Friday, February 7, 2020

Part 2- City Council Elections: Where do the candidates stand on the issues

This second part is still under revision and is currently posted to allow early voters timely access to the information within.

Youth Sports 

Candidates were asked for their positions on youth competitive sports versus recreational sports and why. 
(Editor's note: The following link provides a good rundown of what the two types of sports leagues are:

Councilmember Eng said players in both types benefit by building character and learning teamwork but thinks playing time at city sports facilities should go to La Mirada kids first playing in recreational leagues.  Mr. Eng went on to say any fields still available after the needs of local recreational leagues are satisfied should then be made available to competitive leagues.  

(Editor's note: Fields used for competitive games would have a far fewer number of local youth on the fields which include visiting teams.)

Eng emphasized that having youth focused on education was most important because the chances of advancing to a professional league were small.

Mayor Steve De Ruse said he supports both types of sports play noting that players in youth leagues are developing communication skills, teamwork, and other necessary fundamentals. 

The mayor said most of the time on city fields would be for recreational players but supports making room for competitive sports noting the kids should be out there growing and learning and "they are not out there to become the next Michael Jordan".

District 5 candidate Anthony Otero told the audience that as a father of three that had played in both recreational and competitive sports he sees value in both types.

Otero would support equity for both types of play and the city should seek new venues and explore field sharing agreements with the county in order to accommodate everyone.

Also running for the District 5 seat Matt Morse who sits on the Planning Commission is the director of coaching at AC Brea Soccer Club, featuring both recreational and competitive programs and owns two-sports related businesses.

Morse channeled his remarks exclusively towards youth soccer said the city is utilizing policies that were established several decades ago that do not reflect the sport today. He wants to make changes that allow competitive soccer to be introduced in La Mirada.

Noel Jaimes thinks both types of leagues belong in the city and would support studying the issue of playing fields available to for use by competitive sports teams and proceed if the costs were reasonable, Jaimes did note he thinks the same character-building values are learned with recreation play as in competitive.

John Accornero supports finding a way for both types of teams to play in the city.

Preparing youth for success

Candidates were asked what are your ideas to help future generations rise in the community?

Mayor De Ruse said it was important to listen to the next generation getting to know what they are about and what interests them in order to better communicate with them so they can learn and be mentored to lead society in the future.

Anthony Otero has been a scout leader for the past decade and has seen many young people grow and develop in this program. He would like to see more youth organizations in the city and says the city can help by creating a safe environment. Otero said it is important for adults to listen to the next generation and be there for them.

Matthew Morse took an unexpected approach to this question by attacking the city, calling the city 'not forward-thinking" for having what he termed a "zero tolerance" by not allowing competitive sports. 

Morse went on to say the city has a lot of pride in its sports teams and thinks competitive sports will add to that pride. He will work to gain access to fields at Regional Park in order to allow expanded opportunities for "club" (competitive) sports and mentioned the city does not have a skatepark.

Noel Jaimes said he felt that the city should embrace the next generation in the same manner the chamber does a new business, by embracing them.

John Accornero commented that future generations' biggest hurdle will be to afford a home in La Mirada. He wants to expand social offerings such as a skatepark.

Councilmember Ed Eng told the audience "the future is about two things, youth, and technology".  Eng is already looking forward and with his wife, Cathy a teacher established the Ed and Cathy Eng Community Foundation in 2017 that awards scholarships and helps fund community programs. 

Eng also shared an ambitious plan he has to establish a technology center of learning to provide job training for middle and high school students as well as bring in tech companies to develop communication infrastructure for the future.

Closing remarks

Mr Morse said he would stay the current course with financial issues and public safety and says if elected he would first call his opponent Anthony Otero, a police lieutenant with a major policing agency to tap his expertise. 

Morse said he would approach decisions and craft agenda in a forward-looking manner that emphasizes building a future for local youth. He also stated that there is a lot of land dedicated to a large number of tennis courts and devoted to the disc golf at the county regional park the should be used to expand the number of fields available for club (competitive) sports.

Noel Jaimes explained it is the 'institutional knowledge' about the city he has acquired over a period of 45 years combined with a love he has for La Mirada has inspired him to go to serve on the city council.

Councilmember Ed Eng told the audience that he has a solid track record and pointed to all the accolades the city has received for community safety, maintaining a business climate that has fostered economic development leading to being selected as the most business-friendly city in the county. 

Mr. Eng closed by recalling a promise he made in 2015 that he delivered on telling voters at the time "trust me, I will deliver." He again asked voters for that same trust that he will deliver for four more years.

No comments:

Post a Comment