We asked the City Council and mayoral candidates in Oxnard, Santa Paula and Ojai what the most pressing issue facing their city is and what qualifies them for the position or differentiates them from other candidates. Here are their answers:

Santa Paula City Council

Ralph J. Fernandez — Architect/college instructor

1. There are many challenges in Santa Paula at this time. The sewer treatment plant, canyon development, airport repair, city salaries and business revenue. However, the number-one issue is the divisiveness of our city. Only by working together can we provide solutions. Our city just went through many meetings to analyze growth in Fagan Canyon. At these meetings, I learned that both sides wanted the same thing: a better Santa Paula. We all wanted growth, but were never brought together to solve the issues. I personally want go out into the community and hear what the citizens have to say. As a council member, I know that we will probably not solve all the disagreements, but we have got to come closer together. Constructive disagreements will lead to creative solutions.

2. I am a licensed architect, an architecture instructor at Ventura College and a small business owner. I have served on many committees in Santa Paula and at Ventura College, which has given me the experience of successfully working with groups of people. I am different from other candidates in that I am a licensed design professional and I have my own architectural practice. I know what it means to run a business. I have the ability to analyze and understand developers’ proposals, and make the decisions that best benefit the needs of the city. This knowledge and background is important for solving the issues facing Santa Paula today.

Mary Ann Krause — Incumbent

1. The most significant issue is making the city more economically self-sufficient. The city needs to develop new revenue streams. The City Council’s strategy is to increase sales tax by attracting new retailers, and increasing the buying power of current residents through job creation and job training. Prospective retailers need more residents with higher incomes, and prospective industries that would provide higher wages, want more housing available for workers. Thus, new housing is also a part of the strategy. Tourists help support downtown businesses; a healthier downtown broadcasts to investors that we are ready for other kinds of investment.

2. I have a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, and have spent my career inside local government; consulting with local government or with property owners trying to work with local government; or throwing rocks at local government. I have worked in three states and in two California counties. I have served on the Santa Paula City Council for four years, including one year as mayor, and have represented the city in Ventura County, in Southern California, in Sacramento, and in Washington, D.C. I am also the only woman among the candidates.

Richard “Rick” Cook — Incumbent

1. Completing our sewer plant. If not one more house is ever built in Santa Paula, we still need to modernize our sewer plant. Every year we prolong making a new plant our costs go up by millions. However, coming in a close second to our sewer plant is housing for all — high-end, middle and low end. We need them all, but high end we need more of.

2. I have been on the council for eight years and have worked on opening the hospital, hiring three full-time firemen and opening up our second fire station. We televise our council meetings and you can SAP them and go to a Spanish translator. We have worked within our budget, and I was able to get the city to start saving for a reserve fund, in which we have now $1 million dollars, for that rainy day.

Fred W. Robinson — Non-profit executive

1. The most important issue facing Santa Paula is developing consensus on how the city should grow. An equally important issue, which must be addressed before any growth is approved, concerns our waste water treatment plant. The current plant is old and the city has been advised by the regional water quality board that it must meet current discharge standards by September of 2009, or face fines of $25,000 per day. The city has hired consultants to explore options and is leaning toward construction of a new plant with percolation ponds. Additional land must be purchased to build the new facility, and the city plans to add a maintenance yard. Costs are estimated at $70 million, which will be financed by bonds, thus incurring debt that could reach $140 million. There is an alternative. “Deep Shaft” wastewater treatment technology should be explored. This technology has been successfully used in parts of our country, Canada and Japan. There are many advantages — environmentally friendly, energy efficient, produces bio-solids that can be processed for energy credits, saves $5 million in land acquisition costs, saves farmland, qualifies for “environmental green” grants to offset expense …

2. I offer new leadership for Santa Paula with managerial experience as a CEO of a $14 million agency with over 300 employees. I have no economic interests in any development in Santa Paula, and will base my decisions only on the best interests of all the community. I will bring my history of service in Kiwanis, the United Way, and The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill to make Santa Paula an even better place to live.

Damien Shilo — Firefighter/paramedic

1. The debt of the new waste water treatment plant; this has created the drive for development to help pay this debt. The development should be done in a responsible manner not just fast and large to try to find the monies for the treatment plant. It should be planned out better as not to create more problems for the city and additional burdens on city services. These issues were not addressed in the Fagan Canyon development and I feel many people felt the same. With responsible growth, Santa Paula can bring in better and more quality industry/merchants, which is key to turning the economy of Santa Paula around to where we will live, play, pray and shop in town and no longer spend so much of our money outside of Santa Paula. I just chose to run for City Council instead of sitting back and complaining.

2. My experience as a firefighter/paramedic and law enforcement gave me an opportunity to see Santa Paula’s needs from a different perspective. I also bring my leadership ability from my terms as vice-chair and chairman of my tribal government.

Sergio Hernandez — Quality assurance manager

1. The lack of leadership that is unwilling to work together for the benefit of Santa Paula. We now have three candidates uniting to be elected and to be stronger than the three incumbents running. Win or lose, I’m stronger because I stand with the people of Santa Paula. The voters of Santa Paula must not allow this poor leadership to continue at the expense of our future and vote no to candidates that can not stand alone and that show poor leadership.

2. I’m a hands-on manager and I like to be close to the action or issue, and also meet people with concerns face-to face. As an ASQ-certified quality manager, you must prove to your peers that you have the knowledge and skills regarding leadership, customer focus, management/quality tools, supplier performance, training development, strategy deployment and management. To be a true leader, one must have integrity, but to have integrity one must have independence — thus not accepting financial contributions from special interests, developers and unions allows me to maintain my integrity intact … As a decision maker, I know my role as a decision maker and that is to serve the people of Santa Paula with integrity and independence.

Mayor of Oxnard

Tom Holden — Optometrist (Incumbent)

1. Public safety will continue to be my highest priority. We have accomplished a great deal in reducing overall crime and making our neighborhoods safer over the years, but we must remain vigilant. We must do whatever it takes to make gang violence a thing of the past in our community. Equally important will be addressing the issues of growth and overcrowding in our neighborhoods. I support the review of our 2020 plan to address what type of growth is appropriate, while maintaining the quality of life we enjoy in our community. I will continue to implement the repair of our streets and work to resolve traffic issues.

2. I had the privilege of serving for 10 years as a councilmember before being elected mayor in 2002. My family has been living and working in Oxnard for over 100 years. With three young boys, I have a vested interest in our community. While serving on city council and as Mayor we have created a strong and vibrant economy. Fiscal responsibility is what has allowed us to make Oxnard a better place to live and work. It has allowed us to fund additional neighborhood police officers, create our anti-graffiti program, secure funds to fix our streets and provide needed infrastructure improvements in our neighborhoods. We are also enjoying a renaissance in our Historic Downtown. As mayor I will continue to work to make every neighborhood safe, clean, attractive and prosperous.

Phillip Molina — Financial Consultant/Accountant

1. The top issue is overdevelopment resulting in insufficient open-space parks, poorly maintained infrastructure, not enough parking spaces and public safety issues. Oxnard used $9.5 million of our utility fees to build a second golf course, but doesn’t have the money for open-space parks. In 2005, Oxnard said developers would pay for the schools in River Park, but the city later approved a bond issue to pay back the developer for the cost of the schools, placing the cost on the homeowners. I will change priorities, use tax dollars for open-space parks, improve infrastructure and better public safety.

2. I am a CPA with a BA in government and a master’s in Business Administration. I have 20 years experience as a Chief Financial Officer for local California governments. I served in the US Army, graduated from Combat Engineers Officer’s Candidate School and was honorably discharged. I increased Oxnard’s general fund net revenues by $6,631,520 during my first year with the City of Oxnard. During the 20 years in local government I have also been responsible for human resources and airport management, participated in the planning process and prepared budgets and financial reports.

Robert Sumpter — Caregiver

1. To provide workforce and low-income affordable housing. This will be a step in city government for the need of well-being, safety and quality of Life. Single family homes for the working class of Oxnard will raise the standard of living for all citizens.

2. I feel, that as a new citizen in Oxnard, I bring life experience related not just to Ventura County. I have dual certificates in Business Administration and Computerized Financial Accounting. I was known as a \”fixer.” I have reduced loss of inventory while motivating, training and leading employees. I am the candidate with a clean record and no hidden agenda.

Oxnard City Council

Andres Herrera — Small Business Owner (Incumbent)

1. Keeping Oxnard safe and prosperous. Public safety momentum must continue. We must continue to hire additional police officers and firefighters to build upon progress already accomplished toward a safer and stronger Oxnard. We must continue to fight for more jobs. More jobs build the tax base for our city government enabling more services for residents. It also requires that we be prudent in spending to ensure tax dollars are spent most wisely and for the greatest public good. We need to address the issues created by overcrowding: parking, illegal additions and unsafe housing. We must balance employment with workforce housing.

2. As Mayor Pro Tem, councilmember, small-business owner, executive manager and community volunteer, I have the proven skills necessary to continue working with our council and mayor to address the challenges and opportunities for continued betterment and benefit to our city and residents. I have demonstrated real leadership in the private and public sector at local, regional and national levels. I commit to supporting our valuable and diverse resources, building bridges of understanding, providing access and maintaining accountability by responding to the needs of our community. My demonstrated commitment to Oxnard makes me the responsible, responsive and representative choice for Oxnard.

Dean Maulhardt — Businessman (Incumbent)

1. Public Safety is the most important issue. The city needs to continue with and add new community policing programs and develop new strategies to deal effectively with traffic and parking issues in neighborhoods. Repair and maintenance of city streets and strong financial management [are also important].

2. I have over 30 years of experience in owning and managing businesses in the community, balancing budgets and meeting payroll. I was first elected in 1994 and have 12 years of experience as a councilmember. I have represented the city on numerous boards and commissions.

Francisco Romero — Middle school teacher

1. The most significant issue facing our city is equity. In Oxnard, there are many community members who have little to no access to resources, programs and other opportunities. The two civil gang injunctions, for example, target close to 100 percent of the working class, impoverished and marginalized communities of Oxnard, and this is no accident. There is a reason why violence and crime occur more frequently in these areas of our city. The cause is rooted in poverty and in a limited focus by our city to develop and maintain intervention programming, recreation and employment opportunities for Oxnard working families.

2. I am a decade-long committed Oxnard community volunteer in the area of social justice. I have experience as an educator working with hundreds of families in Oxnard and have the communication, collaborative consensus-building skills necessary to motivate community residents to participate with city-related issues. I am fully bilingual in Spanish and English and as the youngest of all candidates I bring to the table a progressive, constructively critical view and balance to the city council. I am the only candidate that has vowed to donate 100 percent of the monthly stipend ($1,300) given to us as councilpersons back to community, especially those working with at-risk youth and in community organizing projects.

Enrique Petris — Contract Administrator

1. The most significant issue is the uncontrolled growth that has been going on the last 10 years that has overburdened our streets and alleys and infrastructure. I plan to look at the budget very closely to see if we can find deficiencies in department operations, so we can correct those deficiencies and save some money. Secondly, we need to get more grants from the federal and state government.

2. I have political experience. I was the administrative assistant to Assemblyman Charles Imbrecht. In that role, I learned a lot about public policy development, execution and management. I learned how to develop public policy and how to execute and control it.

Bill Winter — Journalist

1. The most significant issue is overcrowding. Past city councils have given us our current situation and the solutions grow fewer by continuing to vote the incumbents into office. As a councilmember I would be a \”No\” vote on most new development unless the community approved it. I would work with schools to ensure we handle the overcrowding within the districts that serve Oxnard. I will study infrastructure, meaning streets, water, police and fire resources, before I vote to approve any development. Overcrowding affects our quality of life and I want to put the brakes on limitless building out of Oxnard.

2. I’ve served the citizens on Oxnard’s Inter-Neighborhood Council Forum (INCF) as Chair from 2004-2006 and as past chairman of the historic (downtown) Wilson Neighborhood Council for five years. I’m editor for an online newspaper (cyber-journal), www.oxnard-journal.com. The Oxnard Journal has been covering news, city hall events, and the political scene since 1996. I have been told by city officials and citizens alike that I have a heart for Oxnard and know the city well. My personal involvement in Oxnard, its affairs, and its political scene qualifies me for a position on the City Council.

Every effort was made to contact every candidate in these races; however, some candidates were unreachable or did not respond by press time. For Camarillo City Council Q&As, visit our Web Site, www.vcreporter.com

Mayor of Oxnard

Tom Holden — Optometrist (Incumbent)

1. Public safety will continue to be my highest priority. We have accomplished a great deal in reducing overall crime and making our neighborhoods safer over the years, but we must remain vigilant. We must do whatever it takes to make gang violence a thing of the past in our community. Equally important will be addressing the issues of growth and overcrowding in our neighborhoods. I support the review of our 2020 plan to address what type of growth is appropriate, while maintaining the quality of life we enjoy in our community. I will continue to implement the repair of our streets and work to resolve traffic issues.

2. I had the privilege of serving for 10 years as a councilmember before being elected mayor in 2002. My family has been living and working in Oxnard for over 100 years. With three young boys, I have a vested interest in our community. While serving on city council and as Mayor we have created a strong and vibrant economy. Fiscal responsibility is what has allowed us to make Oxnard a better place to live and work. It has allowed us to fund additional neighborhood police officers, create our anti-graffiti program, secure funds to fix our streets and provide needed infrastructure improvements in our neighborhoods. We are also enjoying a renaissance in our Historic Downtown. As mayor I will continue to work to make every neighborhood safe, clean, attractive and prosperous.

Phillip Molina — Financial Consultant/Accountant

1. The top issue is overdevelopment resulting in insufficient open-space parks, poorly maintained infrastructure, not enough parking spaces and public safety issues. Oxnard used $9.5 million of our utility fees to build a second golf course, but doesn’t have the money for open-space parks. In 2005, Oxnard said developers would pay for the schools in River Park, but the city later approved a bond issue to pay back the developer for the cost of the schools, placing the cost on the homeowners. I will change priorities, use tax dollars for open-space parks, improve infrastructure and better public safety.

2. I am a CPA with a BA in government and a master’s in Business Administration. I have 20 years experience as a Chief Financial Officer for local California governments. I served in the US Army, graduated from Combat Engineers Officer’s Candidate School and was honorably discharged. I increased Oxnard’s general fund net revenues by $6,631,520 during my first year with the City of Oxnard. During the 20 years in local government I have also been responsible for human resources and airport management, participated in the planning process and prepared budgets and financial reports.

Robert Sumpter — Caregiver

1. To provide workforce and low-income affordable housing. This will be a step in city government for the need of well-being, safety and quality of Life. Single family homes for the working class of Oxnard will raise the standard of living for all citizens.

2. I feel, that as a new citizen in Oxnard, I bring life experience related not just to Ventura County. I have dual certificates in Business Administration and Computerized Financial Accounting. I was known as a \”fixer.” I have reduced loss of inventory while motivating, training and leading employees. I am the candidate with a clean record and no hidden agenda.

Oxnard City Council

Andres Herrera — Small Business Owner (Incumbent)

1. Keeping Oxnard safe and prosperous. Public safety momentum must continue. We must continue to hire additional police officers and firefighters to build upon progress already accomplished toward a safer and stronger Oxnard. We must continue to fight for more jobs. More jobs build the tax base for our city government enabling more services for residents. It also requires that we be prudent in spending to ensure tax dollars are spent most wisely and for the greatest public good. We need to address the issues created by overcrowding: parking, illegal additions and unsafe housing. We must balance employment with workforce housing.

2. As Mayor Pro Tem, councilmember, small-business owner, executive manager and community volunteer, I have the proven skills necessary to continue working with our council and mayor to address the challenges and opportunities for continued betterment and benefit to our city and residents. I have demonstrated real leadership in the private and public sector at local, regional and national levels. I commit to supporting our valuable and diverse resources, building bridges of understanding, providing access and maintaining accountability by responding to the needs of our community. My demonstrated commitment to Oxnard makes me the responsible, responsive and representative choice for Oxnard.

Dean Maulhardt — Businessman (Incumbent)

1. Public Safety is the most important issue. The city needs to continue with and add new community policing programs and develop new strategies to deal effectively with traffic and parking issues in neighborhoods. Repair and maintenance of city streets and strong financial management [are also important].

2. I have over 30 years of experience in owning and managing businesses in the community, balancing budgets and meeting payroll. I was first elected in 1994 and have 12 years of experience as a councilmember. I have represented the city on numerous boards and commissions.

Francisco Romero — Middle school teacher

1. The most significant issue facing our city is equity. In Oxnard, there are many community members who have little to no access to resources, programs and other opportunities. The two civil gang injunctions, for example, target close to 100 percent of the working class, impoverished and marginalized communities of Oxnard, and this is no accident. There is a reason why violence and crime occur more frequently in these areas of our city. The cause is rooted in poverty and in a limited focus by our city to develop and maintain intervention programming, recreation and employment opportunities for Oxnard working families.

2. I am a decade-long committed Oxnard community volunteer in the area of social justice. I have experience as an educator working with hundreds of families in Oxnard and have the communication, collaborative consensus-building skills necessary to motivate community residents to participate with city-related issues. I am fully bilingual in Spanish and English and as the youngest of all candidates I bring to the table a progressive, constructively critical view and balance to the city council. I am the only candidate that has vowed to donate 100 percent of the monthly stipend ($1,300) given to us as councilpersons back to community, especially those working with at-risk youth and in community organizing projects.

Enrique Petris — Contract Administrator

1. The most significant issue is the uncontrolled growth that has been going on the last 10 years that has overburdened our streets and alleys and infrastructure. I plan to look at the budget very closely to see if we can find deficiencies in department operations, so we can correct those deficiencies and save some money. Secondly, we need to get more grants from the federal and state government.

2. I have political experience. I was the administrative assistant to Assemblyman Charles Imbrecht. In that role, I learned a lot about public policy development, execution and management. I learned how to develop public policy and how to execute and control it.

Bill Winter — Journalist

1. The most significant issue is overcrowding. Past city councils have given us our current situation and the solutions grow fewer by continuing to vote the incumbents into office. As a councilmember I would be a \”No\” vote on most new development unless the community approved it. I would work with schools to ensure we handle the overcrowding within the districts that serve Oxnard. I will study infrastructure, meaning streets, water, police and fire resources, before I vote to approve any development. Overcrowding affects our quality of life and I want to put the brakes on limitless building out of Oxnard.

2. I’ve served the citizens on Oxnard’s Inter-Neighborhood Council Forum (INCF) as Chair from 2004-2006 and as past chairman of the historic (downtown) Wilson Neighborhood Council for five years. I’m editor for an online newspaper (cyber-journal), www.oxnard-journal.com. The Oxnard Journal has been covering news, city hall events, and the political scene since 1996. I have been told by city officials and citizens alike that I have a heart for Oxnard and know the city well. My personal involvement in Oxnard, its affairs, and its political scene qualifies me for a position on the City Council.

Every effort was made to contact every candidate in these races; however, some candidates were unreachable or did not respond by press time. For Camarillo City Council Q&As, visit our Web Site, www.vcreporter.com

Ojai City Council

Joe De Vito — Incumbent mayor

1. The most significant issue facing Ojai is the management of our financial resources and the replenishment to our reserve fund. The budget report of October 24th is a true indication that we are above and beyond all expectations and have stabilized. In addition, the City needs to update the General Plan’s Air Quality Element which I have requested be placed on an agenda in the near future. This will be the driving force in addressing the most significant issues directly related to traffic, housing, land use and our infrastructure

2. I have already served 20 years on the Ojai City Council and four times its mayor, an obvious qualification. Additional experiences include: nine years on the SCAT Transit Board, three times as Board Chair; four years on the Ventura County Transportation Commission, presently its Vice Chair; a 20-year member of the League of California Cities and a graduate of all three levels of the Leadership Academy; Masters Degree in Administration, 24 years as a school administrator, 41-year resident of Ojai — involved in community organizations the entire time. It’s most obvious my experiences differentiate me from other candidates.

Carol Smith — Incumbent

1. The most significant issue facing Ojai is caused by a combination of factors. Maintaining our tree canopy of majestic oaks is No.1. Most of our legacy trees have reached the end of their lifespan and are dying. Planting and nourishing the Ojai Valley forest for the next 10 generations is tantamount. We have an excellent tree plan that has been done and now its time to implement it.

2. I have been on the council for the last four years and will be mayor if re-elected. I consider myself a problem solver and look for solutions rather than just leave it to staff to come up ideas.

Steve Olsen — Retired school administrator

1. I believe the most significant issue facing our city is air quality. Ojai is situated in a valley that allows air to flow in by way of the Ventura River valley, but then is restricted in its exit because it is caught in our valley. Most problems that Ojai faces, i.e., traffic, growth, and development, have an impact on our air quality. Regional issues have always had an impact on the air quality of the Ojai Valley. In the past, the battles have been with the expansion of Petro Chem and Weldon Canyon dump, and now, we face the prospect of a liquid gas terminal in the Santa Barbara Channel. I have in the past and will continue to fight projects that have an adverse impact on Ojai’s air quality.

2. Experience counts and community comes first. I have been very active in community affairs by being a founding Board Member of the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation, Police Activities League, Ojai Education Foundation, and CREW. I have also served as a Board Member for The Ojai Valley Community Hospital, Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, Ojai Valley Historical Society and Museum, and Ojai Chapter of the American Heart Association. I was elected to the City Council four times and served as Mayor four times. I worked for the Ojai Unified School District for 32 years as a teacher, coach, and administrator. My strengths include identifying problems, finding resources to mitigate them, and working well with others for solutions. I believe that these are qualities of a good City Council candidate.

Dennis Leary — Registered nurse

1. The most significant issue for me is truth in government. By history and law, Ojai is a \”small town character.\” Government is supposed to respect that, but it does the opposite, caving in to money interests, which would destroy Ojai’s small town character. That’s bad enough, but to add insult to injury, the present government \”spins\” a tale, which is in direct contradiction to the truth of its actions.

2. I have four degrees, in philosophy, theology, psychology, and nursing. I have served the two largest corporations in the world, the Catholic Church, as a parish priest, and the U.S. Government, as a psychiatric nurse in the Veterans Administration. I am different because of my background and life experiences, which have prepared me well for my third career in politics.

Pete LaFollette — Community volunteer

1. The decision process being made by the current City Manager, City Attorney, Planning Commission and City Council are extremely detrimental to the City and the valley of Ojai. The decisions being made by these officials affect our quality of life, raise health and environmental issues, and will continue to increase the amount of traffic in the valley. All of these issues are being dismissed by the City or in some cases new ordinances are being written to get around the legal issues which they present. It is important that we stand as a community to express our concerns about how our elected and appointed officials are doing their job.

2. I’ve observed here in my many times in city meetings the changing of rules randomly to fit the planning vision of Ojai which has not been represented by the majority of citizen’s vision, and I’ve repeatedly asked for adherence to both the general plan and the cities organizational structure which places the people’s will above the city council, planning department, city manager and city attorney. Recently citizens groups have become more vocal and preparing to take back our power, vision, civic pride and participation in this valued and uncommon place. Also important to me, is to provide for the culture, youth, arts, music and creative pursuits, as well as acknowledging the many rich and varied spiritual communities we have for a town this size.

Len Klaif — Attorney

1. There are several related “most significant” issues facing Ojai. Who will control growth? Will Ojai retain its unique charm and character? Will Ojai continue to be a small town that values its artists? Will anyone except the very wealthy be able to afford to live here? Will traffic continue to worsen?

2. As an attorney I have the skills to read and understand the substantial volume of paperwork that passes through the council; I can provide a second opinion to the work of the City Attorney; I am an effective advocate both in terms of representing the City in its relationship with other government agencies and within the council in support of the positions I take. As a long-term community activist I have established my commitment to the principles of protecting the values that make Ojai unique as set out in our general plan. I believe that these attributes along with my openness to new ideas and my commitment to opening the Council to real community involvement separates me from the other candidates.

Camarillo City Council

Mike Morgan — Incumbent

1. As other cities have grown around Camarillo, the traffic crossing through our city has increased significantly. Mitigation measures to control our traffic have been affected by this “cross traffic.” As the Ventura Freeway continues to be more congested, motorists seek alternative routes which also has affected Camarillo. The city has limited growth in certain areas of Camarillo to control this situation. Further, traffic mitigations such as dual turn lanes and coordinated signaled intersections are being utilized. Camarillo is also encouraging commuter rail service as an alternative and, hopefully, an old fashion trolley service will be implemented in the near future.

2. During 26 years as councilman and mayor I’ve gained valuable experience, which has helped me to become knowledgeable of the regulations by which the city is bound. My Masters Degree in Public Administration and background as a U.S. Probation Officer has provided me training to ask critical questions and find solutions. Attending government seminars, city study sessions, and being a member of numerous local and statewide organizations has provided me with an invaluable depth of knowledge and insight regarding issues that face our city. It is my goal to keep Camarillo fiscally sound and one of California’s safest cities.

Bob Taylor — Business owner

1. In my view, Camarillo is facing two key issues. First, of course, is the housing shortage. I believe it is critical to ensure that any development and/or redevelopment includes adequate housing for the Camarillo workforce. More and more high-end housing is being built, and rising house prices are forcing the middle class, our vital workforce, out of the city they work in. Our city government needs to be involved in all aspects of housing and must work towards new solutions. The second issue is the unification of our elementary and middle school system with our high school. Our school district is deeply divided on this issue, and it is affecting just about everything in our education system. We must bring the unification issue to a vote so we can get on with the business of educating our children.

2. I believe I am uniquely qualified to serve on the Camarillo City Council because I am coming in without an agenda, without an ego and with a genuine desire to be of service to our city. I have more business experience than anyone else running. I’ve started three businesses in Ventura County; two of them still multi-million dollar companies. Our “contract” city doesn’t run much differently than a business. Just like a business, we must always look to eliminate the weakest link and strive for continual improvement to make a good city great. I also believe all our “special districts” need to work more closely together in order to leverage all resources available to keep Camarillo moving in the right direction.

Charlotte Craven — Incumbent

1. Changing demographics is the most significant issue facing Camarillo. While we will face the same problems associated with an aging population as other cities, Camarillo will also face a growing population of youth as the Cal State Channel Islands (CSUCI) increases from its current 4,000 students to a student body of 15,000 in the next 14 years. So we’ll need to make sure there are residential units and care facilities, adequate health care and transportation to meet the needs of our increasing senior citizen population; and, at the same time, we’ll need to work just as hard to ensure that housing, parking, employment, recreation, shopping and transportation exist for CSUCI students without having a detrimental impact on current residents. For example, only a small percentage of the students will be able to live on campus in 2020, and Camarillo is the nearest city for the excess students to live, but we must make sure that we have the proper residential control and parking ordinances in place so that the older housing tracts and apartment buildings will remain good places for families, and not become overcrowded, noisy party places like Isla Vista.

2. I have 20 years of continuous experience on the City Council, and during that time have studied, spent countless hours in classes and talked to experts to learn the most effective and cost efficient ways to do non-sexy things like sewage treatment, sludge disposal, water treatment and storage, graffiti abatement, keeping our money safe and investing it wisely, landfill operation, recycling programs, getting the most from developers, developing affordable housing for families, financing major public improvements, solving university/city issues, and economic development. A person can’t just walk in and start asking the tough questions that a Council Member needs to ask. My experience and education in city matters are tremendous assets of the people of Camarillo.

David Schlangen — Project manager

1. The most significant issue facing our city is the affordable housing problem. With the cost of housing rising in our community, individuals and families are unable to afford to live in Camarillo. I would especially like to create more affordable housing for our first-time teachers, first-time firefighters, and first-time police officers. This would enable the individuals protecting and serving our community to live in our city. I would do this by working with future housing developers to assign an appropriate number of units to affordable housing and by working with current organizations (such as HOME) to assist our public servants with purchasing a home.

2. My qualifications for being a city council member are my 31 years of living in Camarillo and my experience with project management skills while working at Amgen. I have seen Camarillo grow and as one who has grown up with it, I feel that I have the experience, knowledge and passion needed to lead Camarillo into the future. As a project manager, I have led many projects from start to finish and have done so successfully. I will use these skills and experience to assist me as a member of the City Council. The difference between me and most of the other candidates is that I will bring a new perspective and a new energy to the City Council while giving Camarillo voters a new choice.

Charlotte Craven — Incumbent

1. Changing demographics is the most significant issue facing Camarillo. While we will face the same problems associated with an aging population as other cities, Camarillo will also face a growing population of youth as the Cal State Channel Islands (CSUCI) increases from its current 4,000 students to a student body of 15,000 in the next 14 years. So we’ll need to make sure there are residential units and care facilities, adequate health care and transportation to meet the needs of our increasing senior citizen population; and, at the same time, we’ll need to work just as hard to ensure that housing, parking, employment, recreation, shopping and transportation exist for CSUCI students without having a detrimental impact on current residents. For example, only a small percentage of the students will be able to live on campus in 2020, and Camarillo is the nearest city for the excess students to live, but we must make sure that we have the proper residential control and parking ordinances in place so that the older housing tracts and apartment buildings will remain good places for families, and not become overcrowded, noisy party places like Isla Vista.

2. I have 20 years of continuous experience on the City Council, and during that time have studied, spent countless hours in classes and talked to experts to learn the most effective and cost efficient ways to do non-sexy things like sewage treatment, sludge disposal, water treatment and storage, graffiti abatement, keeping our money safe and investing it wisely, landfill operation, recycling programs, getting the most from developers, developing affordable housing for families, financing major public improvements, solving university/city issues, and economic development. A person can’t just walk in and start asking the tough questions that a Council Member needs to ask. My experience and education in city matters are tremendous assets of the people of Camarillo.

Jeanette “Jan” McDonald — Incumbent

1. Protecting our quality of life and remaining a balanced community. As we become a mature city, no longer able to depend upon development fees, we need to ensure we have secure and stable sources of income. Economic development and business retention should continue to be a priority. We need to continue to partner with other agencies for efficient and cost effective public services, such as our water reclamation project with Camrosa Water District. Affordable housing should be addressed in all new developments. We need to provide cultural and recreational opportunities, such as our new library/cultural center and potential live theater in Old Town.

2. I am an experienced and proven leader. I have served on the City Council since 1998 and previously served on the Pleasant Valley School Board (1990-1998). Therefore, I have a unique perspective of and experience in local government. I also serve our community as a board member with the Boys and Girls Club and the Camarillo Arts Council. As an accountant, I bring my financial background and analytical approach to issues and problem solving. I have lived in Camarillo for 29 years and have a proven track record of my commitment to our community and the quality of life we enjoy.