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.
As a military veteran and airline pilot, Temecula Mayor Chuck Washington has logged countless miles and seen many a city in his travels.
But, the longtime resident insists that he is always mindful of what’s happening back home.
“I am always thinking of Temecula, wherever I go,” said Washington.
The mayor said that his day job is the perfect complement to his work as a city councilman.
“I get all around the country and I talk to people and I learn about (their communities). It’s never a political discussion, but more of a talk about community development. I bring those experiences home with me,” Washington said.
While those discussions can inform and enlighten, Washington maintains that his focus has been and will remain to support the growth and prosperity of Temecula and its residents.
“The job has not been nearly as political as one would think,” Washington said of his tenure as a city councilman. “That’s actually only about 10 percent of it. The rest is getting feedback (from residents), making things happen and working together with staff.”
Washington said, should he be re-elected, he plans to oversee “a full implementation of the city’s master plan” — a vision that embraces six core values of a healthy and livable community, economic prosperity, safety and preparedness, transportation mobility and connectedness, sustainability and an accountable and responsive government.
“We have started on a path that sets a vision for our children and grandchildren. Too many communities lose sight of their vision,” he said.
Washington said he will put the experience he’s gained from his first two terms to good use in ensuring that Temecula keeps moving forward.
The recent endorsement by the CDF Firefighters Riverside Chapter is a step in the right direction.
“We have worked to keep Temecula a safe city and it’s nice to know that our public safety personnel appreciate (the council’s) efforts,” he said.
Among the projects he would like to advance is the completion of the Temecula Valley Hospital, with the goal of a second hospital in the near future, an expansion of partnerships with local colleges and universities, the continued growth of the local economy by helping small businesses gain ground in the city and a vigorous support of the local entrepreneurial spirit.
And then there is the years-long battle to eradicate the threat of the Liberty Quarry mining project.
Additionally, Washington said that he is hoping for an improved budget to better serve various local agencies.
Washington said: “We’ve had to cut back the last few years. I want to see our budget grow so that we can help partner with some of the faith-based and non-profit groups that could use some support. We can’t forget the things our citizens ask for.”
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.