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Bill De Witt: Responses to South Gate Police Associations Questionnaire

The associations have provided Patch with the answered questionnaires of each candidate.

Presione aquí par leer en español.

The South Gate Police Officers Association and the Police Managers Association have already given their endorsement to the incumbents seeking re-election to the South Gate city council.

South Gate Mayor Bill De Witt was one of the endorsed candidates. Below are his written responses to the questionnaire that was handed to him by both associations. 

All candidates seeking the endoresement of the police associations were asked to fill it out.  

De Witt's answers are in italics. 

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Local Issues and Campaign Endorsements

Have  you ever been convicted of any crime? Are there any criminal or non-criminal cases currently pending against you or your campaign?

I have never been convicted of any crime.  There are no criminal cases pending.

What position are interest in running for and why have you chosen this position?

South Gate City Council to continue improving the City.

Please include any former offices or campaigns you have either held or participated in before and how would this former experience help you in the position you are seeking? 

Ran for the 29th Congressional District in 1990.

Tell us what you know about South Gate politics and what have been some of the concerns of the public regarding South Gate politics in the past?

Corruption and I know where too many bodies are buried in South Gate politics.

How did you hear about the selection committee and do you feel an endorsement from this committee is important?

Lt. Pico Rivera and yes.

What are your views, both either positive or negative of running for office on a slate with another candidate?  Could running on a slate interfere with your views and how will you vote on issues if elected?

Running as a slate doesn’t effect my views and future issues.

Do you know the voting demographics of South Gate?  If so, how important is it to be bilingual in this particular race?

I know the demographics very well.  It is helpful to be bilingual but not necessary

What do you believe the requirements of a candidate for office in this race should be? 

Knowledge of the City and a real concern for its residents, business and employees.

Do you belong to any work unions, associations, or special interest groups?  If so, what would be their commitment or participation on your behalf for this race?

 I do not belong to any unions, associations, or special interest groups.

What goals do you wish to accomplish while your tenure if elected to office?

Continue to maintain and expand City services and expand economic development.

What other public safety association endorsements have you obtained or seek to obtain for this race? 

Seeking endorsement of Firefighters Union 1014.

List the current and anticipated major financial contributors to your campaign:

(Blank)

Please describe your key issue priorities if (re)elected to local office.

Keeping the City financially strong and maintaining Public Safety.

What distinguishes you from other candidates in this race?

Experience and knowledge of the City, County and State governments.

What organizations and notable individuals do you consider your base of support and why? Have you ever had an endorsement withdrawn?

Broad based support and no endorsements have been withdrawn.

Working Condition Issues

Pension compensation and negotiated healthcare for public safety employee retirees have been under attack for several years.  What is your public position on public safety employee retirement costs?

They need to be brought under control in order to preserve pensions and health care for future and current retirees

What can you do to help educate taxpayers and citizens of South Gate of  the benefits and costs of having city funded services verses contracting services out?

 Through public forums and the media.

 State and Local Budget Priorities, Public Safety Issues

 What is the highest current budget priority in your city?  If elected, would you change that?

 Maintaining public safety and balanced budget

What is your position on civilianization of sworn personnel or trained specialized non-sworn positions such as Custody Officers, Community Service Officers and replacing them with outside contract services in return for savings?

I would individually review each situation as it arose and have input from our Union partners.

We recognized that open communication between elected officials andPOA/PMA have proven to be very beneficial in order to achieve common goals and a commitment to service for the city of South Gate.  How often do you think you can dedicate in maintaining that commitment of open communication with members of the  POA/PMA?

Communication whenever necessary.  I have an open door policy.

Please tell us of some thoughts on how to better secure the financial status of the city in order to ensure financial progress and growth in South Gate in order to maintain its services

Through economic development.

Please list the names of POA or PMA members – up to 6 – working in your community who can provide reference for your endorsement.

All Police Personnel.

The other candidate questionnaires will be published over the next few days. 

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Mary C February 09, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Incumbent Bill DeWitt has the knowledge and the experience needed in Community, He and Gil Hurtado are in it for the Community, they are involved in the Community and working on improving Our Quality Of Life. It is very important for Local Government be involved in the needs of The Community, Our incumbents have proven that. They have been working on moving the City forward, we do need to have Government that has best interest for A Better Quality Of Life.
J. Munoz February 09, 2013 at 05:16 PM
I personally know Bill Dewitt and Gil Hurtado, and I know they have the best interest of the City. They are the best candidates to continue the stability of the city, and living conditions. They are always involved in the events the city has. Good luck, and keep people who are in it for their self gain to move up the political ladder out of the city..
Tony Morales February 09, 2013 at 07:41 PM
I don’t know Bill DeWitt or Gil Hurtado perosnally, but several people from our community say nothing, but good things about them. As a concern citizen I ask them to remove the words "We don’t have money” from your vocabulary and encourage all city departments to do the same thing. I think all of us are aware of the financial situation we’re all facing now in days. We have to work with whatever resources we have available and move forward. Good luck and I hope both get re-elected
Allen C. Treen February 09, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Informative and factual piece. Direct, intelligent and honest answers, characteristic of Mr. DeWitt and illustrative of why the people of South Gate have elected him to positions of leadership in the past and should again. He's got my vote.
Mary C February 10, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Yes we all would like our Incumbents to be re-elected, so we do need to Unite and and encourage Residents to go out and Vote on 3/5/2013. It all comes down to us as Residents to have Our Local Goverment that TRULLY will work for Our Community. Please I urge all to be very alert.
Daisy P. February 11, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Bill has been a staple in our community. It is true that he has an open door policy and is always available to lend a helping hand when individuals and groups call on him for his support. My favorite memory of him is of some small children bossing him around at a community cleanup at Hollydale Park. The young girls were eager to plant flowers into the ground, they patiently waited all day while the adults removed the weeds. As soon as the ground was ready, he was there taking orders from these young ladies (elementary school ages) who were instructing him where to dig. He did it joyfully and I just laughed at these sweet little girls bossing him around. Bill doesn't care about titles. He's a true public servant.
Susan February 11, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Funny: "keep people who are in it for their self gain to move up the political ladder out of the city" It's as if some if the readers conveniently missed the part where Mr. DeWitt ran for Congress in 1990. Even though he lost that election to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, sounds like he took a stab at the "political latter" himself. As far as Mr. DeWitt's "buried bodies" remark, that just makes me uncomfortable and really not sure what to make of it.

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