Former mayor and council member Jim Friedman has announced that he is running for city council in the newly formed District 5 on the east end of Ventura. A small business owner/ financial planner for over 40 years, Jim has been a resident of the east end for over 28 years and lives with his wife Kelli who has been teaching at Mound Elementary school for the past 15 years.
Jim was first elected to the council in 1995 and served as mayor in 1998 and 99. He was re-elected in 1999 and served until 2004 when he retired after two terms. “People ask me why I’m running again?” “The 14-year break from the city council has allowed me to see city hall from the outside looking in. I have a fresh, new perspective and I’m not particularly happy with what I’m seeing,” Friedman said.
Friedman sited several areas of concerns. Among them were deficiencies in essential core city services particularly in public safety (police and fire), streets, sidewalks and the city’s urban forest. “I believe our city’s silent majority want reliable essential core services and we must do whatever we can to provide them,” said Friedman.
Friedman believes his long history of public service and leadership in the city of Ventura will be an asset when the new district-based council is seated in December. Besides serving eight years on the city council, Jim has been serving as a member of the Ventura Port Commission for the past 6 years. Port Commissioners are appointed by the city council but operate autonomously from the city council. He also served as the chair of the city’s Redevelopment Oversight Committee for the past six years and has a good grasp of the city’s budget. “Having been through it many times before, I understand the city’s budget process.” “As a new council member, I will be able to hit the ground running and won’t have the learning curve that rookie council members experience,” stated Friedman.
Speaking of the budget, Friedman believes that the only way the city is going to be able to provide the level of essential core services that the residents want is to reprioritize the budget and increase city revenues. “We are going to have some tough financial decisions to make over the next four years, and I believe my extensive business and financial planning experience will be an asset to the city council,” Friedman said.
Friedman stated that, “If elected, I will be as readily available to my constituents as before.” I always gave my cell phone number out to anyone who had an issue and wanted to speak to me personally.”