Somerton council candidate seeks involvement by residents in city government
SOMERTON — This is the last in a series of profiles on the candidates running for mayor and city council in Somerton's primary election on Tuesday.
The two candidates for mayor are the incumbent, Martin Porchas, and Vice Mayor Arturo Magana. Candidates for the three open council seats are incumbents Miguel Villalpando and Gerardo Anaya and challengers Carlos Gonzalez, Francisco Vasquez, Arturo Vargas and Patricia Miranda.
All candidates except Vargas were previously profiled.
Why did you decide to run for the city council?
ARTURO VARGAS: To get more involved in the community, to have a greater voice in representing the people and the community. Also because a group of people asked me to run for council, and they think I can represent them well on the council.
What can you contribute to the efforts of the council and the progress of Somerton?
VARGAS: Experience. I served four years previously on the city council. Plus, my community involvement.
What is Somerton's principal challenge or problem?
VARGAS: Lack of participation. Few residents go to the council meetings, so the council has to go to them, since the reason that the council members are there is to represent the community. It's a problem that we have had for a long time, so the needs of the community are totally unknown and are harder to resolve.
What would you do or propose to do to resolve this?
VARGAS: As a representative of the community, (a council member) has to go to them, to have meetings in their neighborhoods, go see what they want. It's going to be hard to get the residents to go to the meetings. If that hasn't worked, then what has to be done is the reverse.
What would you do to reinforce or change the conduct of the council?
VARGAS: It all depends on what the people want, and I'm going to focus on that. It's the residents who decide, and I'm going to do what they say.
What message do you have for voters?
VARGAS: The main thing is that they go to vote. When there's a presidential election, we see long lines at the polls, but for council elections, we see few people. I would like for voters to take part in the local election in the same numbers that they do in the presidential elections.