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Chula Vista District 4 Candidates Discuss Key Issues

Split image shows retired firefighter Mike Diaz (left) and former councilman Rudy Ramirez (right).
Split image shows retired firefighter Mike Diaz (left) and former councilman Rudy Ramirez (right).

Chula Vista District 4 Candidates Discuss Key Issues
Chula Vista District 4 Candidates Discuss Key Issues GUESTS: Rudy Ramirez, former councilman, Chula Vista Mike Diaz, retired firefighter, Escondido

The race to represent District 4 on the Chula Vista city Council had the closest outcomes in the June primary. In a race Rudy Ramirez beat second-place Mike Diaz by 52 votes. The two are now in a runoff in what is the first district elections held by this city Council. District 4 is home to more than 60,000 people and mostly Latino and considered where the most underserved areas in the city. Joining me are Rudy Ramirez and Mike Diaz is up retired firefighter and teaches at the high school. Let me ask you both and start with the Rudy, tell us what are your main reasons for wanting to serve on the Chula Vista city Council but I get the opportunity now because of district elections to represent a smaller geographic area and the area where I grew up in a area where we had my business for over 30 years. There are a lot of opportunity to do good work and I think I have the experience to be able to do that work. I want to redefine what experiences. I see that are response times had been -- during the same time that my opponent has been in the race. Mike Diaz, if you are elected to the Council, what will be your top three priorities? Number one it is public safety and I am an expert in that an infrastructure and making sure that we bring good jobs the Chula Vista and making sure we cannot fail this time around as we did in the past to make sure we get the project done in Chula Vista. Rudy Ramirez, your top three parodies? Public safety has to be at the top. A lot of the distric was from the unincorporated areas. There is missing infrastructure and repairs that need to be another priority. As I understand it, both of you are against this sales tax that is on the ballot in Chula Vista on the November ballot, is that correct? That is correct. It is for different reasons, right? It is a regressive tax and members of my committee to are going to pay a disproportionate share of that. There are other ways that revenues can be race. We need to be able to focus on making our development more sustainable. I have a plan for that and that's the way we should be looking at new revenues for the city. Is just another taxes spent by politicians and that's what career politicians do. So my goal is to pick the people. Some of those people in my district household incomes. $20-$30,000 a year. They can't afford another penny of tax. It is going to hurt them. I oppose it and there is no accountability than how the city will spend that. The governmental management oversight commission, which looks at 11 different key quality life standards in Chula Vista says that it has been put in place to protect that but yet they have let the public safety response times not be met for 11 years. So how will they make sure that we meet the obligations and how they will spend that money? Without a tax hike, Rudy, how would you fix the infrastructure problems that you talked about earlier? I think because of the unique characteristics of this community. There are resources available. I have the experience and I know how to chase those resources. There is also opportunities for development in Southwest Chula Vista that will help bring investment that we need in order to achieve some of that work. We need to get at making our development sustainable for the long haul. That's by creating better opportunities for retail. Retail needs to be more successful. We haven't done a very good job of capturing that revenue until we -- Without a sales tax Mike Diaz, how are you going to boost response times that you've been talking about? How are you going to be adding those resources? I think the idea is we need to limit government a little bit. If you look at -- we have a warble tax base. We are not a business friendly coming to. We need to work on that and make sure that we streamline the process because it is my estimation that entrepreneurs that want to start businesses in the area, they go to City Hall to get their dreams crushed. We need to make sure that we can reduce the bureaucracy and the fees and make sure they do it correctly and safely. Anytime we go to City Hall it will not be a good day. So if indeed more jobs are brought into Chula Vista, that means that there will be more people wanting to find houses in Chula Vista and we are in a housing crisis in San Diego County. Mike Diaz, would you support building higher density developments to address this issue of housing availability and affordability? I think we need to look at everything. I know it is a weird answer. I think if it makes sense, we need to do that. I am not a politician. I am just a regular citizen and what is missing today in government is common sense. You show me a project that make sense, I will go for a. The problem we have in San Diego is that he % of the cost of new housing is revelatory cost. If I were to tell you that you want to get your first home and it cost you 3000 and you say I cannot afford it would've I told you I would get that for you for $220,000? That means the money that you are saving in your mortgage now you can spend it locally and we could pay for that services. We just have it totally upside down in the county. We need to start working at the local, state, and county level. What is your stance on increasing density. Higher density developments in order to bring down the price of homes and of course, to provide a billable units? I've been involved in development issues for longtime. I was a member of the citizens advisory committee for the general had to update. I support the general plan update and support the Pacific plan. That increases density inappropriate ways an appropriate locations. At the same time it is preserving coming sea turtle. I think that is a thing that is important to the residence of Chula Vista. My talked about reducing regulations but those are embedded in those plans and we need to be able to hold developers accountable and make sure that they're paying for the fresher and they're providing the infrastructure necessary to support the devil meant that they would like to have. It is more than just getting rid of regulations. It is about having a balanced approach to development and doing everything that we need to do to ensure the quality of life of Chula Vista. Chula Vista city Council is a nonpartisan race, however, you are a Republican, Mike Diaz, every Republican is being asked do you support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump? I'm not voting for president this time around. I would assume, Rudy Ramirez, that you are supporting Hillary Clinton. Yes, I am. We accomplished a lot. The air is cleaner. We kept new powergenerating facilities and we built $11 million with the sidewalks. We've done a lot. There is still a lot to do. So we want to get to some of us public safety issues. I've walked this district now and in every neighborhood has individual issues that need to be addressed and that if we could get city resources to focus on some of the issues, we can deal with them. It is neighborhood by neighborhood and understanding what is important to these people and focusing on those things. Finally, Mike Diaz, in the primary just the did you both separate you two candidates. Why do you think that voters should vote for you someone who's never serve the public office before? I think because people see the experience. There are two types of experience that will be dealing with. So the question people are struggling with is that experience with people are talking about to get reelected wasn't good for me. In the last eight years was that -- the experience did not help me. To have better jobs? Is my household income of because of that experience? I've been speaking with Mike Diaz and Rudy Ramirez pic of the two candidates fighting for the district they on the Chula Vista city Council. Thank you both.

This November, voters in Chula Vista will elect two new members to the city council.

In the race for the newly established District 4, former councilman Rudy Ramirez faces retired firefighter Mike Diaz to represent the southwestern area of the city. Just 52 votes separated the two candidates in the June primary.


District 4 is home to 60,000 residents, is heavily Latino and is considered one of the most underserved areas of the city.

Last year, Chula Vista moved from at-large to district elections and the candidates in the District 4 race vow to make sure southwestern Chula Vista is represented at City Hall.

Ramirez and Diaz discuss Tuesday on Midday Edition how they plan to address the main issues affecting southwest Chula Vista, from rising homelessness to aging infrastructure.

Voters in District 3 will also elect a new councilmember. Former mayor Steve Padilla is running against small businessman Jason Paguio in that race.