Chula Vista District 3 Candidates Discuss Key Issues
This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. The city of Chula Vista is holding their first district election for city Council this November. Last week we spoke with the candidates running in district 4 and today we welcome the two men running in district 3. The area covers Southeast Chula Vista and includes Southwestern College. The candidates are Steve Miesen -- Steve Padilla and Jason Paguio. Let me start with you, Jason. Why are you running to represent the citizens of district 3? I realize just how lucky I am to be here. I am a first generation Filipino American. My dad served in the U.S. Navy for 30 years and upon retirement owned a small restaurant in Chula Vista. My mom worked in a hospital helping people everyday. My parents worked so hard for me my brothers and they did not have stuff in her own home country. This community has given me a lot of opportunities. I'm so fortunate to have the support and the votes of the Chula Vista voters in district 3 I will work hard every day to be a strong advocate on behalf of the neighborhoods and help create the same opportunities for all families and Chula Vista. Steve, you were Mayor from 2002 to 2006 and you ran for City Councilman and loss. What is motivating you this time around? I think love for this community. My main -- mom came here when I was little. This community has given me everything. It has contributed to the person that I am today. A community is at a critical point in the growth. It's always had sort of a small town feel. The reality is that Chula Vista is not going to survive in the long run financially if it's just a bedroom community or if we don't bring jobs to our community where people can have sustainable jobs and make a living and raise a family as well as recreate and enjoy all the amenities our community has to offer. We don't exist in a vacuum. Chula Vista is in the middle of a small economy and region so it will need leaders who have the know-how and experience of delivering results as well as the backbone to stand up to broader interest and to send up virtual of those -- Chula Vista's interest. I think you touch on it, Steve. What would you identify as a most trusting problem in Chula Vista? There are a couple. Public safety is always important. I spent a lot of time serving and law enforcement. I took guns out of the hands of folks that should not have had them. Right now our police and firefighters are struggling with the lack of staffing and a lack of equipment and inability to reach our citizens and their maritime that the city standards require. So we have to really plan a way to both finance and get that equipment. Was the most pressing problems and Chula Vista and how would you solve it? I think I would be a strong advocate for the neighborhoods and it's addressing a lot of quality-of-life issues that we have on a daily basis. The number one priority would be neighborhood safety ensuring that our citizens are safe and that would be providing additional police officers so they can spend time doing more comity to policing and addressing concerns. Like places where we have people who are speeding and not stopping at stop signs are we have families with young children and we have areas where people are breaking into people's cars. There's also issues like parking enforcement and communities and neighborhood safety is number one. Let me get a fast answer from the both of you. You up different positions on the sales tax that would go to pay for interest -- infrastructure. Jason, why do you oppose that? District 3 encompasses areas like Olympic training Center and among all the district in Chula Vista, our community pays a highs and property taxes and the last thing I would like to do is encumber an additional tax on residents of district 3. Steve, why do you support that? We have to invest in public safety and infrastructure and the fact of the matter is I think citizens don't realize that the city gets a very small portion of residential property tax. People so you have all these houses and property tax and you should be flushed with money but they take most of it. Residential property tax is not sustainable. It is not cover the cost of the neighborhoods that we have. Chula Vista has a 10 year shortfall in our ability to finance vertical repair and police and fire staffing and equipment because we over rely on residential revenue and the fact of the matter is that it's going to be a few years until great commercial projects like our bayfront like the University and others come online and so we haven't shortfall. It does come down to cost. The longer we wait to repair these facilities and replace and identify and buy equipment the more it will cost us. So we don't have the revenue stream now and is not just an issue of making cuts in different priorities. We just don't have it and we need to cover that gap and if we don't it will cost us more. The Mac this election might be looked at as a race between experience and change so let me go to you Jason why shouldn't voters be concerned about your lack of experience in office? I believe that I have a different kind of experience. Prior to being elected my opponent had very limited private sector experience, which resulted in nearly -- the city. His experience was more with controversy. He took the advances on salary as mayor and he hired a personal bodyguard and $10,000 a month and took 15 her dollars a month for redevelopment that he never once met. I think those are the experiences that led them to remember him from office. The city Council removed him in 2011. Until that point, he is still carried a debt of over $31,000 and has no sign of paying it down. My experience of working in the private nonprofit and public sectors together I know that we can have a strong support. The majority of our city Council both Republicans and Democrats -- If voters are looking for change why should they vote for someone who's been around Chula Vista politics? Because you need the right kind of change. I will not waste time responding to some of the ridiculous claims. When you serve in office and you stand up for neighborhoods and communities you make enemies. I've made enemies because I do not think it was appropriate to have someone who is on this article per commission were presented Chula Vista committing felonies. I did think it was appropriate that they would try to raise energy call center residents and businesses and I made underground power lines and I stood up against the ridiculous substation that they are going to design and build and it would've never been built in any other comity. When you stand up for neighborhoods and communities, you make enemies. I will tell you about the right kind of experience. I took guns out of the hands of criminals. He endorsed by the extreme gun lobbying . This is a group that advocates for people being able to bring and carry firearms into our schools where kids are. I believe we need to invest in public safety. I stood up to the big utilities and he is being bankrolled by their money. I think there's a huge difference. I come out of the party which is focused on wage, equity, helping middle-class, working families, environmental justice supporting an increase in minimum wage and he comes were very different philosophy are the party of Donald Trump. I think there's a huge difference here. This isn't just about whose new end result is about the kind of change in the kind of values that you represent. Do you support Donald Trump are present? At this point in time both people at the national level have support of the voters of district 3. I've been speaking with the can is for district 3 in Chula Vista Steve Padilla and Jason Paguio. You can hear our entire interview with the candidates online at KPBS.org.
When a candidate for Chula Vista City Council district 3 was disqualified earlier this year, the two remaining automatically moved to a November runoff.
After serving as mayor from 2002-2006, Padilla, a Democrat, attempted to return to the council in 2014, but he lost to Republican John McCann by just two votes.
Padilla is now facing Paguio, who serves as chief of staff to Chula Vista Deputy Mayor Steve Miesen.
If elected, Paguio, a Republican, would be the first Filipino-American on the council.
This is the first time Chula Vista will elect councilmembers by district rather than at-large. District 3 covers southeast Chula Vista, including the Southwestern College area, the APACE (Asian Pacific American Cultural Economic) corridor and it's home to a 375-acre site slated for a new university.
Padilla and Paguio discuss Wednesday on Midday Edition, the issues facing their city, from jobs to public safety and infrastructure.