I along with my three brothers and one sister were born in Mexico. We all grew up in the Castle Park area, went to school at Castle Park Elementary, Loma Verde Elementary (1st class when it opened) , Castle Park Junior High and then Castle park High. I have a wife and we have been married for 39 years. My wife Debi and I have two daughters and four grandchildren.
I became a naturalized citizen in 1982 and soon after joined the Escondido Fire Department where I served as a firefighter for 29 years. After I retired from Escondido Fire Department, I was asked by staff at Sweetwater High School to teach students how to become firefighters. I took on that position and spent 6 years teaching students firefighting skills. My goal was to provide my students (mostly minority students) with the knowledge and skills to be able to complete for a career in the fire service. I also spent time in an after school engineering program teaching students about advanced manufacturing which included the use of CAD (computer aided drafting), CAM (computer aided manufacturing), how to use a LASER and a CNC machine. I love using my hands and enjoy wood and metal working as well as repairing stuff.
During my last year of teaching the fire science class I learned that the mother of one of my student’s was deported back to Mexico and that the student had been homeless for some time. My wife and I decided to accept him into our home and work with him to prepare him for a fire service career. He is currently working for American Medical Response (AMR) as an EMT. He is also participating in AMR’s BRIDGE program which prepares their EMT’s for paramedic training. He has recently began testing with different fire departments and hopefully he will soon achieve his dream of becoming a firefighter. My wife and I are so proud of this young man.
My wife and I are very involved in our church. We have taught Sunday school together. I ran our Salt and Light Ministry and now I am very involved in prison ministry work.
During my last 3 years at City Hall, I have been working hard to bring the much needed resources to west Chula Vista. You told me the east side of town gets everything and that it’s time the west side gets it’s much needed improvements. Well, during my first term, I think I have begun to deliver on just that.
In 2016, the Chula Vista voters approved Measure ‘P’ which was a half cent sales tax for repairing or replacing existing infrastructure. The good news is that west Chula Vista has received most of that funding. You sent me to City hall to make sure the west side gets it’s fair share, well, we have gotten more than that. We have resurfaced and repaved over 18 miles of streets in west Chula Vista. I told you we would get ride of pot holes, I have done that! You asked me to get new sidewalks built and we added over 12,000 feet of new sidewalk!
The city has not met it’s police and fire response times for years. I pushed hard to increase staffing on our fire engines and as a result of that, we have increased our response times. In fact, for the first time in years, the fire department is now meeting it’s response time requirements. We still have some work to do on the police side. We are hiring many new police officers and I hope to have our police meeting their response times very soon.
We are very close to re-opening the Lauderbach Recreation Center. South Bay Community Services and Love Thy Neighbor will both be providing our community with many services to help our families in west Chula Vista. We are also in the design phase of adding a new modern soccer field in this park. That project is over one million dollars. At Loma Verde Recreation Center, we have resurfaced the pool and are actually planning a complete tear down and rebuilding that center. The gym has never been functional due to it’s low ceiling. The new center will allow it to be what it should have been from the beginning, a center where you can play basketball, volley ball and many other great indoor activities.
I told you I would work hard to make sure we get the Bay Front project done. Well, we did that too! That project will totally transform the bayfront and add over 7000 jobs and create over 1 billion dollars of economic activity in the south bay region.
There is still a lot to do and I’m asking for you to continue to trust in me like you did in the 2016 election. I now have a proven track record and wish to continue that for another four years.