FERNANDO DUTRA: Leadership, Integrity and Experience.
1. FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: The Whittier City Council continues to make sound financial decisions to maintain fiscally responsible City budgets. We are facing future challenges to our finances and we need to closely monitor our revenues and expenditures to maintain our financial integrity.
- As an experienced Councilmember, I have continuously made fiscal decisions to keep our local government and community moving forward in a responsible manner.
- As a Business owner I have years of experience managing budgets and ensuring that projects stay within those budgets and are delivered on time.
- I have supported employee wage negotiations that will provide years of labor peace and stability. The agreements with our WPOA and WCEA (employee associations) are fair, reasonable and have been acceptable to all parties. However, increased pension liabilities are coming from CalPERS and will likely have a negative budget impact. The financial integrity of our City is of utmost importance to me and I am part of the Council team working on solutions to maintain a balanced budget while meeting our pension obligations.
2. FIGHTING CRIME: There is nothing I take more seriously than public safety. Some recent decisions made at the State level have resulted in raising property crime in our city. The safety of our residents and their property is paramount. I have recently supported the following:
- The hiring of additional police officers and the creation of the Mental Health Evaluation Team (MET) to assist with our homeless issues.
- The addition of a 2nd K-9 unit to help with crime efforts.
- The replacement of our Police radio system that will provide greater reliability and security with critical public safety communications.
- Purchase of GPS equipped bait boxes to catch front-porch package thieves.
- I supported Crime Legislation reform efforts to implement AB 1408 which would require jailing probationers who violate the terms of their supervision at least three times.
- I will continue to support our police department and our First Responders as they provide critical services to our residents.
3. LISTENING AND WORKING WITH OUR RESIDENTS: Input from our residents and community partners is important to me when making decisions about services to the residents of Whittier. In addition to listening to individual citizens and community groups (the various Service Clubs, Non-Profit Organizations, Sports Organizations, Chamber of Commerce, Homeless Consortium, Homeowners Associations, Uptown Association, etc.), and other key community groups including our schools, PIH Health and Whittier College, I support these organizations by listening to their advice. I also sponsor and attend their events. My family and I appreciate the hard work that our volunteer groups provide to our city. Their generosity makes Whittier a better community.
4. BENEFITING ALL OUR COMMUNITY: As you drive through Whittier you will notice many capital improvement projects which I supported that are helping improve our livability, mobility, housing, parks and roads. A few examples include:
- The Kennedy Park, York Field and Guirado Park KABOOM playground renovations.
- Significant water and sewer replacement projects throughout the City.
- Greenway Trail Expansion project.
- Traffic systems and devices that will aid in reducing congestion on Whittier Boulevard.
- New street lights along Whittier, Washington and Beverly Boulevards.
- Uptown Whittier improvements.
5. SMART ECONOMIC GROWTH: I support smart economic growth projects that bring not only a variety of additional housing for Whittier residents, but also jobs and economic development. Our City is still recovering from the impacts of the 2008 recession. We are taking advantage of those changes and are re-purposing, reusing and redeveloping the former auto dealerships that failed along Whittier Boulevard. Other new improvements include:
- Nelles Specific Plan development area with new housing and retail businesses.
- The Whittier Crossing commercial development.
- Friendly Hills Marketplace.
- Bev Mo and Aldi redesign and development of the former Friendly Hills Lanes.
- Amesbury Townhomes.
- Oakmont of Whittier Senior Living.
- Saving Guilford Hall as part of Guilford Court creating affordable and market rate housing.
- LA Fitness.
- Gold Line Extension down Washington Boulevard to PIH.
6. HOMELESS ISSUES: Homelessness is a critical issue to our community and residents. I have helped facilitate the addition of housing and support services for the homeless. We have developed a City Web site to provide homeless services information to the community members who want to help. In addition to the Mental Health Evaluation Team working with our patrol officers, in 2016 I supported one of our local non-profits in their quest to successfully obtain one million dollars to be utilized to support local families dealing with homelessness and mental health issues.
7. REPRESENTING WHITTIER’S INTERESTS ON A REGIONAL LEVEL: I have been privileged to represent our residents and City on key regional agencies that are working to improve the quality of life and standard of living for our community and region.
- Gateway Council of Governments. I am currently serving as Vice President and am part of the team that works on local Homeless issues, Housing and Transportation.
- Southeast Water Coalition- As a Board Member I work to support water conservation and water infrastructure.
- Southeast Area Social Funding Authority (SASSFA). As a Board Member I support social as well as employment training services to thousands of elderly and economically disadvantaged residents every year.
As your Councilman, I have committed myself to working in the best interests of all our residents. After six years of Council experience, as well as prior volunteer service as a Board and Commission member, I pledge to use that experience to continue to serve with the utmost integrity and commitment to all the Citizens of Whittier -