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Meet Michael Nishimura, candidate for Citrus Heights city council

Michael Nishimura, Mike Nishimura, Citrus Heights city council
Michael Nishimura, restaurant manager and current 2016 Citrus Heights city council candidate. Photo submitted by candidate

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. 

Michael “Mike” Nishimura, restaurant manager | Age: 53

Basic bio: “I grew up in Sacramento and have lived in Citrus Heights for over 25 years. I am currently the General Manager of the Elephant Bar Restaurant in Citrus Heights where I have been for the last 12 years. Previously, I had worked for El Torito Restaurant on Sunrise Blvd for 8 years… My wife Terrie and I are approaching our 20th anniversary and we have a daughter Samantha who just turned 19 and our son Timothy who just turned 17. I also have a step-daughter, Ashley who purchased her first home in Citrus Heights just a few years ago.”

Why are you running for city council?

“I am new to this, but with the City’s 20th anniversary approaching, Henry Tingle’s retirement and with Chief Boyd moving on as City Manager, I believe that we, as a city, are approaching a very important crossroads towards our future and I would like to ensure that we continue to move in the right direction.”

What are three things you like most about living in Citrus Heights?

“It is very affordable and everything is so convenient here. The Police Department has done a terrific job in keeping our neighborhoods safe. And it has just been a perfect place to raise our family.”

What are two books that have had the most influence on your life, and why/how?

“’Green Eggs and Ham’ That was my daughter Sam’s favorite book and I really miss the times I would spend reading with my kids when they were younger. More recently, I have been studying up on the history of Citrus Heights and I have found the ‘Images of America Citrus Heights’ book by Jim Van Maren to be very interesting.”

What are three key principles that would guide your votes on the council, if elected?

“Is it good for the City, People and Businesses of Citrus Heights? Is it fiscally sound for the City? How will it affect our future?”

What are the top three things you’d like to change in Citrus Heights, if any?

“Finding a solution for the homeless population we are starting to see. Continued improvement on our streets and traffic situations. Finding a way to attract more business into the City.”

What kind of volunteer work have you done for charities, churches or service organizations in the community?

“I was PTA President when my kids were in elementary school. I have been a volunteer wrestling coach for both of my kids at the youth level all the way up to High School. I am on the Advisory Committee for San Juan High School’s Culinary arts program. I have been on the Board of Directors for the Sunrise Marketplace Business Improvement District for the last ten years. I am also looking into joining Rotary International’s Passport Club.”

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?

“I’m definitely not doing this for the money. Time will be the biggest challenge, but I do have the support of my family and employer so I am confident I will be able to balance work and family life with council responsibilities.”

>>See other candidate profiles: Meet the 8 candidates running for Citrus Heights city council”

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