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October 31, 2007 > Candidates For Newark City Council

Candidates For Newark City Council

Sharlene Saria-Mansfield

What specific qualities will you bring to the council if elected?

As a young professional mother of two school-aged kids, I will bring a unique and fresh perspective to the council that does not exist now. I will make sure City Hall's priorities better reflect those of Newark's working families.

List two goals that are your top priorities for the city. What action can the council take to help achieve these goals?

Newark has a 2.5 million dollar deficit. In large part, this deficit has been caused by the loss of Sun MicroSystems and other businesses throughout our city. I recently met with city manager John Becker, and he told me that the city is hiring a consultant whom the city will pay over one hundred thousand dollars to develop a "plan" for economic growth. I don't think we need to spend any more money on consultants or high level city employees.

I will contact and personally meet with all of the businesses that have left Newark in the past 5 years and ask them why they left, and what Newark could have done to have kept them here. Based on these meetings, I will propose a comprehensive economic development plan that will incorporate the suggestions.

It is my understanding that over the past couple of years we have lost about 20% of our most experienced firefighters and a larger percentage of our police officers, to other cities that offer better working pay and benefits. This puts all of our families at risk.

I will work hard to ensure we have the revenue to keep our most experienced police officers and fire fighters. I will also make sure that future negotiations are less confrontational and much more collaborative.

What missing ingredient will you bring to the council?

My family has lived in Newark since 1969. I grew up here and attended our public schools. I have seen a lot of positive changes but Newark has also recently faced some tough economic times. Despite these challenges, my husband and I are invested in this community and plan on raising our two young children here. Ultimately, that is why I am running for City Council, to make sure all of our children have great childhood memories and a bright future right here in Newark.

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