CARLSBAD — Carlsbad residents whose confidence in city government showed a “significant decrease” in a recent survey may soon have reason to support their council once more.
His name is Jon Wantz.
Brimming with fresh ideas for the city, the 28-year-old Carlsbad resident recently launched his campaign to run for City Council in 2010. He hopes that his plans to breathe new life into the city will help reinstate confidence in local government.
“I think people are ready to see something a little different,” Wantz said.
As Wantz gets his campaign off the ground, he’s focusing on two main issues to improve the city: creating an open and responsive local government and increasing occupancy rate in a city that has nearly reached build-out of the general plan.
Wantz said he advocates for a more responsive government after having witnessed the current council feign interest in what residents want without following through. He specifically points to the Alga Norte Park project — which many residents asked for and have still not received — as a prime example of unresponsive representation.
“I don’t understand what the city’s thinking,” he said. “It’s just another form of political showboating and I don’t agree with it at all.”
He hopes to create an open political forum that residents will be encouraged to participate in, knowing that the government will also do their part.
Wantz has also focused on enticing more small businesses to call Carlsbad home. He notes that while the city is facing a space crunch for new construction, there are too many existing structures that are currently empty.
“We’re going to steadily lose revenue stream if we don’t get these small businesses into Carlsbad,” Wantz said.
His concern is that the city will have a hard time growing while sitting at “about a 50 percent occupancy rate.” To encourage more small businesses to relocate, Wantz believes that fostering the arts and creating a destination spot that attracts people from all over San Diego County will be key.
“If you can get people coming up here on the Coaster each weekend, I think you’re taking a step in the right direction,” he said.
Despite being young, Wantz said he is confident that people will be interested in what he has to say rather than how old he is. The Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran has overcome many obstacles in his career and he is looking forward to motivating residents with his plans.
“I’ve got ideas to fix things,” he said. “I may be only 28, but I’ve got some worldly experience and street smarts as well.”
To learn more about Jon Wantz and his goals for Carlsbad’s future, visit www.giveitachance.org.