May 9, 2008

Editorial:

Pamela Bensoussan for Seat #3

City of Chula Vista

We believe that Pamela Bensoussan is the best candidate and indeed, the best person, to represent the City of Chula Vista as the next member of the city council, Seat #3.

The City of Chula Vista is going through a tough transitional period. It is changing from a city that thrived and grew on the development of the East Side of Chula Vista to now, where development and new housing starts have slowed. Further, there are dramatic economic and housing difficulties facing the nation. Chula Vista needs to adjust to these new times and challenges.

For the voters, the questions are simple. Should the city find a way to continue rapid housing development, with the focus on the West side of Chula Vista?  Or should it slow housing development, learn to live within its means, and grow local jobs and opportunities? Or is there a way that Chula Vista can find a balance between the first two options?

In our opinion the city needs to find a balance in solving the city’s financial problems. Pamela Bensoussan represents a balanced approach to the city’s financial problems and the citizens concerns over rapid growth and quality of life issues. As a member of several community groups she is aware and sensitive to their concerns. As a member of the Planning Commission and on the board of the Downtown Business Association she is well aware of the need for growth, new business, and the need to develop the tax base so that the city can afford to fix pot holes as well as the other community improvement necessities. Pamela Bensoussan will bring this balance to the city council.

Bensoussan has already displayed her ability to work within the city’s bureaucracy. Pamela developed the framework for a Historic Preservation Ordinance, getting the City to adopt the Mills Act. She also created and managed the very successful Historic Homes Tours. Bensoussan has shown her leadership by being able to draw people together to work together on projects. She created a civic organization, the Northwest Civic Association. Plus she has practical experience as a successful business person with her own business for over 30 years.

It is this type of knowledge, experience, and good judgment that the City of Chula Vista needs on the council to help guided it through these tough times. Further, Bensoussan has proven to be a leader who can develop programs that raise civic pride.

One of the other candidates in the race is Devonna Almagro. We are not sure why this lady decided to run for city council. She has been non-responsive and has made no effort to campaign for the seat.

The third candidate for this seat is Russ Hall. The best way we can describe Hall is a person who believes in rapid growth and development. He sees the answers to the city’s financial woes through continued development and the redevelopment of downtown Chula Vista. We don’t see that balance between community sensibilities and development that we find with Bensoussan. But more importantly we have had a peek into Hall’s temperament and we didn’t like what we saw.

We had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with the Economic Development Department (EDD) several years ago of which Hall was a commissioner. The topic of that day was graffiti along I-5 with the city staff responsible for dealing with this issue facilitating the discussion. The question being bantered about was what options were there to stop the graffiti? Hall’s response to this question was that a barbed wire fence should be constructed along the freeway. This idea was roundly denounced by the other commissioners.

We were appalled at this idea. The implication being that this was a Hispanic issue, a gang issue and his response to this issue was a backward, punitive point of view. It gave us a look at how Hall perceived Hispanics and how he would address issues of this nature. We found this to be offensive back then and we feel strongly that this is the wrong type of person to sit on a council of a city that is 50% Hispanic.

We need a person who has a higher vision and better reputation who can elevate the status of the Hispanic community and the rest of the citizens who live in Chula Vista. That person is Pamela Bensoussan.

We ask you to Vote for Bensoussan June 3rd.

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