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Council Challengers Question Budget Cuts

October 27, 1998|LESLEY WRIGHT

With three seats available and only two challengers, at least one of the three incumbents in this year's City Council race is destined to win.

Paul D. Gonzales, 40, a businessman, and Dannue L. Mayo, the 47-year-old head of a nonprofit youth group, are challenging the incumbents, primarily on cuts made to civic programs during lean years.

But an improved local economy is giving the incumbents something to fight back with.

They talk about restoring services, such as recreational programs for youth, that were cut over the last four years while the budget was in a downward spiral.

Gerald N. Sigler, who holds the rotating mayor's seat this year, said he can point to some past catastrophes--flooding in 1995 and the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy--and say with pride that the city rode them through with minimal damage.

Sigler wants to turn to issues such as replacing the aging City Hall and improving the Entertainment Corridor to draw more tourists.

Art Brown, 61, has pushed for a Metrolink station during his last term and wants to see the project through. Expanding Auto Row, which has helped stabilize municipal finances, is also an ongoing concern, he said.

The third incumbent, Patsy Marshall, 54, said she would concentrate on making the city a primary stop for tourists and convention-goers.

She said adding to civic services, including popular programs run by the Police Department, would be a priority.

Recreational programs, the Silverado Days parade and even fireworks on the Fourth of July need to come back to the budget, said challenger Gonzales.

He said that building up Auto Row and soliciting support from businesses could pay for the restored programs.

Mayo, who at one time ran his youth group on the grounds of controversial Pastor Wiley Drake's church, said programs for seniors and children are too important to put off.

He said some of the programs being discussed, such as the Silverado Days parade, could be paid for by fining Knott's Berry Farm some $30,000 a year for inconveniencing residents with its Halloween extravaganzas.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Buena Park City Council Candidates

Two residents are challenging three incumbents in this year's Buena Park City Council election:

Art Brown

Age: 61

Occupation: Incumbent; retired Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy

Background: Former president of Pools of Hope, a Long Beach warm-water therapy center for disabled and senior citizens; former member of Citizens Crime Prevention Committee

Issues: Wants to work on plans for a new Metrolink station; would continue building up Auto Row; would help, where possible, finish renovations of Buena Park Mall

Paul D. Gonzales

Age: 40

Occupation: Owns and runs a jewelry store

Background: Bachelor's degree in political science, Cal State Long Beach; business owner for 10 years and held different management positions in other businesses

Issues: Wants to maintain Police Department service levels; would develop more after-school and summertime recreational programs for children; would seek corporate sponsors to restore parade and fireworks to civic celebrations

Patsy Marshall

Age: 54

Occupation: Incumbent; owns Marshall and Associates, a public relations consulting business

Background: Past president of Chamber of Commerce, Soroptimist International of Buena Park and the Boys Club Auxiliary; chairman, Buena Park Mayor's Prayer Breakfast; former member, Buena Park Public Safety Commission; member, Senior Citizens Center fund-raising committee, Orange County League of Cities and state

League of Cities; board member, Orange County Sanitation District

Issues: Wants to maintain and improve service levels for police, parks and other departments while maintaining financial stability; wants to make city more attractive to businesses, tourists and convention-goers; wants to expand on neighborhood improvement programs

Dannue L. Mayo

Age: 47

Occupation: President and CEO of Golden Opportunity Youth Assn., a nonprofit serving Buena Park, Anaheim and Los Angeles

Background: Volunteer, American Red Cross

Issues: Wants more after-school programs for youths as well as programs for senior citizens; would start a program called Police on the Block, where police voluntarily live in the city; wants to build convention center and replace City Hall and the jail with new buildings

Gerald N. Sigler

Age: Declined to state

Occupation: Incumbent; retired manufacturing engineer

Background: Former member, Personnel Board; former Planning Commissioner; former member of Buena Park Coordinating Council, which aids homeless and low-income residents; named Citizen of the Year in 1990; former member, Buena Park Elks and Noon Lions clubs; member, Buena Park amateur radio club; attends First Church of the Nazarene

Issues: Wants to build new Civic Center; would ensure protection of city's water supply and continue to beautify city and improve Entertainment Corridor

Source: Individual candidates; Researched by LESLEY WRIGHT / For The Times

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