|S.L. Debate: Youth|
What programs do you have planned for youth?
|S.L. Debate: Congestion|
What can be done about traffic congestion at the border?
|S.L. Debate: Understanding of law|
Do you thoroughly comprehend the legal consequences set forth by local, state and federal regulations?
|S.L. Debate: Sales tax|
Should San Luis consider raising its sales tax to bring in needed revenue?
|S.L. Debate: Revenue sources|
What if any new revenue sources should San Luis seek as it looks for ways to balance the budget?
|S.L. Debate: Recalls|
In recent years members of successive city councils in San Luis have been targeted for recall - have these recall drives served a purpose or are they disruptive?
|S.L. Debate: Expectations|
Would you as mayor have any expectations of the citizens of San Luis and what would they be?
|S.L. Debate: Cost-cutting|
At a time when the recession is forcing everyone to cut back, what cost-cutting measures must the city of San Luis take?
|S.L. Debate: Stimulate growth|
What will you do to stimulate growth in San Luis?
|S.L. Debate: Severance|
What is a severance package and how does it work? Explain the use of severance packages in San Luis.
|S.L. Debate: Walmart|
Why was Ms. Riedel so against bringing a Walmart to San Luis?
|S.L. Debate: Credit cards|
What is your opinion on using city credit cards for personal use?
|S.L. Debate: Measurement|
What are the standards you use to measure the efficiency of your government?
|S.L. Debate: Changing seats|
What is your opinion of the mayor changing seats with a city council member?
|S.L. Debate: Debt|
How will San Luis pay off past debt?
|S.L. Debate: 'Big box' ordinance|
The 'big box' ordinance was adopted in the past to block Walmart - what assurances do residents have that this won't happen again?
|S.L. Debate: Budget|
What measures are needed to make sure the city budget will not be negative?
|S.L. Debate: Endorsements|
Do you endorse any of the candidates running for city council seats and if so who?
|S.L. Debate: Office of mayor|
Do you see yourself as a mayor who would have a high profile in the community or one who would work behind the scenes for the city?
|S.L. Debate: Traffic|
Aside from the opening of the new commercial port of entry, what steps need to be taken to reduce traffic congestion at the border?
|S.L. Debate: Police Chief|
The City of San Luis is in the process of hiring a new chief of police - what should be the essential traits of the new chief?
|S.L. Debate: Infrastructure|
In the recent decades, San Luis has grown faster than any other city in Yuma County - what infrastructure improvements need to be made for future growth?
|S.L. Debate: New investors|
Where would you draw the line in offering incentives to new investors?
|S.L. Debate: Incentives|
What incentives will you offer to bring in new business to the city of San Luis?
|S.L. Debate: Why you?|
Why are you running for the office of mayor of San Luis, Arizona?
|S.L. Debate: Greatest assets|
What do you believe is the greatest asset of San Luis, Arizona?
|S.L. Debate: Morale|
What can you as mayor do to maintain or improve the morale of city employees, many who may be worried about losing their jobs?
|S.L. Debate: Diversification|
What opportunities are there for San Luis to diversify its economy?
|S.L. Debate: City jobs|
Should all applicants for city positions be San Luis residents or be required to relocate to the city?
|S.L. Debate: Police Dept.|
In 2009 a former employee of the S.L. Police Department was arrested on suspicion of theft from evidence storage - do changes need to be made to the police dept. and if so, what?
|S.L. Debate: Style|
Describe your leadership style.
|S.L. Debate: Sister city|
What, if anything, needs to be done to strengthen the relationship with San Luis, Rio Colorado, Mexico, the sister city across the border?
|S.L. Debate: Education|
What partnerships should be formed with local school districts to improve the level of education and educational opportunities in San Luis?
|S.L. Debate: Storm drainage|
Recent storms revealed the need for flood control in the city of San Luis - what should be done about this?
|S.L. Debate: Taxis|
Should San Luis place a limit on the number of taxis or taxi companies operating in the city?
|San Luis debate: Opening statements|
San Luis mayoral candidates, incumbent mayor, Juan Carlos Escamilla, and Nieves Riedel, a San Luis contractor and former mayor and councilwoman, participated in a debate Saturday (1-30-10) sponsored by Bajo El Sol.
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San Luis mayoral candidates debate
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Two candidates for mayor of this city disagreed over most issues in a debate Saturday night but found common ground on some subjects.
The city has matured politically since the days in the last decade when past mayors and council members were targeted in recurring recall petitions drives and elections.
Both the incumbent mayor, Juan Carlos Escamilla, and his opponent, Nieves Riedel, a San Luis contractor and former mayor and councilwoman, agreed that recalls should be a tool reserved for removing incumbents for wrongdoing in office, and not for targeting them over their political positions.
Escamilla and Riedel, who will face each other in the city’s March 9 primary election, met at the Cesar Chavez Cultural Center in San Luis in a debate organized by Bajo El Sol, Arizona Western College and the Community Leadership Alliance of San Luis.
One area where the candidates did disagree was the subject of economic development.
Escamilla characterized the city’s economic growth as strong despite the fact that the nation is in the grips of a recession.
Riedel, however, said San Luis does not offer sufficient employment opportunities for its residents, and said City Hall should be adding more infrastructure and creating more incentives to attract business and industry.
Riedel and Escamilla also fielded a question about whether last year’s arrest of a former police department evidence technician pointed to a need to make changes within the department.
Esperanza Zambrano, who had earlier resigned from the department, was arrested in September by police on suspicion of theft from the police evidence storage.
A judge later ordered her released from jail because she was not brought before him for an initial appearance by the police within the 24-hour time limit required by state law. The Yuma County Attorney’s Office eventually declined to prosecute the former employee, citing a lack of sufficient proof provided by investigators.
Escamilla declined to answer the question, saying the case was the subject of an ongoing investigation.
Riedel said Zambrano’s arrest was a “rush to judgment” that impugned her reputation.
The candidates also took questions from the audience, one of whom asked the mayor if council members and other city officials were making proper use of city credit cards issued to them. Escamilla asserted that there has been no improper or irregular use of the cards.
Riedel took a question from the audience about why the city had incurred a debt of tens of millions of dollars during the years she previously served on the council.
She said part of the debt had been carried over from prior councils, and said the remainder stemmed from the needed construction of new buildings to house city departments, among them City Hall and the police and fire stations.
Cesar Neyoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6890.