Candidates Address Issues Before District 1 Audience

Candidates for city office addressed residents of the Sun City core in a forum Wednesday night in Webb Hall.

By Tim Doyle
Correspondent


Menifee residents who live in the Sun City core area of District 1 heard from city council candidates and mayoral candidate Scott Mann Wednesday night in a candidates forum held on the Sun City Civic Association campus.

Mann was joined by District 1 candidates Greg August, Sue Kristjansson, Nick Martin and Carol Sullivan. Issues discussed included city infrastructure, residential development, public safety, Sun City amenities, and the Sun City freeway sign.

When asked if Menifee should have a distinct identity, Mann said he believes Menifee could be "the preferred destination in Southwest Riverside County between L.A. and San Diego." He said that luring the right businesses into Menifee requires a strategic economic plan. He believes that same economic plan can also preserve the local neighborhoods for residents.

Mann, a former city council member, addressed the issue of the Sun City freeway sign, which was removed from the shoulder of Interstate 215 after Menifee became incorporated in 2008. He said CalTrans removed the sign as a function of the incorporation process and not the city. Mann also said he believes there are ways the city can streamline the proposed construction process for the Holland Road overpass to secure funding and clearances.

Darcy Kuenzi, a city council member since 2008 and candidate for mayor, was not present at the forum because of a family commitment. A written statement submitted by Kuenzi was read, including the message, "...vote for the individual who has the knowledge, experience, and integrity to lead this young city. Vote for the future of Menifee."

In her statement, Kuenzi also said she was compelled by supporters to provide a response to what she calls a smear campaign that targets herself and Sue Kristjansson in fliers distributed to residents. She encouraged residents to contact her with any concerns or questions in reference to the flier. A letter signed by Kristjansson and Kuenzi regarding the issue was also provided to attendees.

August made it clear that he stands to protect home values and refuses to take special interest contributions. August said that Menifee's average income is around $24,000 and he feels that white collar jobs could get that number to somewhere around $34,000, bringing prosperity to residents.

Saying he believes that those types of jobs would help maintain Menifee's rural feel while generating more tax revenue, August also said the Holland Road overpass should be the next bridge to receive funding from the city, and not the Newport Road bridge.

Kristjansson said that government plans are very complicated and cannot simply be changed without repercussions. She said the Newport Road project has the majority of its $40 million funding already secured, and the city risks losing some of that funding if the project is stalled or stopped.

On luring white collar jobs to Menifee, Kristjansson believes that education for our children and students will lead to a work force that can attract those businesses to Menifee.

Martin said he wants infrastructure to be the main focus of Menifee's government, saying, "We've got to keep infrastructure in front of development. They've got the cart in front of the horse."

Martin also stressed that continuing the expansion of the Newport Bridge is very important because of secured funding that could be lost. Martin said he's against raising taxes and that the meat and potatoes of Menifee's tax revenue comes from local retail businesses paying sales tax. He wants Menifee to concentrate on retail business development.

Sullivan said she wants to improve the quality of life for Menifee's residents. She believes public safety is a major priority, and specifically mentioned educating seniors about police procedures and reporting. She contends that an increased police presence will make residents feel more comfortable and willing to venture around town, spurring additional economic growth.

Voters in Menifee will go to the polls on Nov. 6.






3 Comments:

  1. Scott Mann and Greg August were very sharp last night. They both seem to understand that this area needs to raise the bar when it comes to higher income jobs. I certaintly hope each of them have a plan for attracting the jobs and the necessary training in place for those jobs. The other candidates did fairly well, Sue Kristianson seemed to be informed but a little harsh with her delivery. Nick Martin is to soft for this city. Sun City community is a good example of an area that has maintained a high standard of living through some tough times. Especially since most of them are on fixed income. Yet they need to get a grasp that it is inevitable that no matter who represents that district..the city of Menifee needs comes first. I believe there will be greater police presence but also more high in business and commerce will be here soon. Menifee it it time to take your place as the leader of the Southwest Riverside County. We have a bright future..shake off the old and embrace the new!

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    1. I agree with this person regarding the future of Menifee. We need to have leaders who will put Menifee first and special interest groups second. We need a Council person who see that blue collar jobs are first before we bring in white collar workers, Sullivan is for the working blue collar jobs. She is for more public safety and works with the seniors on a regular basis.

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  2. From what I've observed in living here the last three years, I see mostly blue collar workers who would NOT have the 'necessary training' for white collar jobs however, these type of jobs bring folks into the city to live here and work.The more education and experience you have the more you will be qualified for these type of jobs. We all come from some place and will continue to come here if the jobs come here. If its manufacturing that comes here then I suspect we'll already have those type of folks here. But, keep in mind, every city around wants businesses to come to their cities as well. We will have to have 'hugh incentives' for them to come here, and a good deal for them to buy land to build here as well. I still think we can offer great deals for those who want to build wineries here as well, we need a more ambition 'pro active' city manager however for this all to succeed.

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