Three questions for six Redding Metropolis Council candidates

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Redding City Council candidates, clockwise from left, Adam McElvain, Mark Mezzano, Jack Munns, Monique Welin, Julie Winter and David Robbins. (Photo: Contributed)

It’s a crowded field for Redding City Council.

Six candidates are running for two seats on the council this Nov. 3.

The Record Searchlight asked the candidates three questions about their campaigns. Their answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Adam McElvain (Photo: Contributed photo)

Adam McElvain

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

I am running for re-election because I believe we have a brighter future ahead. I’m a business owner, veteran, father, husband and mayor. Public safety is stronger, and citywide investment is setting records. I want to continue that momentum and would be honored to have your vote Nov. 3.

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

I have been attending city council meetings since 2006 and served as city commissioner for over seven years. I have strong knowledge and history of Redding. I am the only business owner running and have valuable experience in the private sector. I understand technology and its role in the 21st-century economy.

What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

Public safety, housing and homelessness:

  1. We have rebuilt our Community Service Officer program, which has significantly reduced emergency response times, and total crimes have dropped three years in a row. Our fire department is bigger than it’s ever been in the history of our city, and we are far more prepared to fight wildfires.
  2. After making historic reductions to city fees we have 550 affordable housing units planned to be built.
  3. Public safety will still be my top priority, and I will continue to support solutions to help with housing and the homeless crisis.

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Mark Mezzano (Photo: Contributed photo)

Mark Mezzano

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

I am running for Redding City Council because I’m the most qualified to represent our citizens. My 28 years of service with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be of great benefit if we are to rebuild our police department to the level needed for the highest level of service.

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

I am retired and am willing to work full-time as a council member. A city of this size deserves full commitment if we are to act in the best interest of our citizens. I have been a career civil servant and wish to continue my service for our city.

What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

Public safety, homelessness and economic recovery:

  1. With a crime rate 70% higher than the national average, public safety is a top priority.  The strength of our police department is far from that of 2008. We need 25 more officers if we are to feel safe and hold the criminal element accountable. 
  2. I have talked to more than 2,000 people in recent months and they overwhelmingly indicate the homeless crisis is their top priority.  I have made it one of my three campaign priorities. 
  3. We must place a priority on assisting our local businesses in recovering from the financial devastation of Covid-19.

More: Redding Rancheria makes $31,000 political donation to City Council challenger Mark Mezzano

Jack Munns (Photo: Contributed photo)

Jack Munns

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

I’m running for city council to make a difference. I have a proven record in dealing with the two biggest issues in Redding: Homelessness and crime. As a police officer, I patrolled the streets of Reno, and I founded a program to reduce child abuse/neglect among the homeless. 

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

  • Education: I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in social work. 
  • Experience: I developed a program to improve the lives of homeless children and families. I was a police officer/sergeant for 21 years. 
  • Leadership: I was a casino pit boss, a sergeant who supervised officers and the training of new recruits/sergeants.

What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

Homelessness, crime and Covid-19:

  1. The homeless issue is out of control with no plan to solve it. These three things are needed to help solve this issue: People, resources and money. 
  2. With the lack of police officers and no accountability for those who commit crimes, crime has risen to epidemic proportions. 
  3. Covid-19 has brought disease and fear. We are drowning in the governmental bureaucracy that is supposed to help. However, shutting down businesses, not letting people make a living to support their families will create a far greater series of negative effects than COVID ever will. 

More: North State lawmakers, challengers adjust to campaigning in a COVID-19 world

David Robbins (Photo: Contributed photo)

David Robbins

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

In short, I’m running because we keep trying to meet the same old problems with the same old ineffective “solutions.” It’s time for bold new ideas that address the root causes of these problems and I believe I can offer that.

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

For me, this is personal. My generation specifically has been expected to do more with less and less, and many of us feel the American dream eludes us. I’m here to fight for policies that benefit everyone — from millennials like me to anyone else who’s struggling or feels left behind.

What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

  1. The lack of leadership surrounding Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on our economy. With proper enforcement of CDC regulations we can safely and responsibly reopen — and stay open.
  2. California’s wildfires, exacerbated by the climate crisis, present a dire threat to our community. By localizing agriculture and weatherizing commercial and residential buildings we could provide proactive fire protection, mitigate environmental damage, and create jobs! 
  3. I have plans to address the housing crisis, including a housing first program, rent control, and free utilities to those making under $60,000 per year. 

More: As Election Day nears, here’s what voters need to know

Monique Welin (Photo: Contributed photo)

Monique Leona Welin

  • Occupation: None listed.
  • Age: 46

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

I only aspire to inspire before I expire. Renee Lacoste stated, “Life is a beautiful sport.” So, I’m playing my best hand, and like John Lewis, I only mean to engage in “good trouble” for the people, because I am pure in being a proponent of the people.

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

I’ll admit, I believe God actually has my back. I’m pragmatic, patriotic, altruistic, inclusive and I want to listen to the people. Since Sept. 19, 2017, I have practiced extemporaneous speaking legislatively because I believe this is at the heart of the people, and how I can reach the people.

What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

  1. The mental health of every single soul is important. We all have a mental health. So it is up to us to yield it to wield it.
  2. Then community safety because everyone needs to feel safe, and not be fearful of life.
  3. Once we feel safe to openly discuss the inequities inside our justice system and nation, we can flip those inequities to equitable, and equal justice for us all, to help us with our psychosocial issues.

Julie Winter (Photo: Contributed photo)

Julie Winter

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

I am running for re-election to keep the momentum going. We’ve made progress in public safety, budget sustainability, wildfire mitigation, downtown revitalization, affordable housing and economic growth. I want Redding to be a place where my children make their future.

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

My medical training provides me with excellent critical thinking skills. I’m able to diagnose root problems and gather data to make decisions that are based on best practices. Government rarely does anything on its own, and the broad ties that I have in the community have helped accomplish several projects.

What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

The economy, public safety and homelessness: 

I started City Club to highlight issues that improve our economy and I will continue to work with our business owners and start-up community to increase jobs. We are an outdoor lifestyle city, and like Bend, Oregon, we need to invest in our downtown, riverfront, bike and park trails to attract the mobile, skilled workers needed for businesses to grow. This in turn will provide the money that funds public safety and solutions for homelessness. I will push for increased police staffing and working with the county to address homelessness.

Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.

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