Is A New City Government The Answer To Azusa’s Problems?
Crime, homelessness and slow development of Azusa’s downtown are major problems current candidates need to address.
Some feel that out with the old and in with the new might be the solution the City of Azusa needs to improve the city. The city’s current mayor is Joseph Rocha, who has held that office for 10 years. The Azusa City Council also has some long-term members facing some new competition in the city’s local campaign.
Russ Rentschler, a commercial pest control technician and Councilman Uriel Macias are challenging the long-time Mayor. Newcomer and real estate professional, Andrew Mendez, is running against two city government veterans (Councilmen Edward Alvarez and Robert Gonzalez) for a City Council seat.
These are the issues facing the City of Azusa:
Break ins into cars and homes have increased. Councilman Edward Alvarez blames the upsurge in crime on a recent state law that released non-violent offenders from overcrowded jails. Some of the candidates have suggested more police presence and community-based policing.
The city’s homeless population has increased and Councilman Alvarez has stated:
The Gold Line has caused a homeless problem because we are at the end of the line.”
He and Councilman Macias feel the station’s remote location and vast supply of vacant land surrounding it, attracts homeless people looking for a place to sleep or camp out.
Mendez, the real estate agent running for City Council, has criticized the current City Government for its inability to bring in more retail stores to the downtown area.
The speed at which Azusa’s downtown is developing is slow, especially when you look at areas like Covina, Glendora and Monrovia,” Mendez said.
There is a lot of work to be done for the City of Azusa. The current Mayor and City Council hasn’t seemed to improve the situation quick enough – which begs the question: is a new City Government the answer?