Chula Vista Councilwoman Pat Aguilar received 10,265 votes or 48 percent of the 21,306 votes cast in the June election, making her the top vote getter amongst the five candidates in her race.
She hopes to keep the momentum going in with the hopes that voters will reelect her Nov. 4 to serve on seat two of the City Council.
In the city of Chula Vista, the November election is referred to as a special election.
Although, being the highest vote getter is an honor, Aguilar said there are challenges to it.
“I’ve had trouble trying to raise money because I’ll call somebody and say hey ‘Can you help out with the campaign?’ and they’ll say ‘you don’t need any help you’re going to win,” Aguilar said.
As of Sept. 30, Aguilar said she has collected nearly $40,000 for her campaign.
Aguilar,61, said despite her supporters and donors’ claims of victory, she isn’t taking that attitude.
Instead she said she chose to work hard on the campaign trail and hopes that her work pays off in November.
Aguilar, the incumbent in her race said she is running for reelection because she wants to continue to get things done at City Hall.
Aguilar said one of her accomplishments in her first term was voting for the requirement of all firefighters to get trained as a paramedic.
“When I got on to the council, Chula Vista was the only city in the county whose firefighters were not trained as paramedics,” she said.
She also said with a 3 to 2 vote, she voted in favor of putting Proposition B on the ballot. Proposition B was approved by the voters to break the city of Chula Vista into voting districts.
Another highlight she said was reducing taxes and lowering fees in the city. Aguilar said she helped reduce the telecommunications tax from 5 percent to 4.5 percent. She also help reduced the business tax on hotels and motels.
She also said it is difficult to accomplish things in one-term and that most elected officials need two- terms to accomplish all that they want too.
She said if reelected, her goal is to get construction started on the university project.
“It’s my highest priority if reelected,” she said.
Aguilar is currently working with assemblywoman Shirley Weber in trying to bring the university to fruition.
Aguilar’s other focus will be the job market.
“Our problem is we need to get jobs here, we need to get businesses here, that’s the problem,” she said. “I don’t see
it as attracting people. People are going to come. Residents are going to come here.”
Aguilar said that the construction of the bayfront isn’t the entire answer into bringing more jobs.
“I don’t believe the bayfront is my answer to how do we attract jobs?” she said. “The bayfront is going to be hotels and condos, not really a place that generates jobs. Hotels will generate jobs but mostly service level jobs.”
Aguilar said she has a two-prong approach in bringing jobs to Chula Vista.
She said in the short- term the city needs to protect lands that are zoned for office and industrial use.
She said in the past developers would come and want to change zoning from industrial to commercial use.
Her second approach is to market Chula Vista more effectively.
“The truth of the matter is there is a wealth of small businesses here who are doing really well,” she said. “Once people know about them, other businesses out there will go ‘hey Chula Vista is a good place to move my business.’”
Her long-term plan to bring more jobs to Chula Vista revolves around the construction of the four-year university.
Aguilar points to how UC San Diego transformed the Torrey Pines area into a biomedical powerhouse.
Aguilar said she still has unfinished business.
“I want to finish my (second) term and then I want to retire,” she said.