South Vista Communities gears up for candidate forums

South Vista Communities gears up for candidate forums
Vista Mayor Judy Ritter delivers the State of the Community address in January 2016. She is running for re-election against four other candidates. Photo by Hoa Quach

The nonprofit group South Vista Communities, best known for addressing issues which impact South Vista residents, is spreading the word about its upcoming two political candidate forums. The group will on hand at the Vista Farmers Market on Aug. 4 to spread the word about its purpose as well as the forums.

South Vista Communities President Stephanie Jackel said the organization has plans to be at the farmers market twice a year. While its August visit at the farmers market is an opportunity to publicize the mayoral and district candidates, the day will also serve as a reminder as to why the group exists and how it aims to help the community.

The last time the group was at the farmers market was in March.

“We had people sign up for our email newsletter list,” Jackel said. “We are going to do more of that this time.” 

The first candidate forum is on Aug. 30 for City Council district candidates while the second forum for mayoral candidates is slated for Sept. 18. Both will be held at the Shadowridge Golf Club in Vista at 7 p.m. Each forum lasts approximately a couple of hours. Jackel is quick to point out that every election time, South Vista Communities holds these forums in coordination with the Shadowridge Owners Association. 

Vying for the mayor seat are incumbent Judy Ritter, City Councilman Joe Green, Dominic D’Agostino, Alicia Mercado and Sarah Spinks.

On the City Council front for District 1 is incumbent Mayor Pro Tem John Aguilera and Corrina Contreras. Incumbent John Franklin is running to keep his District 4 seat from candidate James Stuckrad.

Jackel said the people who govern the community are enormously important, so forums such as this play a valuable role.

“We want to get to know the candidates, and we want the candidates to get to know the residents,” she said.

Jackel said it’s about a partnership that will improve and maintain the quality of life for residents.

While questions are carefully being crafted for the candidates, Jackel said there will be particular questions around some critical issues for Vistans.

“One questions will be related to the enormous amount of new apartments and all kinds of new housing developments that are going on in Vista,” she said. “We understand that we are in a housing crunch and we need to provide more housing for people.”

For Jackel, the issue at hand is there is not enough parking to accommodate these residents, which she described as a bad situation. 

“One question would be how can we better manage the new development that is coming up?” she asked. “Another issue about the new development is the tremendous increase in traffic and therefore, in accidents. How are we going to manage that better?”

It’s these unintended consequences that Jackel and other Vistans want answers about.

For more information about South Vista Communities, membership opportunities and its upcoming candidate forums in partnership with Shadowridge Owners Association, visit  SouthVistaCommunities.org.

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