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Council Candidates Discuss Priorities for City's Future

Jose Estrella and incumbent Jim Navarro are the two candidates for one council seat on the Union City City Council.

One seat on the Union City City Council is up for grabs and this year newcomer Jose Estrella and incumbent Jim Navarro are both vying for the position.

Dozens of community members gathered Monday night to hear from the councilmember hopefuls in a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark and Union City.

The pair shared their top priorities and their perspectives on the city’s budget, public safety, businesses and more with attendees.

While both men had similar opinions on the various, Estrella said his top priority would be education while Navarro said his most important focus would be fiscal recovery.

Estrella noted that his goals would include working to provide youth with positive programs that would keep them focused on becoming educated so that they can develop into working adults.

With the loss of redevelopment funds, Navarro said fiscal recovery is the most critical piece he would focus on if re-elected. He said programs that “fight crime and promote public safety” and recruiting and retaining businesses are also on his list of top priorities.

When it comes to the city budget and whether budget cuts should be seen in public safety or leisure services, both candidates said both are key services.

“I’m not going to sit here and say one area is going to be cut and the other area is not,” Navarro said. “It’s going to be tough, and we’ve done that already and we’re going to continue to look at it but it’s important that every takes a share of cuts. “

Estrella said, “I think everything is important. As for me, preferably, I would like both to stay but if something has to stop…both should [take cuts].”

The two shared similar perspectives on keeping the city’s budget reservesa t 7.5 percent and consolidating services with the county in order to save monies, but in closing comments, the two talked about what they could bring to the table.

Estrella said while he might not have all the answers, he knows numbers. The tax  preparer noted that he can hold people accountable.

“I do taxes, and one thing I do know is I hold people accountable. Numbers don’t lie,” Estrella said. “I will hold city people…accountable to residents of Union City.

Navarro, who has served on the city council for eight years, said he would be honored to continue serving the city of Union City for another four-year term.

“[My] work is not over yet,” Navarro said. “[With redevelopment funds gone], it’s essential that an experienced councilmember be on board.”

Check back on Patch for continued coverage of local and national election news.

Who has your vote? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.

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John October 03, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Jose Good to hear you on here and As a resident of UC I see only disaster hitting UC very soon. How can UC handle the weight of public union pressure + the outstanding liability that is succumbing UC -- Sales Tax increase only is delaying the issue..eventually money coming in via Sales tax will be only for past due liability only (which it might be already). I only see more cuts to services, eventually thinning out UC of employees to payback the double-dippers, the spikers, the extra OT pension mongrels.. The city cannot keep pushing Property assessment because UC has alot of low income housing so the only way to push property tax assessment is to hit the higher priced areas of UC by pushing a % of value assessment.. This will not go well in any vote of the people here. People have seen TAX TAX TAX all over the place this year.. City council members NEED TO STAND UP TO UNIONS or DISBAND POLICE and use County Sheriffs instead although that will help but the pension liability remains. How are you going to tame the beast?
John October 03, 2012 at 06:36 AM
by the way do something about these crooked Fireman...I hear they used company vehicles to trips to montana or someplace far out and had it broken down and cost city money to get the vehicle back.....I hear of other events like this but that one is ridiculous...others are just plain straight abuses of the system
Tim October 03, 2012 at 07:28 AM
Mike, I voted to legalize your stupid plant. I could give a shit about marijuana. The point I was making is that there are a lot more important issues to worry about than whether or not you have to drive 7 miles to freggin Newark or Fremont to get your next supply because UC doesn't have a pot shop. Also, I believe, generally, that you pot heads are unemployed losers who rely on government welfare. Brash is a perfect example.... drunk on the Obama Kool Aid.
Tim October 03, 2012 at 07:32 AM
And as for Estrella and Navarro... they are both clueless on economic issues (according to the Oakland Tribune, who's decided to endorse neither). I guess when you don't know the dire fiscal state of the city you represent (public employee pensions bankrupting the city), you need to deflect and pander to a meaningless issue like pot shops.
Jose Estrella October 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Tim & John the pot shop has nothing to do with "clueless"? I agree it hasnt been since about 2 weeks ago that i learned of the severity of the "ECONOMY" of the city and its a mess. I do not and wont vote to increase taxes. We have a spending issue, and thats what needs to be addressed. Now, can we go back and fix pension issues, I dont know? But I will look into and address this BEAST and inform residents as to whats going on. Ive talked to many residents and they tell me that UC operates in the dark, this in not good. I will try hardest to operate so ALL can see what goes on. Like ive said before I dont have all the answers but when things are presented for vote, I will ALWAYS have residents backs!!!

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