Fresno BAPAC first City Council District 3 Debates Feb 28, 2018

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 by Yvonne-Cher Skye

The debate for City Council District 3 debate was held in Westside Church of God. When I first walked into the building, I was greeted by Les, the security guard of the church. He was quite cordial and amusing as he welcomed me. He then directed me towards the hall where the candidates and several audiences members had already congregated.

The seven candidates were seated on a stage area while the audience members were seated on folding chairs set into two sections of seven rows. As the debate continued, the room filled with latecomers and at one point, it was standing room only.

Seated from left to right were candidates Miguel Arias, Larry Burris, Tate Hill, Daren Miller, Sean Sanchez, Craig Scharton, and Kimberly tapscott-Munson.

The first candidate to speak was Miguel Arias who has extensive experience with Fresno Unified School district.

The second candidate to speak was Larry Burris who is a career Realtor, and developer. He insisted that the voters focus on facts.

The third candidate to speak was Tate Hill. He started his dynamic speech with I love West Fresno. His focus will be on providing the best opportunities using current resources, for the people deserve better. He attended school from an early age up to college at Fresno State University. His experience spans from small businesses, realtor housing, affording financial literacy, land-use issues and health care. Ten years advocating implementation committee, to insure residence have a voice. He will hear your concerns and bring up the issues. He is prepared for this job.

The fourth candidate to speak was Daren Miller. Here is the short list of what he wants to discuss: city council, education and schools, Family, houses of worship, communication to work with people to better community elected into office for the people. He is acquiring his fifth college degree. By building responsible economic progress, safe neighborhoods and secure communities

The fifth candidate to speak was Sean Sanchez, native of Fresno who has lived in many cities. Alumni of Fresno State University and received a business degree. He is a real estate broker and developer. His concerns are public safety which is his number one concern. He then referred to the Golden corridor of Fresno. Safe neighborhoods need new policies housing, inspections wrong approach. It affects safety in our neighborhoods when displacing low-income tenants and occupants.

The sixth candidate to speak was Craig Scharton, he has contributed years of experience in neighborhood revitalization, via economic development and in land use in the Tower District. He was hired by large builder corporations, who developed revitalization programs statewide, and in Fresno. He lives downtown Fulton Mall, as a homeowner he works with the Downtown partnership. Urban Entrepreneurship is a focus; he is a Fresno State University professor. He intends to use the downtown academy to teach revitalization.

The seventh candidate to speak was Kimberly Tapscott-Munson a former librarian for the city schools who started her speech by listing her relatives. Her concerns are for the students, schools, education, and children. Feels that the District can reach its fullest potential. She briefly defined the homeless issue into three forms; situational homelessness, mental health.drug use homeless, and campers/criminal homeless. Suggests transforming metal health assessment, sober counseling, and affordable housing. Proposes neighborhood watch task targets; advocacy, cops, ministers, safety day and night patrols to take our streets back.

As I looked around the room I did a rough count of 130 people were in attendance at the debate. The organizers of the debate had a set of specific questions for the candidates of which I will outline in a future article.