Note: In the interest of providing voter education and fair election coverage, The Sentinel has given all eight Citrus Heights city council candidates an equal opportunity to submit 100-word written statements on a variety of local issues. Marcel Weiland’s full responses can be found below. See other candidate responses in the article: “Citrus Heights city council candidates on the issues, in their own words”
Marcel Weiland, 26, grew up in Citrus Heights, worked in the state capitol, and earned a degree in political science from Santa Clara University. He currently works as director of institutional alliances at Riskalyze, a financial tech company based in Auburn. (Click to read full candidate profile)
Homelessness is ranked among the top issues faced by businesses and residents in Citrus Heights. What is your plan to address this and what role do you see private organizations playing? (Be specific)
“People are homeless for different reasons and need help in different ways. Our approach to homelessness should first seek to understand the complexity of the problem and then develop a two-prong approach that addresses the immediate urgent needs of the person, such as food, clothing, and housing in bad weather, as well as the long-term needs such as medical care, mental health care, job training and housing assistance. The City cannot provide all or even most of these things, but we can partner with local private organizations in order to connect the homeless with the resources they need to improve their lives.”
Measure B would raise the sales tax by half a cent throughout Sacramento County to pay for roads and Regional Transit projects. If the vote were held today, would you vote “yes” or “no” on Measure B, and why?
“If the vote were held today I would stand with the majority of elected Republicans in Sacramento County and vote yes on Measure B. As a fiscal conservative I hate the idea of raising taxes, but in this case I think that funding infrastructure maintenance now instead of later is the cheapest most fiscally responsible way to address the issue. The cost of maintaining our roads increases exponentially the longer we put it off and Measure B allows us to get ahead of that expense.”
One of the City’s strategic planning goals is to enhance public safety. What specifically would you advocate doing to enhance public safety in Citrus Heights?
“We can do two very important things to enhance public safety in Citrus Heights. First, we can do what is necessary to ensure that the police department remains fully funded. Second, we can continue to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the community. In these times of increased scrutiny of police action, trust between law enforcement and the community is critical, especially during events which may put it to the test. Supporting the Police Activities League, department use of social media, and participation in local events are all sensible steps towards building a great relationship between law enforcement and the community they protect.”
Body-worn cameras have been praised by many as a way to increase accountability and decrease false claims against police. Do you believe CHPD should implement body-worn cameras within the next two years? Why, or why not?
“I think body cameras are a prudent, sensible measure that would protect our police officers from false claims of misconduct as well as citizens in any actual case of misconduct. As with any piece of new technology, there are many factors to consider; need for additional transparency in police encounters, cost of a body camera program, etc. I don’t think we have an urgent need for body cameras right now… But in the next two years I do think implementing a body camera program would be a prudent decision. I’d rather we have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” (Shortened for excessive length)
Many of you have advocated for a fiscally conservative policy and maintaining the City’s history of operating debt free. What is your specific plan to address the growing cost of pensions and maintaining a balanced budget with healthy reserves?
“In several years the City will begin receiving its property tax revenues, which have been remitted to the County up to now. These revenues, estimated to be around $5 million a year, should be put towards necessary costs of maintaining the City; including pension costs, personnel costs and contributing towards our rainy day fund. Fiscal responsibility means living within our means and meeting the needs of the City in the most cost efficient way. That is exactly what I plan to do if elected to the city council.”
In August, the city council voted 4-0 to oppose Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational marijuana in California. Do you agree with the council’s decision?
“I think the council made the right decision for Citrus Heights. This is a family-friendly community and I think the city council was right to oppose the measure and prohibit deliveries and dispensaries in city limits, should the ballot measure pass.”
It is well-known that many homeowners choose to ignore required building permits while doing remodel or construction work on their properties, citing permit costs or “excessive regulations.” What would you do to address this?
“We shouldn’t go after homeowners in a punitive fashion, we should streamline the permitting process and make the whole process much quicker and easier. We have a reputation in the region as being a very business-friendly City, and it’s important to remember why that is; we don’t impose excessive taxes or burdensome regulations on business! This should be true of homeowners as well. We want more people to move to Citrus Heights and buy a home – we can do that by making sure that we don’t regulate homeowners out of our City.”
What, if any, are two existing city regulations/codes that you think should be changed, and why?
“I have not identified any two codes or regulations that are clearly unnecessary. Which is not to say that there aren’t ways the City can do better. I would like to see the City Council take a proactive approach to economic development. We’re known in the region as a business-friendly City, we’re setting the right policies to attract new businesses, but we should also advertise our accomplishments and seek out new businesses that would be a great fit for our community. Our City Council is committed to meeting the needs of the City in a responsible way and I intend to continue in that legacy.” (Shortened for excessive length)
>>See other candidate responses: “Citrus Heights city council candidates on the issues, in their own words”
Marcel Weiland, 26, grew up in Citrus Heights, worked in the state capitol, and earned a degree in political science from Santa Clara University. He currently works as director of institutional alliances at Riskalyze, a financial tech company based in Auburn.
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