In a rare mid-term reorganization of the City Council, Temple City councilman Fernando Vizcarra ascended to the Mayor’s chair on Tuesday.
Vizcarra, elected in 2007, replaces councilwoman Judy Wong. Wong is the currently embroiled in a scandal related to the Piazza development.
Despite the change in mayor, Vizcarra plans to restore the “detracted trust towards city officials.” He pledged to renew active participation in community redevelopment and code enforcement, the major planks of his agenda.
“We need to focus more on sales tax,” says the Mayor. “We don’t charge utility taxes like other cities and won’t resort to police and fire taxes unless we absolutely have to, and we don’t have to.”
His plans include redevelopment of the downtown district, attracting more consumers to the region and improving communication among the city, businesses and citizens. The issue of sales tax ranks as one of the greatest concerns for Temple City.
“We need to draw sales tax-producing businesses into the city,” states Vizcarra. The Mayor also cited popular chains as potential solutions to the problem.
According to Vizcarra, proper code enforcement has led to Temple City’s “safety, cleanliness and sense of community,” but improvements on a municipal level may further Temple City’s small town qualities.
“Fair code enforcement should be equally applied to everyone,” he comments.
The Mayor supports continued cooperation with the Temple City School Board. “Our school system is one of the best,” he says. Vizcarra attributes a rise in citywide property values to the Temple City Unified School District.
Vizcarra has been a resident of Temple City for more than forty years. Prior to his tenure as councilmember, he served as Mayor and councilman.
In March 2007, Mayor Vizcarra defeated former councilman Dan Arrighi in a coin-toss. Both had received the same number of votes.
Vizcarra is a retired managerial administrator. His wife, Joan Vizcarra, was previously a member of the School Board.
This interview was conducted by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice on July 26, 2009.