A real competition, continued

The conclusion of Ventura City Council candidates coverage

By VCR Staff 10/24/2013


As we have in the past, the VCReporter gave out questionnaires with five questions to all of the nine candidates and then publish their responses. Due to time and space constraints, we have run all of these online in our news section at www.vcreporter.com, wrapping up our coverage this week.

This week we finish with candidates Brian Lee Rencher and David Swaffar and incumbent Mike Tracy. For the full interviews and VCReporter endorsements, go to www.vcreporter.com. Don’t forget to mail in your ballots; Election Day is Nov. 5.

Candidate Brian Lee Rencher

What will be your top priorities as a City Council member?
The Ventura City Council’s top priority right now (yesterday in fact) should be to create high-paying jobs through intelligent economic development. And I’m not talking about the ongoing petty little “get rich quick” land deal schemes the Council members currently do with and for their benefactors in the back rooms. I’m talking about a real world-class economic plan and program that actually enriches the entire community. The five focus areas (properties) in their current “plan” are emblematic of these ongoing shenanigans. Instead of helping my pals make quick profits at the expense of the rest of the citizenry, I would apply real econometrics to develop a workable plan backed up with supporting policies, ordinances, zoning and public funding where and if needed.

Candidate David Swaffar


What will be your top priorities as a City Councilmember?
Open access to the governing process, integrity in leadership and a movement towards a direction that reflects a responsibility to preserves Ventura’s uniqueness.

What do you think is lacking on the Council now?
There is a lack of connection to our youth. One of the most valuable resources we have is local youth. They are faced with the reality every day that Ventura is unaffordable and the local businesses support groups spends more time courting out-of-town corporate business as we stand by watching the things that make Ventura unique slowly be stripped away. Local government and special-interest business groups have created a sense of alienation for our young entrepreneurs. We are turning a blind eye to some of the best and brightest to ever come out of our local schools. Our City Council has spent the last several years focusing on turning us into xyz insert whatever city the last Council member/city manager/ or dvp lackey is touting as the greatest thing since peanut butter. We need to look inward local first. We need to focus on and give resources to, our kids, our long time local businesses, lifelong residents, and the guy down the street that wants to start a new business that may not fit into the current model. We as locals need to be reminded that we are the voice that needs to be heard. We need to be engaged and excited. We need to know we can be the difference between what we desire and what others tell us we can have. We hold the key to promoting a sustainable future for the unique community that is Ventura. We don’t need to sit back and wait for the same old candidates to tell us they will make it better next time.

Incumbent Mike Tracy (current mayor)
Former police chief (retired)

What will be your top priorities as a City Council member?
When I became Mayor, the entire council agreed to focus on four priorities:
• Economic development
• Public safety and core services
• A safe and clean Ventura
• Restoring public trust
During my time as mayor, the Council has adopted a six-year economic development strategy to help every sector of the business community be successful. We have added to our police and fire resources and we are coming to grips with our water resources to make sure limited development is practical. We have completed a variety of significant public works projects

We have strengthened relationships with criti cal social service agencies, and implemented a community intervention court to deal with homelessness and vagrancy. Our Safe and Clean Initiative has helped us deal with graffiti, trash, abandoned shopping carts and other public nuisances.

Under my leadership, this Council has made a successful transition to a new city management team under the leadership of city manager Mark Watkins. For fiscal year 2013-2014, we have balanced our budget without using reserve funds for the first time in several years.

If re-elected I will continue to work on these four priorities and seek support from the rest of the City Council to further these efforts.  

For the full interviews, go to www.vcreporter.com.


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