Leading up to the November elections, SWRNN.com will run a series of candidate profiles describing each potential contender for this year’s open City Council seats. Stay tuned for continued Election 2012 coverage.
Paul Jacobs moved to Temecula in 1995 and since that time has been an active and impassioned voice in the region. Candidate Jacobs recently shared with SWRNN.com his hope to grow business and bring a new perspective to Temecula City Council.
Q: Tell a little bit about yourself and your background.
A: My wife and I fell in love with Temecula and attended city council meetings mostly for the free entertainment and I gained an interest in civics. The City Council appointed me to a committee called “Traffic Awareness Now” in 2000, then I was appointed to the General Plan Update Committee a few years later (2003) and then was appointed to the Public Traffic/Safety Commission in 2004, where I eventually served as chair.
Q: What has drawn you to this race?
A: Friends have suggested I run for city council over the years and I rejected the notion, but when complete strangers approached me to run this year because they shared frustration over a city council increasingly deaf to all but their supporters. I agreed to throw my hat in the ring to be a voice of the people. I am literally “The People’s Choice,” as stated on my campaign yard signs.
Q: Where does Temecula require change?
A: Great things happened in Temecula when an inexperienced City Council did things because of ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking. They were too inexperienced to believe a young city could not have a children’s museum or build the Overland Crossing across the freeway. The inability to listen to citizens is a reason a new set of ears and a voice of the people is needed on the city council.
Q: What are your thoughts on more specific issues, such as the Liberty Quarry, promoting business, and education in Temecula?
A: The City Council failed to fight for local control when the City gave up its rightful annexation of land between the city boundaries and the San Diego County line. The Riverside County Local Agency Formation Commission was derelict in duty to protect a land use project called Liberty Quarry instead of preserving the open space and allowing Temecula to be the local agency making the land use decision.
I believe Temecula needs to nurture and grow business in Temecula through an expedited application process and reduced licensing fees. I believe using the old city hall as a business incubator is a boondoggle when there is plenty of empty retail, commercial and industrial space in Temecula.
The old city hall needs to be converted to a police station for the betterment of public safety. If the city council can justify $70 million on the monolithic civic center, the community is deserving of an investment in public safety that will cost less than $10 million.
The city needs to work with landlords to reinvigorate existing commerce rather than compete with landlords already struggling to maintain occupancy rates. The city needs to promote the great businesses we have in Temecula and attract new businesses so local jobs can be created and residents will not have to commute long distances, such as the 150-mile roundtrip commute I endured for 15 years.
Ideally, Temecula would be a future site for Cal State Temecula, but for now, the satellite campuses of Cal State San Marcos and Mt. San Jacinto College provide local opportunities for higher education. Southwest Riverside County needs a state university campus, even if it does not end up in Temecula.
Q: Why does the Temecula City Council need your voice?
A: The citizens need a voice behind the dais that doesn’t settle for the status quo and one that isn’t locked into 5-0 votes. The citizens need an independent voice behind the dais asking questions the sitting council refuses to ask or answer. More than that, the city council needs a pair of ears that will listen to citizens and respond to their requests. The entrenched city council does not want my voice and that is why it is needed.