Friday, May 6, 2022

Sarega faces stiff competition in District 2 re-election bid

Two candidates with an extensive record of service to the community are looking to unseat La Mirada city council member Andrew Sarega in his bid for a third term in the District 2 election in June. 

Chris Pflanzer, who served nine years as a Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District board member is one of the candidates and cites public safety as his top priority.

Pflanzer, who has operated his own business for 39 years has served on more than a dozen community organizations including the La Mirada Community Foundation says fiscal responsibility and responsible leadership are also priorities if elected. 

Taking direct aim at Sarega and his frequent absences at city council meetings is David Constantine

Constantine has coined the incumbent as 'No Show Sarega' in a mailer sent to voters, points out Sarega has been absent from 32 percent of council meetings since April 21, 2021 and has missed the equivalent of a year and a half of meetings during his nine years on the city council.

Like Pflanzer, Constantine calls public safety his top priority and also has an extensive resume of service to the community as President of the Kiwanis Club, as a volunteer with Love La Mirada, local PTA's and more. 

Sarega, the two-term incumbent was the youngest person ever elected to the city council at age 25 in 2013 and is seeking a third term despite vowing he would not seek re-election in 2018 during a failed campaign for the 39th congressional seat in Orange County.

Having now reached that term-limit he supported for politicians while he still had four years remaining in his current term, Sarega has now reversed his opinion as his term nears its end telling those attending the Chamber of Commerce candidates forum last night that he now favored letting voters decide if eight years was enough.

Image from Sarega 2018 congressional campaign platform statement

In support of not seeking a third term back in 2018, Sarega states in his election platform "If I am unable to do it in two four-year terms, what are the chances that I will do it in 30".

Sarega has accomplished one goal he championed prior to his election. He successfully joined an effort with the current Mayor, Ed Eng introducing the availability of recorded video from city council meetings online.

Sarega shares the same goal the other candidates possess in expanding the number of sports fields available for youth sports.

Sarega has been promoting a plan to improve the asthetics of La Mirada's major roadways by replacing all the block walls at city expense along those roads. Such a plan if instituted would cost taxpayers $195 Million to $225 million to complete over a 10-year period.

The former police officer lists public safety last on his platform while Constantine and Pflanzer place it as their top priority.