COACHELLA — A former Coachella city employee, Steve Brown, is seeking a full, four-year term on the Coachella City Council in the Nov. 6. election.
Brown, 67, spent more than a decade working for the city as assistant and interim city manager before retiring in 2010.
He was appointed in May 2017 to fill the seat left vacant by V. Manuel “Manny” Perez after Perez was appointed to fill the Fourth District Supervisor’s seat left vacant after John J. Benoit’s death.
In addition to Brown, others seeking the two, four-year terms are: Megan Beaman-Jacinto, Victor Alcantara, Gilbert Ramirez Jr., and Josie Gonzalez. All City Council candidates were given identical questions and the same amount of time to submit responses. Brown was the only candidate to respond.
Mayor Steve Hernandez is unopposed in his re-election bid.
Following are the questions and Brown’s responses.
Uken Report (UR): How long have you lived in Coachella ?
Brown: 10 years
UR: Are you liberal or conservative and what does that mean?
Brown: I am a liberal because I am always willing to listen with an open mind and make a well thought out decision.
UR: Why are you running?
Brown: I want to continue the smart growth and vision for our city. What is most important to me is the improvement of the quality of life for our residents. I care that all residents of all ages should have access to educational opportunities, heath services, recreational programs and a safe community to live in. With our new library completed I want to continue with our renewed downtown, the senior center expansion, and infrastructure throughout the city.
UR: What is the single biggest issue facing Coachella?
Brown: Our unemployment rate is still in the double digits compared to the state rate and other cities in the Coachella Valley. Economic development is critical to provide living wage jobs for our residents. And economic development includes education for our youth and adults.
UR: Where (in what area) do you think you can make the biggest difference?
Brown: Economic development. This includes both business development and education.
UR: What separates you from your challengers?
Brown: Besides my age, my career in community service. It includes working for and collaborating with non-profits that provide affordable housing, health services, healthcare funding and most important my 10 years as a city administrator for the City of Coachella.
UR: What qualities do you have that prepares you to serve on the City Council?
Brown: Having served as a city administrator for the city of Coachella and now a councilmember, I have an understanding of both responsibilities that helps me with my decision making. I believe in collaboration and work with other cities and organizations. I have served on many Coachella Valley Association of Governments and County of Riverside committees. My experience with county and state agencies allows me to be a strong voice for the city of Coachella to bring opportunities and funding to our city. I am dedicated to our city because I care.