The Star-News


Little experience but plenty of heart

Sat, May 19 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampité

Local business owner Guillermo Brisseno is running for the Chula Vista City Council to help protect and serve small business owners.

He’s competing against Bob Castaneda, Larry Breitfelder and incumbent Pamela Bensoussan for seat 3.

As a small business owner himself, Brisseno said he understands the hassle of time-consuming procedures to accomplish projects in the city.

He said he often gets frustrated during City Council meetings when issues related to small businesses are discussed.

“I’d like to be a voice for small business owners,” he said. “We’d like some help from City Council with permits. We’ve gotta cut the red tape at City Hall.”

Brisseno, 45, said he’d like to eliminate the hoops that the city makes small business owners jump through in order to operate their businesses.

Brisseno owns Pacific Bay Auto in Chula Vista and has been self-employed since he was 27 years old.

He’s lived in Chula Vista for more than 30 years and studied business at Southwestern College for two years.
Brisseno said although he’s thought about running for City Council for the last six years, he wasn’t fully prepared to campaign this year.

“I just put my name in the hat,” he said. “I’ve talked to several businesses that said they will support me. All I can do is get out there and talk.”

Brisseno said that one of his priorities if elected would be to vamp up the communication efforts between elected officials and the public.

“The majority of people don’t vote,” he said. “Nine out of 10 (people) don’t know the issues going on in the city. We’ve got to get the word out somehow.”

Brisseno recommended using social media as a tool to update residents on current issues either through email, Twitter or a marquee at the corner of F Street.

“People don’t have a lot of time to go to meetings,” he said. “I think the City Council members should have an open forum once a week — something that’s interactive with the residents. Council members should be out there finding out what’s going on — talking to business owners.”

Brisseno said he built some condos a while back about a block away from City Hall.

“Going through the process was horrendous,” he said. “It took about a year to get everything settled. I think it should take a matter of weeks.”

Brisseno also said if he is given the opportunity to serve the city, he’d focus on bringing more quality jobs and an overall quality of life to the city.

“It’s very important to put housing along the bayfront,” he said. “You need businesses and housing, not just one or the other.”

Regarding district elections, Brisseno said he is short of details on the matter.

On the ballot this year is a measure allowing voters to choose if they want to change from at-large to district elections.

“I think it will help the council members do their job more efficiently but I don’t know how it’s gonna be done,” he said. “I’m saying that because I notice in the southwest there doesn’t seem to be any love in this area.”

Brisseno said he’s just a regular citizen who wants what’s good for everybody.

“I’m not a politician,” he said. “I don’t have anybody funding my campaign. I have no experience in politics — just what small business owners are facing today.”

Brisseno lives in Otay Ranch with his wife and three sons.


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