Richard Cary, 62, is new to the election circuit but with 41 years collective service in the military, both active duty and as a civilian, he feels he has the kind of professional experience that is a natural fit for a seat on the Wildomar City Council.
Four prospective candidates are running for two open seats on the Wildomar City Council, including two incumbents.
Cary and his wife, Carolyn Marlene Cary, came to the Temecula Valley in July of 1994 from Yokosuka Japan, where both were serving in the Navy, in order to work at Camp Pendleton.
The Carys have a large family that includes five grandchildren.
“I have three adult children,” Cary said. “Our oldest lives in Vegas with two of our five grandchildren. Our daughter lives in Temecula with two of my grandchildren. My youngest is a Major in the Marine Corp in Bahrain with my newest grandson.”
Cary sees great potential in the city of Wildomar, but feels a stronger sense of direction or purpose is needed.
“It is a new city without a true identity,” he said. “We need to ensure we are on sound financial footing.”
Cary served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years, mostly as a Seabee, which meant undertaking construction projects all over the world. Now, as program manager at Camp Pendleton, Cary helps orchestrate more than $450 million in energy projects each year.
Because Wildomar is a relatively new city, it still relies on assistance from the state and federal government. Cary plans to promote more local commerce through incentives in order to increase financial independence. Greater commerce would increase the tax base, which would then provide greater funding for the city.
“But … raising taxes on residents is not part of the plan,” Cary said.
He believes raised taxes are unlikely to return to lower levels in the future, so he does not support the idea of increasing city finances through high taxes.
Education is also important to Cary. He believes part of creating a strong central identity is having a high school the city can call its own. Currently, the only high school option for Wildomar teens is Lake Elsinore High School. He plans to be instrumental in the creation of a new Wildomar High School, which would promote greater loyalty to the community at large.
And staying with the theme of establishing a unique identity, Cary would also like to develop a downtown Widomar area that would include City Hall offices in order to create a more cohesive identity that would make residents proud.
“With that, Wildomar can truly start down the path to greatness,” Cary said.
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.
Jennifer Dean is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.