Santa Maria City Voters must decide on filling two at large City Council seats from five candidates as well as the Mayor’s race among incumbent Mayor Alice Patino and challenger Will Smith.
“I’ve spoken with children, I’ve spoken with adults, I’ve spoken with seniors, and they are all saying they want change”, Smith told people at the candidates forum at the Betteravia Government Center in Santa Maria Wednesday night, “I would just appreciate it if you go to polls and vote your conscience, if you want change, I think I’m the man.”
“When we met as a City Council, and we developed our Council goals, number one was to reduce gang violence”, said Mayor Patino, “number two was to increase availability of water supply which we are doing in the City of Santa Maria and we will continue to do, and continue economic development and attracting higher paying jobs.”
Attracting good paying jobs, public safety, federal illegal immigration enforcement, public schools and the availability of an ample water supply in Santa Maria were among the topics discussed by the candidates.
“We raised our kids here, the relationships and friendships that we have here cannot be duplicated”, said City Council candidate Dr. Michael Moats, “I feel its time for me to give back to my community, that’s why I’m running for City Council.”
“I’ve kept my promises and you know who I am”, said incumbent City Council candidate Terri Zuniga, “I’ve been an agent of change, I’ve been a voice on the council that hasn’t been there before.”
“I believe that I have made good sound decisions”, said City Council candidate, retired Santa Maria Police officer and former City Councilman Mike Cordero, “I believe I owe this community, when I came here I had a motorcycle and a job.”
“My focus is bringing jobs to the city, good, smart jobs, back office jobs that are hi-tech in the Bay Area, and from Los Angeles”, said Council candidate Hector Martinez, “actively and aggressively go after those companies.”
“I’m not a politician, I don’t pretend to be, I don’t have all the answers”, said Council candidate Ed Hernandez, “but I’m a guy who gets things done and I do believe I could serve the people well of the City of Santa Maria.”
The candidates forum was hosted by the League of Women Voters and the Santa Maria Times.
Vote by mail ballots will start going out to registered voters in Central Coast counties early next month.