Q&A for City Council Candidates: Part 1

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By Collin Breaux

Paul Lopez, Cody Martin and John Campbell are the three candidates vying for the District 3 seat on the San Juan Capistrano City Council.

Ahead of the November election, we asked them questions on a variety of topics of interest and are publishing their responses. More questions and answers will be published in future issues.

Introduce yourself to voters. What is your general background and what experience do you bring to the table? What is your platform and what issues are important to you?

Paul Lopez

Paul Lopez: Hello, my name is Paul Lopez and I am running for San Juan Capistrano City Council District 3. I am a long-time area resident, landlord, city commissioner, non-profit lawyer, family man and local volunteer with deep roots in our community. As vice president of the San Juan Capistrano Cultural Heritage Commission, I help oversee projects in the city and advise the city council on promoting awareness and preserving our city’s vibrant history. My amazing wife is a kindergarten teacher in San Juan Capistrano, and our two wonderful children attend the same local school.

The first in my family to graduate from college, I worked full time while pursuing law school to support my family. I now work as an in-house attorney for a non-profit organization that provides mental health services to underserved communities in Orange County. I also teach law part-time at two community colleges. My passion for serving the community has also led me to volunteer with a local food bank and coach my son’s Little League team.

Raised by a father who was a veteran and in law enforcement, I learned the value of hard work, discipline, and the importance of public safety and neighborhood protection. I’m running for San Juan Capistrano City Council to continue this record of service and bring my experience and work ethic to the city I love. My goal is to help create an even better city for future generations, with more recreation and small businesses for everyone to enjoy.

Through my background as a lawyer, I understand public safety and what it takes to protect our community. I will work with county and state officials to ensure our law enforcement and fire departments have the resources they need to keep us safe. I will also work to improve traffic throughout our city. Responsible development is closely linked to traffic. I will ensure that any new development maintains the small town feel of our town. As commissioner, I voted against projects that would make traffic worse without bringing added value to the inhabitants. I will directly address our homelessness crisis and find long-term solutions. I will also seek to create new environmental solutions to preserve our beautiful city for generations to come. I will work with all parties for the benefit of San Juan Capistrano.

Cody Martin

Cody Martin: Hi, my name is Cody Martin and I’m running for San Juan Capistrano City Council! I am a lifelong resident of San Juan Capistrano, where I proudly attended Del Obispo Elementary School, Marco Forster Middle School, and was a member of the Boys and Girls Club.

Simply put, I love this city. The decisions I make as an advisor will have a direct effect on me and my family. Growing up in this city has given me a unique perspective on the needs of my neighborhood and the city as a whole. I am a small business owner and I understand the challenges our working families face. I have been involved in politics for over six years now, working for multiple candidates and working as paid staff in multiple states. Additionally, I currently serve as Chairman of our city’s Parks, Equestrian Sports and Community Services Commission, where I have worked to oversee the beautification of our parks and fought tirelessly to protect our open spaces and our equestrian lifestyle.

If elected, I plan to focus on: collaborating and maintaining civility on the stage, reducing traffic and congestion, and maintaining a balanced budget at all times. I look forward to continuing to serve San Juan Capistrano in a new role and always putting people first.

John Campbell

John Campbell: My name is John Campbell. My wife, Hoa, and I have lived in San Juan Capistrano for 16 years. We have been blessed by our historic and scenic town and have participated in many events and activities.

As a representative of your council, I will:

-Fully fund our first responders and deputy sheriffs to promote a safer city. Implement a plan to promote greater enforcement of e-bike safety on our streets and, in particular, our trails. I will encourage the requirement for formal safety instructions and explore special municipal licensing requirements for operating an e-bike within our city limits.

-Find immediate and long-term solutions to remove the homeless from our streets. We talk about some of the most struggling people in our community. Helping the homeless situation is a crucial issue that must be coordinated at the regional level, in close collaboration with our neighboring towns and Orange County.

– Fight against poorly managed sobriety operations in our neighborhoods. These facilities are a dangerous nuisance, and greater enforcement is key here. I will demand a policy requiring inspections to ensure patient safety and compliance with prescriptions, while supporting quality facilities as they do a great job helping those recovering from addiction.

I have a track record dedicated to our city. I am treasurer and board member of the Camino Real Playhouse. We have enjoyed supporting and hosting events for many of our city’s nonprofits, including The Boys and Girls Club, Homefront America, CREER, and Mission Basilica School. My wife is a practicing dentist and for many years she and I have volunteered on medical missions both at home and abroad.

I’m a semi-retired businessman, mostly in construction. I have also worked successfully as a consultant in the medical industry, helping physicians negotiate financial transactions for capital expenditures.

Over the years, I have been a committed citizen and an active participant in municipal administration. I have spoken to Council many times on issues that I consider important to our community. During this time, I have been an observer of both the best and the worst of municipal politics. I commend today’s board for the significant growth that has come to San Juan under their leadership and their ability to remove the unnecessary drama that has engulfed previous boards.

Collin Breaux

Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other southern Orange County news as editor of The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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