Candidate Darrell Park talks L.A. County issues
On the heels of an interview with Kathryn Barger, candidate for Los Angeles County Supervisor in the 5th District, her opponent Darrell Park agreed to a similar “bakeryside chat” with The Foothill Advocate at Euro Pane Bakery & Cafe in Pasadena.
Here is an excerpt:
Question: Why should someone vote for you?
Park: I am committed to raising the quality of life for every resident. The county has a $30 billion budget that is not being well spent and I have the federal budgeting experience to spend our county tax dollars wisely. Working at the White House for 10 years, we successfully balanced the budget four times. In fact, I teach a class at Allegheny College where I teach students how to balance budgets. It costs the county an average of $234,000 for each person in the juvenile system. Why don’t we spend the money upfront in the form of early childhood education programs, summer camp, job training, etc. as preventive costs to keep these kids out of the system and give them the tools to succeed? The current county government benefits some, sure, but many residents are left behind.
Q: Kathryn Barger has experience in county government and has worked with the other Supervisors. You’re potentially the newcomer. Can you work with the other Supervisors to get things done?
P: I respect the current members of the Board of Supervisors and look forward to working as a team to create a strong county government that serves every resident efficiently and cost effectively. The current Supervisors are all forward thinking and I am excited to work with them to push LA County into the future by investing in innovative strategies to tackle our problems.
Q: What will your election to the board bring to the county?
P: I think most people would say county government is not responsive to the residents. Lancaster, Palmdale, etcetera need to have the Supervisor meetings come to the people. Coming into downtown L.A .each time to speak or see to their representatives isn’t easy for most county residents. If the Board of Supervisors stops meeting exclusively in Downtown LA and starts holding meetings across the county, they will engage members of the community that previously felt left out of the conversation.
Q: Your opponent said a scone she ate here at Euro Pane was “the best” she’s ever had. Do you have an opinion about your croissant.
P: Amazing! Absolutely amazing!!
Q: What other issues do you have with county government?
P: Can people name me one thing county government is doing really well? For example, we have this county budget but we’re not getting what we pay for. It’s like if I paid for this croissant but what I got instead was burnt or over toasted. L.A . pays an average of $40,000 per homeless person per year. Utah pays $20,000, only half, but they are doing a great job housing these members of the community and providing the services they need . Can anyone say we’re doing as good or better then Utah at twice the amount?
Q: After serving two presidents in the White House Office of Management & Budget, what have you learned that could help you?
P: To focus on problem-solving. We were always presented with problems. But it was stressed we needed to discover what the real, underlying, problems were before throwing money at them.
For more information on the candidates and their positions, visit their websites. Early voting has begun. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8
— By Mike Cenicero, Correspondent