Note: As part of The Sentinel’s 2016 coverage of local elections, we have asked a series of seven identical questions to each of the candidates running for a seat on the Citrus Heights city council. The questions are designed to give each of the eight candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the community and give voters an opportunity to learn more about each candidate’s life and background. More specific policy questions will be addressed in future articles. Candidates replied via email, and those who responded to each question in less than 100 words have their answers published word-for-word.
Marcel Weiland, financial tech director | Age: 26
Basic bio: “I grew up in Citrus Heights. My family moved here when I was 14 and I’ve spent the years since enjoying all our community has to offer. I have a degree in Political Science from Santa Clara University, I’ve worked in the California State Assembly on a wide array of public policy issues, and I currently work for a local technology startup called Riskalyze where I help large financial firms solve problems for their financial advisors. I’ve also served on the Board of Directors for the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, I’m an Eagle Scout, and a lifelong SF Giants fan.”
Why are you running for city council?
“I want to dedicate my time to making Citrus Heights an even better place to live, work, and raise a family and I’m running for City Council because I believe it’s the best way for me to leverage my experience and abilities in that pursuit. I will promote public safety, fiscal responsibility, and economic development and as a 26 year-old member of the next generation I’ll bring a fresh perspective to the City Council. I represent the future of the city, I understand the challenges we face, and on the City Council I will work towards meeting those challenges and improving Citrus Heights.”
What are three things you like most about living in Citrus Heights?
“Citrus Heights is a great place to live, work, and to be part of a strong community. Our Police Department is dedicated to keeping our neighborhoods safe, we have a vibrant business community providing jobs for our residents, and we grow stronger as a community every year. Growing participation in events such as the 4th of July parade, National Night Out, and many others speak to the vitality of our city and the pride we take in our community. I’m excited to be a part of it and I look forward to a bright future for Citrus Heights.”
What are two books that have had the most influence on your life, and why/how?
“It’s difficult to narrow it down to just two! I recently read The Conservative Heart, by Arthur Brooks, and found it incredibly insightful. Brooks argues that Conservative principles of freedom and personal liberty must be combined with compassion and a data-driven approach in order effectively address many of the issues we face. I’ve also been greatly influenced by the writings of Timothy Keller. One of my favorites is his book The Reason for God, in which he presents of well-reasoned and thoughtful defense of Christianity. Keller’s approach to faith is inspirational and his dedication to civil and even-handed discussion of contentious topics is something I really respect.”
What are three key principles that would guide your votes on the council, if elected?
“Personal liberty, fiscal responsibility, and compassion. I believe the purpose of government is to do those things which the people can’t do for themselves – things like provide for public safety, maintain our infrastructure, and deliver basic services. I believe the government has an obligation to meet these needs in a fiscally responsible way because we, the taxpayers, are footing the bill. I also believe that the way we treat those in need, the homeless, those in poverty, matters a great deal. It’s not always the government that can provide the best solution, but I think it’s critical [that leaders] understand the challenges facing each segment of the population.”
What are the top three things you’d like to change in Citrus Heights, if any?
“I believe there are three key areas where we can do better; improving public safety, attracting new businesses, and reducing homelessness. Public safety is key to a vibrant community and on the City Council I will do all I can to make sure our Police Department has the resources necessary to keep us safe. We can also do more to attract businesses to our city. If elected, I will be proactive in filling our empty storefronts and office buildings. Finally… through partnering with local organizations and nonprofits I think Citrus Heights can emerge as a leader in the region [in reducing homelessness].”
What kind of volunteer work have you done for charities, churches or service organizations in the community?
“As a kid I attended Boy Scout meetings at Mesa Verde High School and participated in community service projects on the Mesa Verde campus as well as at Sylvan Oaks Middle School. I’m a former Board Member for the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Sacramento, and my current community involvement in Citrus Heights is as a resident and candidate for City Council. I’m committed to this city and I will work hard every day to make it a great place to live.”
City council members are paid a small monthly stipend of $600 for their service. If elected, how do you plan to balance work life elsewhere with council responsibilities?
“Citrus Heights is my home and takes first priority whether I’m elected or not. I’m also very fortunate to work for a company that provides a lot of flexibility in terms of how their employees accomplish their individual responsibilities. I have the freedom to take time away if I need to and to manage my schedule in ways that allow me to meet competing demands. For me, the key is to understand what takes priority and manage my time efficiently. The workday doesn’t end at 5pm, I don’t stop until the job is done.”
>>See other candidate profiles: “Meet the 8 candidates running for Citrus Heights city council”
Q: Why are you running for city council? A: "I want to dedicate my time to making Citrus Heights an even better place to live, work, and raise a family and I’m running for City Council because I believe it’s the best way for me to leverage my experience and abilities in that pursuit. I will promote public safety, fiscal responsibility, and economic development and as a 26 year-old member of the next generation I’ll bring a fresh perspective to the City Council..."
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