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South Gate Vice-Mayor Gil Hurtado, 53, a resident of South Gate for close to 30 years and councilmember since 2005, sat down with Patch to talk about the reasons why locals should re-elect him for another four year city council term on March 5th.
Hurtado, who works for the United States Postal Service as a supervisor in Downey, pointed to the handling of the economy by the current council, along with his involvement, as a positive in his candidacy.
“The economy was bad and I could have used that as an excuse to fail,” said Hurtado. “I felt that was more of a reason to work harder.”
Hurtado listed South Gate’s successful attainment of millions of dollars in grants as an example of how he along with the council helped bring outside money to improve local programs.
“We have been very aggressive,” said Hurtado.
South Gate’s current Vice-Mayor, who has also served as president of the South Gate Junior Athletics Association for the past two decades, was last re-elected as a councilmember during an uncontested election in 2009.
The approval of the Azalea Retail Project, the shopping center that is being constructed on the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, was another recent economic success cited by Hurtado.
“The project over at Firestone and Atlantic, and all the jobs [that] it’s going to create [are] going to reduce unemployment,” affirmed Hurtado, who voted in favor of the measures that led to the approval of this shopping mall.
This is a project that has the potential of keeping sales tax dollars within South Gate.
“It is going to bring over a lot of revenue,” said Hurtado.
During the interview Hurtado confessed that he was originally worried about the probability of a Walmart opening within the Azalea Retail Project. Eventually Hurtado supported the project, because he felt that most residents did not share his concern.
“As an elected official I pushed my views aside,” said Hurtado. “I voted for the project because that’s what the community wanted.”
Watch for future Patch Latino interviews with the other candidates running for South Gate City Council.
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