Aaron Dunkel Candidate for Santa Paula City Council




I was born in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in a town not much different than Santa Paula. After graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 2006, I decided to remain. Santa Paula is a beautiful small town with amazing, friendly people.

After graduating, I got a job working in Ventura supporting grocery store advertising. I also took on bartending on weekends and evenings at Logsdon’s at the Airport. I especially enjoyed the 4 years working at Logsdons, getting to know the pilots and ranchers and other Santa Paulans. When I was given the opportunity to take a job at Thomas Aquinas College in 2010, I was happy to return to my alma mater to pay forward the great gift I had been fortunate to have received.

You might ask why I am running for City Council in town. Some have asked if I am crazy. But I don’t think so. I found myself and others that I know complaining about various things: state of our roads, expense of the fire annexation contract, etc. I was one of the voters in favor of Measure T in an attempt to fund emergency services and needed infrastructure.

But what happened?

The city used the revenues from the Measure T sales tax to provide raises to all city employees from top to bottom. These raises were in the amount of 20% over 3 years! According to reporting from the Ventura County Star, city employees’ median salary was already $84,000/year prior to the raise.[1] Compare this to the median household income of families in Santa Paula of $51,549[2] and the outrage becomes understandable, because

Our streets are ignored!

The city then proceeded to give away approximately 4/5 of our property tax in perpetuity + a $4,000,000 one-time cash payment + property and other capital to the county.  This deal was poorly negotiated and gives more annualized money to the county than the city could ever hope to raise from Measure T, even if the raises had not been given. And

Our streets are still ignored!

Everybody should know that I have never been in government. I have, however, been involved in non-profit public service work for many years. I am familiar with funding sources and funding restrictions. I am motivated to be an advocate for common sense and transparent budgeting that makes our streets a priority. We have a lot of work to do. If you agree that we need to make our streets a priority – then VOTE for Aaron Dunkel!


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