League of Women Voters hosts City Council candidate forum

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City Council candidate Nickolas Wildstar speaks with community members after the forum.
(Nathan Nguyen / Daily Titan)

The League of Women Voters held a forum Tuesday night for candidates running for the Fullerton City Council in the November elections.

The purpose of the forum was to give each candidate an opportunity to talk about their goals for representing the city council, said Jodi Balma, moderator and a professor at Fullerton College.

Fullerton council members serve 4-year terms and are separated by district. There is a limit of three consecutive terms for members, according to the City Clerk’s Office. Fullerton is made up of five districts.

Six candidates are currently running for the two open seats in Districts 3 and 5.

“We want to make it as objective as possible to give all of the candidates a chance to answer all of the questions,” said Pearl Mann, a League of Women Voters coordinator.

The League of Women Voters, founded in 1920, is a nonpartisan organization that provides

information to voters regarding elections and registering to vote.

Mann said she acted as the city’s representation for the league because she is a Fullerton resident and is aware of the issues people are concerned about.

“We don’t have a connection with any of the city councils. We don’t take sides, we don’t support candidates,” Mann said. “This was a very good group tonight. I thought some of those questions were difficult if you hadn’t thought of it before, but they all came up with very resourceful and very interesting comments.”

District 3 candidates

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn and Councilman Jesus Silva are the only current members on the council running for re-election, both representing District 3.

Sebourn said he wants to respond to the needs of citizens, emphasizing the need for transparency in government.

Silva said his priorities are funding for the Fox Fullerton Theatre and saving both the Hunt Library and the Coyote Hills Golf Course.

Also running for District 3 is Nickolas Wildstar, a recording artist who ran for governor in June, as a libertarian.

Wildstar said his goal is to be a “voice for the people of the streets, the people of the neighborhoods, the people that don’t have their voices heard.”

District 5 candidates

John Ybarra, District 5 candidate and a real estate agent, said he wants to address the long-neglected needs of streets, parks and water.

“We can do better than this, I want Fullerton first, not worst,” Ybarra said. “I believe I’m the most qualified because I’m the most business-experienced candidate.”

Candidate Vicki Calhoun, an educator, said she plans on dealing with local business to balance the city’s budget, manage infrastructure and “make sure residents have equal access to the many wonderful services in Fullerton.”

Small business owner Ahmad Zahra said, “We are only strong (as our) weakest link. If we are to strengthen our city and move forward we need to uplift every corner of our city.”

Candidates Sabrina Narain and Paulette Chaffee, who are both attorneys, were both not present at the forum. Narain said in an email that she is still in the running.

“(The candidates) all have different strengths and weaknesses,” said Matthew Leslie, Fullerton resident. “I was very gratified to hear that some of them supported an independent Fullerton Police Commission.”

Voter registration ends on Oct. 22 and Fullerton municipal elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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