Candidates for Monterey Park City Council survived the first round of public forums in their bid to win the hearts and votes of local registered voters. The next candidates’ forum will be held Monday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m. at the Monterey Park City Council Chambers 320 W. Newmark Ave.
The forum is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Monterey Park and Monterey Park Journal and conducted by the League of Women Voters. The forum will be televised live on MPk-TV, the city’s cable television station and the city website via streaming media.
At the first forum, sponsored by the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce, the candidates faced a number of questions dealing mostly with development and business climate in the city, leading one local daily newspaper to conclude “Business is the prime issue for candidates.”
In the March 3 election, incumbents Mitchell Ing, Anthony Wong and Teresa Real Sebastian are opposed by three challengers: Joe Avila, Stephen Lam and Delario Robinson.
With a highly professional appearance, all six candidates, appeared before about 70 people in a large recital hall at East L.A. College. Serving on the question panel were Randal Avila, vice president of the Monterey Park Chamber; Frank Girardot, a senior editor at a Pasadena newspaper, and Richard Moyer, a political science professor at East L.A. College.
Serving as master of ceremonies for the event was East L.A. College President Marvin Martinez.
No questions from the audience were taken. The program and the panelists seem well prepared with their questions.
The candidates were asked a variety of questions covering shopping centers, business friendly government, and regulations regarding sales of marijuana in the city.
To a question of whether they would vote to allow a marijuana sales store to open in Monterey Park, only one candidate, Joe Avila, said he would approve it. He based his answer on the fact that pot sales are permitted in the state as a result of a voter approved initiative.
The candidates forum on February 9 is expected to focus more on issues affecting residents than on the business community’s concerns.
Candidates will be appearing at a number of private forums sponsored by political and ethnic groups. Monterey Park Democratic Club recently held their endorsement forum, but did not invite Joe Avila, a Republican. The club endorsed Wong, Lam and Robinson for the city council positions.