By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Needles, California: In the upcoming election in November 2020, voters locally will be making their decision on who will be representing the people as mayor and city council members for the City of Needles.
ZachNews sent out questions to the candidates on what the community would like the candidates to answer before they make their voting decision on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020.
The following is questions and answers from Needles City Mayor Candidate Jeff Williams:
(Responses and Answers by Candidate in “Quotation Marks”)
*** Candidate’s Background: ***
- Your full name?
- Where are you from?
- Your occupation?
“Retired Deputy Sheriff and private investigator, consultant”
- Background about yourself:
“I grew up in Needles from about 1972 moving here from Oklahoma
Graduated from NHS in 1982 and went to work for the SBSD
Got elected to city council in April of 2000 and have worked on city business either as council vice mayor mayor and Hosptial board member for 20 years”
- Why are you running for Needles City Council?
“I feel I have done a good job and we have great stats to prove it as your mayor”
*** The Topics and Questions: ***
- What do you think of the California Governor’s “Stay-At-Home” order on our community?
“I think we are over it and it is time to get back to business as usual”
- How would you reach out to the businesses and citizens of our community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
“Already have reached out and they agree with me it is time”
- What would you do in the event of another COVID-19 pandemic shut down?
“We will not shut down unless for some reason we are actually hit with the virus”
– Law Enforcement and Protests:
- What is your response to the protests and calls for defunding law enforcement?
- How would you handle a situation in our community regarding law enforcement and mistreatment that addresses any injustice and mistreatment while keeping the peace and respect in the community; especially between citizens and law enforcement?
“This is the most ridiculous thing I have heard from the left. They claim to represent the minority communities and if they would listen they would hear these communities need law enforcement and we need more money to go to law enforcement that’s the answer as we need better training”
– Local Infrastructures, and Water, Wastewater and Electric Rates:
- How would you help get our crumbling infrastructures in our community get fix and replace?
- Do you think raising utilities to pay for those infrastructures a good idea, especially at this moment as residents and businesses are going through problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic?
“We already have a plan and are keeping to the plan using the capital improvement funds we put in place as well as the cannabis tax”
– Community Growth:
- How would you help attract new retails and businesses to invest, build and create new jobs in our community, such as new grocery store and laundromat?
- Should the City of Needles offer incentives for these new retails and businesses to come invest, build and create new jobs in our community?
- Should the City of Needles have some kind of a co-op grocery store if no new grocery store is interested in coming to our community?
“We have been recruiting for a grocery store I have a meeting with an IGA grocer that just put in a store in Laughlin”
– Marijuana Industries, Businesses and Events?
- What do you think about the marijuana industries and businesses in the community, and their affect on our community (Good or Bad)?
“The cannabis businesses have been a bonus for the community not only high paying jobs but a chance for our graduates to stay here”
- Would you support more marijuana industries and businesses to our community, including lounges, cafes and drive-thrus?
- Would you support allowing of marijuana related events to our community sound to attract more tourists?
– Housing and Homelessness:
- What will you do to bring in more needed housing to our community, especially more housing both market-rate and affordable, both houses and apartments?
- What do you think about tiny houses and shipping container housing as an alternative to affordable housing in our community?
- Should the City of Needles offer incentives for these new housing and apartments of various sizes and rates, including affordable, to our community?
- How can the City of Needles help in addressing homelessness in our community?
“We are already working on the housing issues”
– Gateway to California, Tourism and History:
- How would you help to bring in more tourism into our community?
- What would you help local attractions, hotels and businesses in our community that relay on tourists, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- How would you work to preserve the community’s history for future generations can visit, learn and bring them back to visit or live in our community?
– Open Local Government, Public Relations and Community Involvement:
- What would you do to make local government more open, honest and transparent to the people of our community?
- What would you do to help get more people from our community more involved in their local government, especially participating in city council meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- How would you to help better communications between citizens, media and local government so that important information is getting out to the people in our community?
“We are open and transparent”
*** Candidate’s Closing Comments and Contacts: ***
Thank you Jeff Williams for answering our questions from the community.
Good luck to all of the candidates and do not forget to vote in the City of Needles Election 2020.