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5th grader on Candidates

On March 16, 2012, I had the opportunity to attend Arcadia’s last City Council candidate forum before the election. I arrived a little late, but still had the chance to shake hands with Mary Dougherty and John Wuo; the other candidates were busy talking with other people. During this forum, I heard many interesting things. It was a very unique experience and I hope to share some observation with you.

Benjamin Liu of Camino Grove Elementary

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – by Benjamin Liu a 5th grader at Camino Grove Elementary

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The candidates, John Wuo, Gary Kovacic, Mary Dougherty, Sho Tay, and Henry Nunez, all gave a well-thought-out introduction about themselves. They are all well-achieved people that you have a privilege to choose from.

John Wuo endured much experience from the two terms he served before on Arcadia City Council from 2002-2010. While he was serving along with others, his efforts in City Council along with the rest of the community earned Arcadia the title of “Best City To Raise Kids,” twice by Business Week magazine.

Secondly, Gary Kovacic served three full terms in City council from 1996-2006 and later was elected in the 2008 election. During his time on City Council he helped make more improvements and changes to the community.

Next, Mary Dougherty is the president of the Home Owner’s Association. She served 16 years in the AUSD board of education and made students’ education her highest priority.

Second to last, Sho Tay plans to manage and spend the city’s revenue and funding wisely with responsibility and make decisions that will mainly benefit Arcadian residents. He thinks that although Arcadia is outstanding compared to other cities, we can do much more to improve it.

Last but not least, Henry Nunez plans to strengthen Arcadia traditions and increase city revenues if he is elected.

After the introduction of the candidates, a few questions were asked both from the audience and the host concerning safety, budget cuts and revenue, promoting business, and mansionization. The candidates each had a turn to state their opinion on the subjects. Many eyes and ears were alerted on the first topic of safety. Sho Tay suggested that the city’s revenue should be increased at a steady trending pace leading to more money to keep more police officers on watch and lowering crime rate. As long as police officers are on the look-out less people would commit crime, knowing that there is a higher chance of being spotted. The same concept goes for “Neighborhood Watch program” John Wuo brought up. People need to be alert and on watch for criminal activity in all places. It is going to have to be a team effort to prevent crime and keep Arcadians safe. Safety also involves traffic. Both pedestrians and drivers must be alert while crossing streets and driving. It is never certain that you can be safe, but you can lower the chances by taking extra precautions and thinking how to be as safe as possible.

The second topic concerned business. Compared to other cities, Arcadia is doing exemplary in this economy. Arcadia needs to aim to get more revenue and more sales tax. One of our goals is to attract and promote more business in Arcadia. This act could provide Arcadia with overwhelming benefits. For example, last year we had a $2.4 million surplus that went toward many good causes. We have to strategically work our way up little by little and later, we will be surprised by how much we get in return and how much revenue we earn going toward debts and city problems. The third topic is related to mansionization. Mansionization is the process where single-family, detached homes are demolished or enlarged to create houses that are several times larger than the original house. The council candidates came to a conclusion that homeowners next door or neighbors should be notified as soon as possible. Some candidates strongly opposed mansionization, but one said that this is a double-edged sword since mansionization does increase the property value in Arcadia.

I felt most interested in these three topics. The others included superstitious beliefs and ones that I felt were not important to include in my observation (others may think differently from me). I hope you have had an excellent observation through Arcadia’s last forum before the election. Eventually two existing Arcadia city council members will move on from their council posts and new blood will fill the strong courageous heart of the city, Arcadia. Many responsibilities, expectations, and improvements of Arcadia will lie in the clutches of somebody else- somebody who has tens of thousands of Arcadia citizens watching and depending on. Arcadia is special and beautiful; not everyday can you find a city proudly named “Best City To Raise Kids,” by Business Week twice. Of course we cannot stop here. There are still enormous improvements and golden opportunities just waiting to be presented. It is your right to vote for your community and city. Every vote counts toward supporting Arcadia and voting for the right person to Arcadia City Council.

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