October 15, 2012 -- This is the 11th in a series of posts that provides the answers to questions by candidates in the November 6 race for Santa Monica City Council. The answers from the candidates will be posted in the order they were received.
Name: Tony Vazquez
Profession: Local/Small Business Owner
Birth place: Baja, California
Running for: City Council
Status: Married with two children
1. How long have you lived in Santa Monica? 30 years
In what neighborhood do you live? Sunset Park
2. Describe yourself in 10 words or less. Long-time community advocate and former City Councilmember with deep commitment to our City
3. What was your first job? Paper route boy for the Vanguard Newspaper
4. Describe your history of community involvement, if any, in 75 words or less. I first got involved with Santa Monica politics in 1973 as a student at Santa Monica College through student government and then later in City politics
LIMIT YOUR ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS TO 50 WORDS OR LESS:
5. How would you rate the current City Council? What particular decisions stand out for you that made you form that opinion?
6. What is the most frequent complaint you hear on the campaign trail? What do you plan to do about it? Traffic (refer to question #10)
7. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:
There are already enough jobs in Santa Monica, so the city doesn't need more commercial development. Yes
8. Should Santa Monica residents be allowed to vote on major development agreements? Why or why not? I believe they vote now by electing City Councilmembers who agree with them now on development issues.
9. Do you believe developers have undue influence on City government? No
10. How would you solve the traffic problem in Santa Monica? Working with the appropriate officials to review the City’s transportation plan and prioritize areas of concern will be a major priority. Since I live and work in Santa Monica, I walk, bike and drive throughout the city on a daily basis, and have personally experienced the same frustration as other commuters and know first-hand some of the trouble spots that need improvement. One such example is the synchronization of traffic lights and traffic flow on Ocean Park Boulevard. Since our City is a hub for employment without sufficient housing for our workforce, we need to utilize mass transit such as the Expo rail and rapid bus transit in bringing our workforce into the City in a more effective manner.
11. If Santa Monica has the authority to shut down the airport, should it do so? Yes
12. With which statement do you agree more:
Tourism is an important part of Santa Monica's image and a major revenue source and should be encouraged. Agree
There are too many tourists in Santa Monica and businesses are catering to tourists at the expense of locals.
13. True or False: Santa Monica has become Beverly Hills by the Sea. False
14. With which statements do you agree. You can pick more than one.
Creates blight and brings crime.
Pays back hotel and restaurant union workers for their political support in the past
Creates more tenants to vote for Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMMR) candidates
Addresses a legitimate need, especially in Santa Monica
15. In the past ten years, the number of laws passed by the Santa Monica City Council has increased from 32 in 2002 to 48 last year. This is:
A reasonable response to the concerns of residents.
A council that tries to please everyone
A council that believes it knows what's best for the city and likes to impose its will.
16. Santa Monica's contribution to employee pensions has risen from $10 million a year a decade ago to $40 million and growing today. To help pay for its growing contribution Santa Monica should:
Lay off workers
Generate more cash by increasing development
Increase local taxes.
17. Do you support Measure ES, a $385 million bond to build and improve Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District facilities? Yes
18. Has Santa Monica successfully addressed the homeless problem? I believe it’s doing its fair share
19. Do you believe Santa Monica is a segregated city? Somewhat
20. Do community groups play an important role in Santa Monica? Yes
21. Which of the following statements do you agree with.
Santa Monica is:
Doing enough to encourage biking Yes
Not doing enough to encourage biking
Doing too much to encourage biking
22. Do you support a law banning smoking in apartment and condo units?
23. What is your favorite place in Santa Monica? My neighborhood Least favorite place? Ocean Park Blvd during rush hour
24. What is the last piece of music you bought? Searching for Sugar Man By Rodriguez
25. If you were emperor with absolute authority for a day and could do one thing for Santa Monica, what would it be? Make sure everyone in Santa Monica was well educated