DOWNEY - With November's City Council election looming just months away, eager candidates, hoping to capture a seat, have wasted no time gearing up for the campaign, as several have already pulled papers, made campaign promises and met with potential voters.According to the City Clerk's office, Councilman Mario Guerra, Downey Planning Commissioner Fernando Vasquez and community leader Lee Ann Sears have obtained paperwork to run for City Council since the filing period opened on July 12. With Mayor Anne Bayer being termed out of office and Guerra hoping to reclaim his District 2 (southwest) seat, the outcome of the November election could significantly change the dynamics of the Council. Nonetheless, Guerra hopes that voters will grant him an opportunity to continue the work he started on the Council more than three years ago. "There are more things that I want to continue to build - I want to leave a legacy of completion," said Guerra. "I promise to continue to work hard and be visible. I've always voted for what I thought was right and I've kept my promises…I have a track record." Guerra said if elected he would strive to maintain conservative spending practices within the city while ensuring that public safety and other quality of life issues remain a top priority. "Everyone knows where I stand - I'm accessible - I give out my cell phone number and email address and respond to everyone," said Guerra. "Downey is a great city…I don't do it for the pay - I do it for the love of the community." Presently, no one has filed intent to challenge Guerra. In contrast, several candidates have expressed interest in the District 4 (northeast) seat that will soon be vacated by Bayer including Vasquez, who works with non-profit developer National Core as a community development manager, and Sears, an active community volunteer and Recreation and Community Services commissioner. In 2008, Vasquez filed intent to run for the District 5 (city-wide) seat, but never completed the paperwork citing work obligations that hindered his participation. Today, Vasquez believes he is prepared for the commitment. "As a proud homeowner, I want to ensure Downey continues to be a great place to live and raise a family," Vasquez said. "My top priorities are public safety and quality of life issues while being fiscally prudent with our city budget - I will continue to meet with the voters of District 4 and introduce myself and my priorities." In a released statement, earlier this year, Sears acknowledged her many years of public service and shared her decision to run for the seat. "Since I have been deeply involved with the city of Downey for many years on a variety of issues…I believe I have a good understanding of our city," she said. "I believe in being committed to the city of Downey in striving to work together on resolutions that address our issues." Earlier this year Attorney Alex Saab also announced his intentions to run for the District 4 seat, but he has yet to pull the paperwork. The deadline for candidates to complete and submit their applications is Aug. 6.
********** Published: July 22, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 14