Recently sworn in councilwoman Susan Kristjansson said she wants Menifee to be a place where residents can live, work and play. She won the late Fred Twyman’s city council seat Tuesday night by just one vote.
“I liked her style, honesty, and vision,” said Councilman John Denver, whose voting put her ahead second place candidate Darci Castillejos. “I think she will work out as a good fit.”
Kristjansson was Councilman Tom Fuhrman’s and Mayor Wallace Edgerton’s first choice. After candidate Lori Stone withdrew her application, she competed amongst ten applicants. In the end she won with seven out of a dozen possible points, beating Darci Castillejos, Ellen Schnoor, Marc Miller, Chad Warren, Ted Wegener, Matt Liesemeyer and Chris Thomas.
|Sue Kristjansson being sworn into office|
Kristjansson is a brand and business communications manager for Southern California Gas Company. She has resided in Menifee for the last 10 years, where she has raised her son who will be a high school senior this fall. In 2008 she ran for city council as a write-in, but was not successful in her efforts.
During the applicant interview process held before Tuesday’s meeting, Kristjansson shared her vision for Menifee. She talked about reigning in more city jobs so people will be able to commute less, and providing arts and entertainment recreation for children.
In her application she wrote mostly in support of business diversity within the city and more options for children other than sports. “Just as we have a very diverse population, we should also have a very diverse business community, perhaps including some large commercial and/or small industrial and/or manufacturing businesses,” she wrote. In regards to youth she wrote, “There should be more choices for all in terms of recreation, especially for children and teenagers not interested in sports. Movie theaters and bowling alleys would very welcome.”
As a businesswoman who holds an undergraduate and graduate degree in business, Kristjansson said she would bring to city council the qualities she has honed in her career. “I’m a good negotiator,” she commented after her immediate appointment. “I do it all the time.” In her application she wrote, “I have experience in business from two angles; identifying and affecting change, and possessing a keen perspective of what businesses want and need to thrive.”
Before sitting in on her inaugural city council meeting Aug. 16, Kristjansson will first learn the workings of her city government. “This is pretty overwhelming, so I’ll have to sit down with the city manager and go over everything,” she said.
Kristjansson said she has many plans as the new councilwoman, but her top priority is the city’s general plan. “We need to get that created so we can move towards the future,” she said.