Introducing Aliso Viejo City Council Candidates Mike Munzing And Greg Ficke
Posted by Greg Woodard on October 30, 2012
We next go to Aliso Viejo which I’m not sure is known for anything in particular, but that may be because it is a relatively new city. It does have Soka University which touts itself as “[p]roudly founded upon the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights and the sanctity of life, SUA offers a non-sectarian curriculum that is open to top students of all nationalities and beliefs.” Mike Munzing and current City Council member Greg Ficke are running.
Mike said he is running because the current City Council has adopted and embraced liberal environmental ideologies and policies that have negatively impacted the city, and he wants to reverse that course.
Mike believes that the current council has adopted radical green city initiatives that far exceed even the state requirements. For example, he said that the city is trying to remove parking spaces from the Town Center to force people to find other alternatives rather than cars. He said they also want to install roundabouts to make driving more difficult for residents. Mike wants to roll back those policies to protect the quality of life the residents currently enjoy.
Mike also wants to address and correct the city’s restrictive signage policies for the real estate and business communities. Mike said that city staff takes Open House signs down soon after they are put up by realtors which restricts the ability of home owners to sell their homes. He wants to roll back those and other anti-business regulations and promote a business-friendly environment for the city.
Mike said that the city is largely a contract city, which means it has a very small number of direct employees, and saves the city a lot of money. He is willing to look at employee compensation and benefits to see if they are reasonable for a city the size of Aliso Viejo.
Mike said that the city is only 7.5 square miles, and it is master-planned and nearly built out. As a result, there are only a few parcels remaining for development. Mike believes that future projects need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, and he wants to make sure that any project fits within the quality of life that current residents have come to enjoy.
Mike is endorsed by, among others, the Orange County Republican Party, the Family Action PAC, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, State Senator Mimi Walters, and Assembly member Diane Harkey.
You can find out more about Mike at www.voteformikemunzing.com.
Greg is running for re-election to the City Council because he said the job is not done. Greg was contacted by dozens of residents and business owners who told him to run for re-election, and he wants to continue to make a difference for the community at large.
Greg believes in fiscally responsible and balanced budgets. Greg noted that the city is a contract city, meaning that it contracts out most of the services it provides, and he said it is important to go through the city’s budget line item by line item to see if the city is getting the best value for what it is paying for.
Greg also has been pushing for the city to be transparent with its residents. Since the first day he became a council member, he has advocated for the city to broadcast City Council meetings online or by local cable television. If re-elected, Greg will continue to push for maximum council transparency.
Greg also wants to be responsive to the needs of all the city’s residents. Greg is open and approachable and willing to listen to issues from any resident, whether it is in the City Council chambers, on the baseball or soccer fields, or at the grocery store.
Greg said that, as a contract city, Aliso Viejo has very few direct employees (only 14). The small number allows the council to better evaluate their performance and compensation, and also provides the city with more flexibility and cost savings in the contracts it enters into with service providers. Greg also said that compensation for its employees is annually validated against compensation with comparable cities by size, function, and position. As a result, Greg believes that employee compensation is adequate.
Greg does not believe there will be much future development in the city as it is mostly built out, particularly on the residential side. He said that the city population will only increase in small increments in the future. Also, redevelopment does not appear to be a direction the city is headed towards in the future. Greg thinks that there is a good balance in the city between the size of the community, and the services the city provides.
While Greg has not actively solicited endorsements, he is endorsed by the Orange County Republican Party and the South Orange County Chamber of Commerce.