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Reyes Promises to Make ‘Jobs’ a Priority if Elected to South Gate City Council

Ricardo Reyes is hoping to win one of the city council seats that will be up for grabs in March.

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Economic concerns are quickly becoming the most important issue of the South Gate city council election.

The candidates, South Gate Mayor Bill De Witt, Vice-Mayor Gil Hurtado and Rick Reyes, have all mentioned the importance of revitalizing the local economy as an issue that needs to be dealt with in 2013.

Reyes, 32, a former marine and 15-year resident of South Gate, sat down with Patch at his campaign headquarters in California Avenue to discuss the reasons why voters should give him a chance on March 5th.

“What I want to do is help bring quality jobs,” said Reyes. “To bring back some of the manufacturing that was once so abundant.”

Reyes told Patch that if elected he would work with trade organizations to establish the right conditions as well as training programs to foster the growth of this sector.

“The jobs are there, but we don’t have a trained work force,” said Reyes. “South Gate has not created the environment that brings those trades back.”

Reyes currently works as a political coordinator for the Service Employees International Union. He is also in the process of establishing a South Gate based solar installation company.   

Prior to this, Reyes was a marine for 8 years, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  After his return Reyes worked for a while as mortgage loan officer, an activity that inspired him to become engaged.

“I saw how families that did all the right things were affected by the 2008 crisis,” said Reyes.  “I decided to get engaged.”

During the interview Reyes also told Patch that he did not approve of the financial agreement that was made between South Gate and Primestor, the Azalea Retail Project developer.

“I think we could have done a much better job at negotiating the deal,” said Reyes. “I would have fought hard to bring a better deal.”

The former marine also expressed concern about the effects of having a Walmart at the shopping center.  Categorizing the retail giant as a job “displacer” and not “creator.”

Finally, Reyes is optimistic about his chances of winning in March, despite the fact that he is facing two of South Gate’s most experienced politicians.

“If  [South Gate] wants new leadership on the council I will answer that call,” concluded Reyes. 

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Claudia February 06, 2013 at 12:19 AM
What I like about Reyes is that he too is concerned about a walmart in our community… “categorizing the retail giant as a job “displacer” and not “creator.” With that said, what can he do to change this? I mean, for one he agrees with the current vice mayor Hurtado, who, from reading another Patch article didn't agree with this as well. But eventually supported the project since he ”felt that most residents did not share his concern” Really, are there not enough people in South Gate who feel having a Walmart in our community is BAD? I may be beating a dead horse since this project has been began, I’m just so sadden with this news and I’m interested in what both Reyes and Hurtado have to say on how to make this situation a better one for our community.
Virginia Johnson February 06, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Walmart is no different than Target. The prices are the same. Something I have a problem with is Community's don't realize that Walmart has changed in the past 20 years. Walmart pays between 10$ and $14 for their start up jobs. My friend a Latina if this still matters to anyone, is being paid $48,000 a year since she stuck with it. Walmart employees get Profit Sharing, this is a great program for any company and one I was in years ago. The employees also have insurance now. It has been proven that surrounding businesses do great when a Walmart comes into the community. What is the difference between a Walmart and an Ikea? Why is the union still bashing them. They used to have bad business practices years ago but now it is just sour grapes and our Community overwhelmingly said "We Want a Walmart"! We need to stop the animosity against private enterprise.
Virginia Johnson February 06, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Our current Mayor Bill De Witt and Vice Mayor Gil Hurtado came to our assistance when we needed them most not that many years ago. They gave up their family life in South Gate to help our Community. We KNOW they are honest and trustworthy and are not using their position as a stepping stone. Gil and Bill as everyone calls them, helped to negotiate a challenging contract with Primestor and WE WON, and; not necessarily Primestor but businesses like Trader Joes and others want millions of dollars from South Gate to come into our South East Communities. Our current Council will not, in good conscience let this happen. AND why would we want another FAILED Solar Co. like Solyndra that cost our Country Billions$ in Stimulus money? So as Mr. Reyes says in his last statement, Yes, he is running against extremely experienced Representatives, to which I say "Thank you Gil and Bill for caring about your City".
Virginia Johnson February 06, 2013 at 11:33 PM
I emailed 2 comments on this article this a.m. Wed. 2/5/13, and they are not visible to anyone. What Gives?
Virginia Johnson February 06, 2013 at 11:47 PM
OOPS Just glitches on the internet. Darned Satellite. Thanks Alejandro.
Lucy February 07, 2013 at 01:30 AM
I am very impressed with Mr. Reyes' record! And I'll definitely be going out to vote for him on March 5th. I feel he deserves a chance to show us what he can do for our city.
Oscar February 07, 2013 at 07:43 AM
btw - fact: 80% of Walmart workers are on food stamps. Walmart store employees are the top recipients Medicaid. Even if you never set food in a Walmart store, you get to subsidize their "private enterprise" with public tax dollars. Reyes has my vote.
Martha February 07, 2013 at 04:17 PM
I've read about Mr. Reyes' work and I highly admire him for it. He can count on my vote. I think South Gate can really benefit from new leadership.
Oscar February 07, 2013 at 04:19 PM
to be fair - think it was the reporter's opinion, not Reyes', that he is running against two of South Gate's most experienced politicians (was the correct phrase).
Maria February 07, 2013 at 05:14 PM
The developer did exactly what they were expected to do - get the most bang for their buck. The city bent over backwards to give the developer everything he wanted knowing he was already walking into millions in equity; $13 million from the city's reserves, fees waived, and who knows how many years of sales and property taxed did the council agree to give Primestor. This will benefit the city in the long run? With a $6.5 million deficit, I hope the city isn't bankrupt by then. With an election around the corner, the council made a haste move to score political points and yielded to pressure from a developer. We need strong leaders like a Councilmember Henry Gonzalez! I'm with Reyes.
Virginia Johnson February 07, 2013 at 11:28 PM
I notice none the the writers ever come to Council or Planning Commission including Rick Reyes to see just exactly how a City is Run. All Mouth. Our Council bent over backwards to offer what the Community said they wanted with the Azalea but when you are talking about the Developers taking our tax base from us, our Council put their foot down and said no. So it was back to hard negotiations. You can spout all you want about pie in the sky but you need to spend a few years at Council to find out how Municipalities really work. BTW 70% of the Country is on food stamps including Target and Ikea employees, so what's your point? Also as to the Statement that we already have experienced Representatives, and you said Rick quoted Politician's. Yes, Politicians are our Representatives. Don't fix something that ain't broke or at least don't bring in someone who is promising things he cannot possibly deliver on.
greeandtansuckingmedry February 08, 2013 at 10:20 AM
MY VOTE IS FOR REYES! I am a new resident to South Gate, and regret moving here because of the lack of leadership and vision the city's council demonstrate. The city is ran by the South Gate Police Officer's Association and the 5 member city council. Before you judge my statement ask yourselves these questions: Why are SG residents paying more tax than Beverly Hills? Are our pockets overflowing with cash to spare? Why did the city agree to pay for all roadway and infrastructure improvements for the Atlantic/Firestone retail project? DIdn't the council learn it's lession from the Gonzalez Chrysler Dealership and Lovillo Ford Dealership incidents? The city forked over loans to these companies which resulted in losses beacuse these companies are no longer in business. Why did the council pay MILLIONS of $$$ in lawsuits to former harassed SGPD officers and yet did nothing to fire or demote those responsible. As a matter of fact some of those same officers harassed sued again and won their case again. No amount of impounds or grants could ever pay for all those big money lawsuits. Did the city council forget about El Paseo (Looks like a ghost town)?
greeandtansuckingmedry February 08, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Can the city continue to afford the incompetent senior leadership and lawsuit crazy SGPD officers? My guess is that the residents will wake up soon and contract out for police services. It's cheaper and helps eliminate our deficit. I'm surprised the city operates with a $6.5 million deficit overhead. Maybe the residents of SG will pay for that with a sales tax increase or utility users tax? Why are SG residents not demanding accountability or a recall of the council?
Virginia Johnson February 08, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Once again, a writer who has no clue as to how Municipalities work. So glad SuckingMeDry isn't running for office. Oh wait, he is probably being offered a Commission by Rick Reyes if he gets in. As to the taxes in S.G. and Pico Rivera, everyone is jumping on that bandwagon. What's more South Gate is one of the few Cities who do not have a Utility tax which is a lot more than the 1 cent tax, 75 % of South Gate voted for. One of the reasons the P.D. won some but not all of those cases was because the Judge would not allow their friend Convicted Felon Albert Roble's name to be uttered in the proceedings.
greenandtansuckingmedry February 09, 2013 at 09:07 AM
I think Virginia Johnson left out the fact that she's sits as a commissioner for the city of South Gate already. I guess she speaks from exeprience. I'm not incompetent nor foolish Commissioner Johnson, don't attempt to slander me. No wonder Commissioner Johnson is so supportive of the SGPD POA and City Council. This would be a perfect time to make mentioned the fact that Mayor Bill De Witt's son, holds a seat as a city commissioner for dear old dad Mayor Bill De Witt. I think that would qualify as a conflict of interest don't you think? Don't believe me, verify it for yourselves South Gate? I believe South Gate residents deserve better leadership, not city officials who are satisfied with, "Jumping on the Bandwagon." SG do the math, $6.5 million deficit + Out of control over priced Police services + continued wasteful and fiscally irresponsible spending = Higher taxes, loss of local jobs (unemployment @ above 14% currently), and possibly banckruptcy. It's time this council and city leaders stop using the Albert Robles scapegoat. It's time we held them accountable for their actions. Vote for change on March 5th, get informed and make a good choice for South Gate.
Elizabeth February 09, 2013 at 09:08 PM
As a long time resident of South Gate, I will be going out on March 5th to vote for a change. I think Rick Reyes has an admirable record and can lead our city in a new direction. The current council has had their chance and now it's time for Mr. Reyes to show us what he can do for our city. Vote for Rick Reyes!!
Virginia Johnson February 12, 2013 at 06:59 PM
Yes I am a Commissioner appointed 6 years after the election. I am one of 20 Commissioners who volunteer to spread around $35,000 to 45,000$ of Government Grants to an average of 12 non profits. Do the math. This is not the Commission I am talking about. And while we are at it, Rick Reyes Girlfriend Evette Santana is on the Parks Commission. This is the pot calling the kettle black. As to Bill De Witt's son being on a Commission, Mr. De Witt could have appointed him anytime in the past 20 years but only did so recently. And if you would have gone to the last Budget Meeting you would see we are not 6.5 million over budget. What a waste of blog time.
Cynthia February 12, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Lucy, may I ask what record? Of what? I've never seen him at City events or Volunteer programs, oh let me correct myself Since he filed to run he has come to a few council meetings
Cynthia February 12, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Elizabeth, What record? I lived in South gate for over 30 years I volunteer, I've attended meetings at City Council, Planing Commission, Park Commission, Town Hall meetings, I've help with the Santa Cop, The Food Pantry. And I have never seen Mr. Reyes. So on March 5th I urge everyone to Vote for Gil Hurtado and Bill De Witt.
gods gift February 13, 2013 at 08:57 AM
why would someone promise to create jobs when President Obama hasn't created jobs... good jobs. So how is this guy going to do it.... ,everyone promises this and that but once there in they forget about there promises. And what they told the ppl. Liers!!!!!
Cynthia March 05, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Where did you get your facts? Not from the State of California Social Services Records Dept.

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