevent delinquency,” said the incumbent.
Councilmember Kimball talked about being involved in Healthy Kids Healthy Lindsay.
“I personally support Olive Bowl projects and I commit to doing everything possible to keep McDermont Field House up and running,” she said.
“Yes. I support using funds to help kid’s to stay out of trouble. We have got to get them young and get them off the street,” stated Mecum.
“Yes. We’ve got a real problem,” said Daubert.
Sanchez talked about the gang action in Lindsay.
“There is gang related action in Lindsay. As a city, we need to get together and get kids off the street and have classes for parents and students,” said Sanchez, who would allocate funds.
Another question involved providing Spanish translation at the council meetings
“If you are elected do you commit to advocate and/or allocate funds to offer Spanish translation in the council meetings?” was asked.
Murray offered to look into it. “The budget is extremely tight. We are not going into bankruptcy but we have to watch every penny we have,” he explained.
Kimball pointed out that there had always been someone available to translate if needed.
“Professional translation is very expensive,” stated Kimball.
Esteban Velasquez added that the community has options.
“All community members understand what’s going on at the council. They have an opportunity to contact city staff beforehand,” he explained, adding that the subject would be something that the DHF could handle. “It’s a good project for the DHF to work on,” he said.
Challengers Mecum, Daubert and Sanchez were absolute.
“It would be my job to represent all people, no matter what language they speak,” stated Mecum.
“Yes. I would get more people involved in city government,” said Daubert.
Sanchez was adamant.
“We need all residents to understand what city council is saying. If we are short on funds there are other projects we can cut or decrease,” added Sanchez.
A school board candidate for Area four, Dr. Perla Soria and House candidate Otto Lee for Congressional District 22 were also on hand to introduce themselves and answer any questions that the public had.
One question for Soria involved getting the parents of Lindsay to pro actively take part in their child’s education.
“We know the importance of parent engagement in their children’s education. As a board member what would you do to influence the engagement of parent’s in their child’s education?”
“Increase parent involvement. There are different ways for parent’s to get involved,” answered Soria.
A question for Lee centered on Propositions 30 and 37.
“Do you support proposition 30 and 37 and why?” asked Lucia Velasquez.
Lee would support both.
“Prop 30 would raise money to help university and K-12. Prop. 37 let’s people know what they’re eating. It’s good to know what’s in our food,” said Lee.
Councilmember Kimball was very pleased with the outcome of the debate.
“I think it went very well, it was a nicely run forum,” said Kimball.
Challenger Tim Daubert agreed.
“It was very interesting. I thought the questions were good,” explained Daubert ,who made one more promise.
“If I don’t make things better for the people, I’ll resign,” he said.
Not present at the forum was Lindsay city council candidate Eric Eugene Perfecto Sinclair, Lindsay Unified School District Area Four Incumbent Frank Moreno and Devin Nunez, Republican candidate for the 21st District of the House of Representatives.