By Chris Furguson
On April 22, 2010, several candidates for various positions arrived at the Brawley American Citizen Club Hall to ask for the political support of the attendees.
Candidates vying for several positions, including County Clerk/Recorder, three seats on the Imperial Irrigation board and the Imperial County Board of Supervisors District 5 seat, tried to sell themselves to the assembled crowd.
Starting with the Imperial County Assessor position, whic deals with determining which properties are taxable in the county.
Incumbent Roy Buckner spoke about his 30 years of experience in the department while his opponent, Carlos Zaragoza, said that the problem in the assessor’s office was a lack of new blood. There were no questions from the audience for the candidates.
The next candidates were running for the County Clerk/Recorder position, Chuck Storey and Jacklin Colón. Storey, a 30 year businessman in real estate, said that there was a long turnaround in the recorder’s office and said there was no cross training within the department.
“If someone goes on vacation,” said Storey, “then things back up because no one knows how to do that person’s job.”
Colón, who worked as the deputy county clerk in Ventura County, said her priority was to have all forms on the county website.
A third candidate for the position, Aziel Rodarte, was not present at the forum.
Next up was Norma Saikhon, who is running unopposed for the Public Administrator position. The Public Administrator deals with probate cases and finding heirs for inheritance claims.
The next candidates were for the Imperial Irrigation District Divison 1 seat, where David Ouzan and Matt Dessert are contesting for Mike Abatti’s seat. Both Ouzan and Dessert dealt with questions involving the QSA vote and morale among employees at the Imperial Irrigation District.
The next candidates were IID employee Ruben Cazares and incumbent James Hanks for the
Imperial Irrigation District Division 3 seat.
Cazares brought up issues about employee morale and IID manager attitudes towards their job. Hanks spoke about the Energy Cost Adjustment portion of the bill.
For the Imperial Irrigation District Division District 5 seat, incumbent Anthony Sanchez spoke about his record on the board. The other candidate, Norma Sierra Galindo, was not present at the forum.
The evening concluded with the Board of Supervisors, District 5 candidates. Raymond Castillo, Wally Leimgruber and Steve Vasquez answered questions about the enterprise zones, the agriculture industry in the Imperial Valley and questions about a proposed law enforcement training facility near Ocotillo.
This was the first candidate forum the Brawley ACC hosted since 2008. The previous year, the club elected to not host a forum.
The next public election will take place on June 8, 2010.
By Chris Furguson