Sat, Apr 21 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampité
Larry Breitfelder founded the Chula Vista Taxpayers Association in 2005 after learning that, since the ’80s, the city had accumulated nearly $400 million in infrastructure costs. He calls himself an advocate for fiscal reform in Chula Vista.
Breitfelder, 51, was born in Tijuana but has lived in Chula Vista the majority of his life.
He is running against three other candidates, including Seat 3 incumbent Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan.
In 2010 he lost a narrow race to current Councilwoman Pat Aguilar.
Breitfelder received his bachelor’s degree in international relations at the University of San Diego.
His top three priorities are improving the local economy, quality of life and public safety.
Breitfelder said his mission is to enhance the quality of life in the neighborhoods with the resources the city gets from new jobs.
“Everything the city does should be directed toward improving the quality of life for Chula Vista,” he said. “Good neighborhood services means a healthy local economy.”
Breitfelder said that there are two primary aspects to being a council member.
“One is good planning and decision making,” he said. “The other is communicating with people so you’re getting good information.”
Breitfelder said the state of the local economy is hurting quality of life in every way and if elected to council he would reach out to bring more business into the city.
“Chula Vista desperately needs a team to recruit key companies,” he said. “I would get on the phone with some key business leaders and follow that with a presentation to my colleagues to bring good jobs in.”
Breitfelder said the key to attracting and retaining businesses in the city is to simplify regulations so they are less burdensome.
“Right now regulations are detailed and not outcome-oriented,” he said. “We need to be able to improve productivity.”
Breitfelder said that a better local economy can be created without raising taxes and that in an attempt to level out the imbalance between housing and job opportunities, the city must resist the temptation to raise taxes.
“Raising taxes causes more problems than it solves,” he said.
As far as public safety, Breitfelder said that some members of council are dragging their feet.
“Public safety is being compromised,” he said. “Neighborhoods have to be safe. Safety and good schools are attractive to people who want to move here.”
Breitfelder said in order for the city to progress, leaders must have the integrity to explain what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
“Then if there’s a mistake down the road, we can work as a team and adjust it,” he said.
As far as his position on district elections, which the public will vote on in November, Breitfelder said he is for creating districts because it benefits neighborhoods and helps curb special interests.
“When you have a neighborhood election, people can get to know candidates on a one-to-one basis and all the special interest spending in the world can’t overcome one good conversation,” he said.
Breitfelder said he stands out by already having provided positive leadership for the community through the taxpayer association.
“I feel like I can work well with all council members and can help them build bridges where they clearly need to be built,” Breitfelder said. “We need leadership that builds bridges and brings people together. We’ll never accomplish anything meaningful without it.”
For the last few months, Breitfelder has had meetings with the public at Starbucks on Medical Center Drive and East Palomar every Friday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Breitfelder said if elected to office, he would continue to have neighborhood meetings.
“Explaining issues and positions sometimes in advance is a key responsibility of leadership and I will do my best to meet high standards,” he said. “You have to do what’s right for everyone all the time to provide a mentorship and business and social and civic leadership.”
Breitfelder is endorsed by the Chula Vista Police Officer’s Association and the Deputy Sheriffs Association.
© 2009 The Star-News