City Council candidates: Do you favor term limits for the Paramount City Council? (200 words maximum):

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Isabel Aguayo

Answer
Yes, term limits are necessary in Paramount. One of the arguments against term limits is that people are better at their jobs with time and experience. While this may be true for other professions in public service this is not necessarily the case all the time. Lack of term limits can create complacency and instead of being viewed as public servants our elected officials become career politicians sometimes losing sight of what truly matters, serving the people. Term limits allow our leaders to focus on issues at hand instead of possibly focusing on the next election and how to win. We all know that change is often difficult but term limits allow us to gain fresh and new ideas possibly giving our elected officials the courage to speak up about issues and get things moving to benefit the people they serve. It also encourages voting, placing the trust and responsibility in the hands of the people. In Paramount term limits will allow our elected officials to do what is intended: perform an act of civic duty and serve our residents.

 

Alfredo Banuelos

 

Answer
For one, true democracy must reflect the ever going cultural, and economic demographic shifts in the population from which elected representatives are chosen. Paramount stands out as a city where most of their current elected officials have been holding on to their seats for nearly three decades. The self-perpetuation of career politicians who maintain their seats due to entrenched political alliances, corporate contributors, and vast knowledge of the financial, legal and publicity intricacies of political campaigns, represents an unacceptable danger to the democratic process in paramount. Hence, term limits would actually represent a closer approximation to real democratic values by which many attempt to argue in opposition. All elections thereafter would be more equitable, because competition would actually be closer to equal. This tangible gap between the demographic reality of paramount and the politicians at the helm of our city creates inherent cultural blind spots and a visible lack of representation. For this reason, I strongly favor term limits in order to have an inclusive democratic process that is reflective of all our citizens of paramount. The hope of new candidates is to further fuel the imagination that is so necessary for progress at anything. Term limits are fundamentally democratic.

 

Luis Bautista

 

Answer
Yes we need term limits for all Paramount elected officials. Terms limits are good for City Council and also for members of the Paramount School District Board of Education. Currently, Paramount City Council members may serve an unlimited number of City Council terms, some have already exceeded over 20 years. This current practice is not good for the people as leaders get overly comfortable in their current positions; this slippery-slope allows for situations of abuse of power. As a public servant it is my duty to protect our community.
In many situations power attracts the wrong people and corrupts the good. Therefore, we need leaders that are free from any desire of power or financial gain, Paramount deserves leaders with a heart willing to serve all people from all walks of life.
As a Councilmember, I will push for term limits to be placed on the Paramount 2022 election ballot not to exceed 12 years.
A great majority of Paramount’s voters support term limits as reported in recent online polls and one paid by the Paramount School District.
I will keep my promise and lifelong vision to empower our youth so that with the right guidance they can become our future leaders.
www.Luibautista2020.com

 

Ardi Davari

 

Answer
We absolutely need term limits for all Paramount elected officials. This includes members of the Paramount School District Board of Education. Currently, Paramount City Council members may serve an unlimited number of City Council terms exceeding 20 years. Councilmember Diane Martinez resigned recently in her 25th year on the Council and Councilmember Peggy Lemons is in her 23rd year. It’s time for term limits. As a Councilmember, I will push for a term limits to be placed on the Paramount 2022 election ballot not to exceed 12 years.
Approximately 90% of all Paramount’s voters support term limits as reported in recent online polls and one paid by the Paramount School District. Term limits are good enough for the President of our country (8 years total) and are good enough for all Paramount elected officials.
In our community there are many great residents that have a lot of untapped potential for leadership in our community. With no term limits, the same residents keep the same offices for years upon years, in Paramount for over two decades. With term limits more residents will run for office and the voters will have a wider choice of who they can select to represent them.

 

Jose De Leon

 

Answer
I must admit that it sounds odd to talk about democracy as a problem in the City of Paramount. Usually discussions about the absence of democracy involve far away undeveloped countries. Yet, here in Paramount we have politicians that have staunchly held on to their seats for more than twenty years. As it happens in foreign authoritarian countries, many of these politicians here in Paramount represent powerful interests and work in unison to maintain the political, economic, and cultural status quo. Recently, as a clear example of the lack of democracy in Paramount, in a blatant disregard for democracy, the incumbent career politicians, who now represent a minority of the population of Paramount, arrogantly rejected elections and true community input, and chose, to appoint a member of their political team to fill the suddenly and mysteriously abandoned seat held by Dianne Martinez. The only way the community and citizens of Paramount can break the political stranglehold of the career politicians who now view their council seats as a personal right, is to immediately implement term limits, as I have been long proposing as a community organizer and candidate for the Paramount City Council.

 

Allen Gomez

No answer received by deadline.

 

Rebecca Guillen Perez

 

Answer
Yes, I do favor term limits. Term limits are important because they allow elected officials to welcome new voices and ideas. Term limits can also create a much-needed diversity on our council to better reflect the changing population of our city. One way to ensure this is for our elected officials to support, groom and encourage the next generation of leaders who will continue to change our city for the better.
This would allow more people to be attracted to public service! New members would bring in fresh and innovative intentions. Existing council could be emboldened to spend their political capital on more cutting-edge legislation and buck the status quo especially in their final term. It can also be a painless way to ease out council members who really aren’t engaged or positively affecting the vision of the city.
Get in, do a good job and then pass the baton over to someone else through a fair election process! It is a public service-not a career.

 

Austin Moreno

 

Answer
With all due respect to hard-working public servants throughout the country, I support term limits across all levels of government, from local offices to federal offices.

 

Moses Huerta

 

Answer
I favor term limits on City Council members because I believe that with regular turnover of City Council members, our city will have the opportunity to hear diverse and fresh perspectives that reflect the changing culture, economy and concerns within our community. In addition, this will help younger voices be heard, helping our city to stay vibrant, and limit complacency.

 

Brenda Olmos

 

Answer
I do favor term limits for the Paramount City Council.
While I would love to think there will always be residents who are ready and willing to serve our beautiful community, I acknowledge that being a public servant is not for everyone. This is why I have a hard time with the idea of disqualifying qualified and experienced incumbents because they have reached their maximum allowed terms. With that said, I believe the answer is term limits with a “cooling off” period. A cooling off period would allow former councilmembers to run for office following a break in service.
When looking at term limits we must acknowledge that new councilmembers bring new ideas and a fresh look at important issues. Seasoned councilmembers bring experience, relationships and institutional knowledge to the table. Allowing both new and experienced councilmembers to serve together will give our city the ability to receive the best of both worlds. In conclusion, I feel term limits with a ‘cooling off’ period will ease resident concerns while allowing experienced individuals to continue serving their community in the future.
I am here to serve, here to listen, and ready to work for the people of Paramount.

 

Alvin Parks

 

Answer
Yes I am in favor of term limits for City Council Members. This gives other residents who show an interest in becoming a council member a better chance, rather than waiting a longer period of time. I am so sure we have a lots of wonderful residents here in Paramount with good ideas for the welfare of our fine city. Term limits would give others a chance. This just seems fair to me. My understanding the term limit now is 4 years. I’d personally fine and proud if elected to serve a 2 year term limit. I would do whatever I can in either term limit time frame.

 

Vilma Cuellar Stallings

No answer received by deadline. Editor’s note: Stallings recently advised the Paramount Journal editor by phone that she sent the answer by FedEx. However, the editor never saw it.