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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 25th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 33

Buellton's potential leaders sound off

The Sun talks to the three candidates running for two City Council seats

Amy Asman

This year, three people with experience on the Buellton City Council are running for election: mayor Holly Sierra, vice mayor David King, and interim council member Leo Elovitz. The Sun sent each of the candidates a list of questions designed to learn more about their platforms as they each vie for one of two seats. Here are their answers:

What motivated you to run for Buellton City Council?

Leo Elovitz: I have lived in Buellton for 18 years, raising two teenage children here. In the first six months of this year, I served on the council as an interim appointment and realized how much untapped potential Buellton has to be a much more interesting community for those who live here and those who visit. I have the skills to help make this happen.


David King
PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID KING
David King: Back in 2007, there were some projects developing in Buellton that were changing the small-town character of my city. Additionally, a zoning ordinance was moving forward in City Council that would allow for 45-feet-tall buildings with an increase in density (more houses on less land.) I helped reverse that ordinance. There was also some wasteful spending that I believed could be reduced to balance the city budget.

Holly Sierra: I wanted to run for City Council because I live and work in Buellton. I have been here 14 years, and I love this community. I want to keep this community involved and with a feeling that everyone has a voice, that what we do matters, and that I am in a position to voice public opinion.

What qualifies you to hold a seat?

Elovitz: I am well educated and have worked successfully in the private sector in the communications and marketing fields for 22 years. Because the other candidates have worked their entire lives in the public sector, I would bring a very different “customer-oriented” perspective to the council. I have also had extensive experience in project management and getting results—on time and on budget. Buellton has a history of commissioning studies, but failing to follow through to achieve results. I can make things happen on the ground.

King: Being in law enforcement, you are required to investigate complex issues and determine facts. I have come across issues that have a total misconception due to rumors and misinformation. I have always determined what the facts are in each issue, and supported or rejected the issue based on facts. I have also studied issues for several years that will financially benefit the residents of Buellton. Over the past four years, I have helped reduce the budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Holly Sierra
PHOTO COURTESY OF HOLLY SIERRA
Sierra: I am qualified to hold this position because I have had the honor of serving for four years on City Council. I work in the community and am accessible to all residents. I am the postmaster in Buellton and work with the public on a daily basis. I run my post office with a tight budget and know how important it is to be fiscally responsible.

What are your three main goals, if elected?

Elovitz:

Assure the city’s financial health and prosperity.

• Pursue an economic development plan appropriate for our community.

• Develop new and better ways to keep the public informed and give them a voice on city issues.

King:

Continue to reduce wasteful spending.

• Develop Buellton with the best interest of residents in mind by keeping it a small town without high-density business parks and housing.

• Encourage local residents to attend council meetings and get involved.

Sierra:

• Keep the city safe, especially in regard to pedestrian safety on Highway 246, and fiscally sound.

• Finish the visioning process and prioritize residents’ goals and begin implementation of the plans, including Avenue of Flags, Village Specific (across from Albertsons), branding, economic development, and green growth.

• Continue with PAWS Dog Park to get a ground cover.


Leo Elovitz
PHOTO COURTESY OF LEO ELOVITZ
Elovitz: Buellton needs to diversify its revenue sources and actively recruit more small businesses to locate here so that more people who live here can work, shop, and play here. Rather than building more housing, which costs the city to provide services (schools, fire, police), I would like to see the focus on economic development consistent with Buellton’s small-town character. I would like to see Buellton invest wisely for the future in infrastructure that will support enhanced values to business and residential property.

King: We were faced with an approximate $200,000 increase in the sheriff’s service contract. Painfully, we were forced to reduce the days of service at the sheriff’s substation. Additionally, we had to cut the school resources officer position. I was not in favor of cutting any road patrol positions. We also cut thousands out of the city budget. I have been keeping—and will continue to keep—an eye on the city budget.

Sierra: Our city, like many others, has to worry about financial concerns. This fiscal year we went through each budget item line by line. We took cuts in every department and saved the city more than $300,000 over the next fiscal year. I believe you need to work to keep a balanced budget and keep an eye on the budget throughout the year. m

Contact Managing Editor Amy Asman at aasman@santamariasun.com.