Vice mayor Danny Salinas and councilman Steve Velasquez campaign for their seats as newcomer Yolanda Flores and former vice mayor Rosaena Sanchez enter the race
By Paul Myers
LINDSAY – Current vice mayor Danny Salinas and councilmember Steve Velasquez are trying to hold onto their seats in a four-way race. Their two challengers are no stranger to Lindsay politics. In fact one of them used to be a part of the council. Between 2012 and 2016 Roseana Sanchez was elected as a candidate of change in a time of turmoil and then became a part of an effort to oust city manager Rick Wilkenson with mayor Ramona Padilla and councilman Steve Mecum. Both of which made premature exits from the council before the end of their terms.
Padilla left in October of 2016 with two years left on her term and was replaced by Velasquez. Mecum was replaced by current councilman Brian Watson, after he retired.
Sanchez stepped down from the Council when she chose not to run for a second term in November 2016. Instead she opted to run for Tulare County District One Board Supervisor. She failed to show up to several debates and did not distinguish herself from a crowded field of nine candidates. Kuyler Crocker went on to defeat Dennis Smith in the general election.
For this race Sanchez did not return the Sun-Gazette’s questionnaire by press time. Fellow challenger Yolanda Flores, 59, did respond. She says she has been a long supporter of change for Lindsay government and works as a Child Support Specialist.
• What are your qualifications for running for this office?
“I have served as a City Councilmember for fifteen years and ran a business for nineteen. I have extensive experience with managing a very tight budget with the focus of improving the community by creating recreational opportunities for our youth, repairing streets, improving our water system and strengthening public safety.” – Salinas
“My qualifications include the 17 years of prior service on the City Council. In those years I have been to many workshops, conferences and other training sponsored by the League of California Cities. I have also served in various County Boards/Committees such as the Tulare Economic Development Board, Tulare County Association of Governments, and Waste Management Committee. I was also part of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials and participated in their inaugural training held in Washington DC.” – Velasquez
“I have heard the needs of our community for many years from several community members and I would like to be the positive change that our town needs. We can longer trust the voice that is filled with untruths coming from the current city council. I want our city police/firemen to stay in Lindsay. I want Measure O’s money to be used for what was promised. I want roads repaired with the tax dollars allocated for that purpose. I want clean water. I want to stop the diversion of funds from one project to another. My qualifications for running are simple, I have endured through the corruption and I will do what I can to clean up the mess.” – Flores
• What do you see as the main issue facing the City?
“I see improving our community with limited financial resources as the primary challenge. To do this we must carefully oversee each dollar spent, ensuring it is providing the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people. We have hired and instructed staff to exercise fiscal conservatism in every decision.” – Salinas
“The main issue is road repair and providing upper and middle income housing needs.” – Velaquez
“The water situation is Lindsay has existed for many years without any type of viable solutions implemented. We need new vision in our city government that can study projects that have improved water and offer new solutions to our city. It is unacceptable that our children and grandchildren have to take their own water bottles to school in order to quench their thirst.” – Flores
• With an increase in sales tax revenue from Measure O, what are your priorities for spending the additional money?
“In receiving input from our residents my priorities are strengthening public safety and fixing our streets. This includes the purchase of a new fire truck, restoring the command structure to Public Safety to help the community through times of crisis, increasing their numbers and aggressively pursuing street repair and improvement.” – Salinas
“My priorities will continue to be focusing on filling vacancies in our public safety department and to ensure that their tools and equipment are of good quality and in good working order.” – Velasquez
“This money needs to be spent where it was promised, and that is for our Public Safety. It doesn’t make sense that we passed measure O with those intentions and then our police dispatch was the first to be eliminated. It has also been confirmed that city officials and some city council members approached the county for possible elimination our city police and the possibility of having the sheriff’s office take over. This type of proposal is unacceptable and deceitful. I hold the sheriff’s office in high regard, however we need our local police close to our town and in our schools all the time.” – Flores
• How will you vote on Measure G and why?
“I will support it and hope that all Lindsay voters will as well, knowing that it will not increase our taxes, but will create jobs and provide tax revenue from those in specified areas that are licensed to grow, manufacture and test cannabis for sale outside of Lindsay.” – Salinas
“I will vote yes on Measure G as this is another great source of revenue for the City of Lindsay.” – Velasquz
“I will vote yes on this measure and these are the reasons why; first of all, this measure has a lot of flexibility that can be measured depending on the business type; growing/selling or production. There must be provisions in place if a business attempts to locate in Lindsay about how it will affect the community, water and security. There will be a possibility of quite a bit of revenue coming into our community that will alleviate our insolvency, however it will be a balancing act that our community and public safety will have to scrutinize on a case by case basis. This is only a tax measure, not a measure to allow that type of business into our town.” – Flores