November 3, 2006

Editorial:

Chula Vista City Council Race

In the race for Seat No. 1 on the Chula Vista City Council are two equally qualified, passionate Hispanic candidates: Patty Chavez and Rudy Ramirez, which, in a good way, makes this a tough recommendation.

Patty Chavez is the new face on the block, politically speaking. Prior to her appointment to the City Council in December she was unknown. Unknown with many that travel in and around the political circles of Chula Vista, but she was not unknown to the community. She was a take action type of person who was willing to role up her sleeves and work on the issues that affected her and her community. This same type of attitude she brought to the city council which has been on display for the past nine months.

Rudy Ramirez on the other hand is a product of the system. He has for years volunteered his time serving on several boards within the City of Chula Vista honing his understanding of the issues, working with city staff, and networking with the community and political groups within the city. After years of serving the city as a volunteer, Ramirez deemed himself ready to run for office in the 2004 primary for seat # 4. He didn’t make it out of the primary, but undeterred he set his sites on seat #1 and has been running for this seat ever since.

The appointment of Patty Chavez caught everyone by surprise. To this day, due to the convoluted appointment process of the City, it is still a mystery as to why Chavez was selected over more well known and seemingly better qualified candidates. What is not a mystery is the fact that an incumbent has never lost a race in Chula Vista and that this appointment process has given Chavez an unfair advantage, setting off a wave controversy within the City. The appointment process and the ensuing controversy has dogged the Chavez campaign unmercifully ever since.

Rudy Ramirez on the other hand has worked hard in preparing for this opportunity. He has been involved with the city serving on the board of ethics, and several other boards and commissions within the city, and he has been involved with the community — in particular with Crossroads II, one of the most active community groups in the city. Ramirez likes to represent himself as a candidate that best represents the Hispanic community, though we were disappointed with his response to our questions on the hiring and contracting of ethnic minorities with the City stating that he believed in the best qualified candidate for the job, which is code for keeping the status quo.

With that said about Ramirez, we have to give the nod to him as the best choice for this seat. In our decision we believe that his years of volunteer work, years of learning and understanding of the issues, years of networking and developing community ties – in a sense Ramirez has paid his dues – outweighs the can do attitude that Chavez brings to the race. The appointment process was wrong and it bothers us that Chavez allowed herself to be manipulated in this process.

We support the election of Rudy Ramirez for Chula Vista City Council.

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