SANTA MARIA, Calf. - A familiar face on the Santa Maria City Council -- and in the community -- is running unopposed for reelection to the second district seat.
Councilman Mike Cordero says, "I believe I still have something to offer with the new people coming on, the youth."
Cordero, a retired law enforcement officer, is seeking his third term on the Santa Maria City Council representing District Two, which comprises the center and northeast sides of the city.
Cordero says the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 remain a major challenge for the city.
"The economy is suffering drastically with how to re-open, how to re-open safely, so all of these things are great challenges."
When it comes to building affordable housing and housing for a growing homeless population, Cordero says the city is doing its best given limited financial resources.
"Are we doing everything we can?" Cordero asks, "I'm sure someone could come up with something and say we could do this. We're doing a lot with it and it's better here than it is in many other places."
Having been in the city for about 50 years, Cordero says racism, race relations and social justice in Santa Maria should be a concern for everyone in the community.
"Is it here? Probably so. Is it a reality we all have to deal with? Yes. Is it something that is systemic in our community? I don't believe it is."
Like other local cities, Santa Maria is dipping into reserve funds to meet the needs of the community and provide essential services.
Money, Cordero says, would not be there without the foresight of previous city councils.
"Santa Maria is hurting like everyone else but we're in a lot better shape than many other communities because of our reserve funds and the councils that took care of us long before they left their seats."
For more information on Cordero or to hear from the other candidates running in our local elections, visit the NewsChannel 2020 Voter Guide.