My family and I have truly been blessed to call La Mirada our home for close to 30 years. Having served the city in various capacities, working with various organizations as both employee and volunteer, I am humbled and excited for the opportunity to now serve as your elected representative.
CONGESTION / HIGH DENSITY HOUSING
Since 1969 the state of California has been imposing housing requirements on cities and counties. What originally started out as a good idea to address growing housing needs in CA has turned into a bureaucratic nightmare. In the last several years alone, the state has mandated La Mirada to add nearly 2,000 high-density housing units in our city. To put this into perspective, the entire city of La Mirada currently barely has that many units. Not to mention the city is 100% built out. Now, the state will try to force the city to add 2,000 more high-density units in the coming years. In essence that means shopping centers being replaced with apartments, increased traffic throughout the city, and more money required for city services. We know housing is an issue, especially southern California, but this solution will only create more problems and inevitably destroy cities like La Mirada. Now more than ever we need leaders who will stand for the good of our city and not bend to a "one size fits all" approach.
CITY ATHLETIC PROGRAMS
Currently, there is only one sports field/complex owned by our city, Behringer Park. Our kids often face crowded field conditions, limited playing time, and a lack of competitive sports. The city of La Mirada went as far as cancelling the entire La Mirada Soccer Association season one week before it was to start. This affected nearly 1,000 kids and hundreds of families who had already paid for the season. Additionally, kids had been practicing and getting excited for the season to start. Thankfully, through strong community support, the city was forced to reinstate the athletic group and their season was only delayed a few weeks. This should never have happened. For the 14 years, I have worked with the city of Brea as the head of the Brea Soccer Association and have led that organization from obscurity to one of the most premier soccer organizations in the state. La Mirada needs leaders that know how to get things done and one of my top priorities is to ensure our kids have the best fields and sports programs available to them in ALL sports. I believe all of our kids should have the opportunity to be outdoors, playing and interacting with one another. This is also what builds and unites our community. It is where we meet new friends and strengthen our bonds as a city.
BUSINESS / RESTAURANT ATTRACTION
It is a great honor that our city was just selected for the second time as the "Most Business-Friendly City". This is a great testimony to our city and how we operate. However, it is important to consider the type of businesses we are attracting and re-think the opportunities that truly are in front of us. This issue has been plaguing our city since before the recession in 2008. The truth is that the old tactics of writing letters to restaurants to invite them to open in La Mirada does not work. If we are to actually bring restaurants and new businesses into La Mirada then we need innovative programs that will actually work. The city of Brea is a great example of how this can be done. Having worked very closely with Brea city council, mayor, business leaders and restaurant owners through BSA and Brea Rotary, I believe La Mirada has the potential to do so as well. We as a city don’t need more warehouses that bring in nearly zero revenue and in turn tear up our streets with large trucks. With the expanding of the 5 freeway we have an amazing opportunity to redevelop that area. However, without leaders that have knowledge and experience in business, it will likely return to its prior state and the opportunity will be lost. The simple reality is La Mirada needs restaurants and business, not warehouses and apartments, if we are to continue providing great services to our residents and maintain our city pride.
La Mirada currently has some of the newest and cleanest streets around in parts of the city. Unfortunately, despite having the highest sales tax in the state and almost the entire country, our city was only able to finish about half of the proposed street improvements to the city. Now we must cover the remainder of streets through higher gas prices and city general funds. The worst part is, we have not even begun to deal with the crumbling block walls all around the city that really make La Mirada look bad. Cities like La Habra, Santa Fe Springs, Buena Park, and others have all managed to address the issue, but we have not. Our current elected officials have no real plan to deal with the block wall situation in our city. Even though some of them are literally leaning onto the sidewalks. I would propose a long-term plan to restructure the block walls section by section along the major roads in La Mirada and replace them with new solid walls that will not only be safe for residents and motorists, but will also greatly change the aesthetic look of our city.
La Mirada is one of the safest cities around and that’s including neighboring cities in Orange County. I applaud our Public Safety Commission and relationship with LA County Sheriff. Nevertheless, there is always more that can be done to improve our safety. Despite legislation such as AB 109 that let out dangerous felons early, Prop 47 that reduced major drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, La Mirada has continued to work hard to keep crime low. Having exhausted traditional law enforcement remedies, perhaps its time we look at ways to address some of the root causes of crime in our city instead of the symptoms. We need to begin investing more into programs that look to prevent crime before it ever happens. By keeping our youth involved in programs that help build their character and provide support when they need it most. The reality is La Mirada still has gang and drug problems in parts of the city. Shootings in parts of the city are a rather common occurrence and most people never even hear about it. The time has come to enhance our approach to public safety and make La Mirada the safest city in California.