Two incumbents and six candidates are running to secure three available seats on the Aliso Viejo City Council on Election Day.
Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at email@example.com.
Candidates have laid out their priorities for a city of 52,000 and the newly-elected council members will have to tackle the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council member Ross Chun previously served as Aliso Viejo mayor in 2019, mayor pro tem in 2018, and has been on the council since 2012.
“I want to make sure that our community remains safe and maintains its strength and vitality, and retains its attractive qualities so our city can thrive” according to Chun’s election website.
Mayor Mike Munzing is running for a third consecutive term. First elected in 2012, he served as mayor in 2016 and mayor pro tem in 2019.
“I will work to preserve and enhance Aliso Viejo’s special quality of life, by ensuring that our residents are protected by the finest police and fire fighting forces, keeping our city one of the safest in the nation and a beautiful place to live” says Munzing on his election website.
Richard Hurt, an accountant and business owner, is advocating for small businesses and ensuring city government accountability, according to his campaign website. He has also served as president of the Friends of the Aliso Viejo Library.
Business and health care attorney Michael Brown wants to view local issues through a non-biased lens, according to his campaign website. He wants to “consider tax breaks for businesses and to provide incentives to landlords to lower rents for businesses impacted by COVID-19.”
Michael Winger, a retired deputy sheriff and business owner, serves on the board of directors for his homeowners association, according to his election website.
“I stand for integrity and good government. I believe in fiscal responsibility, balanced economic and community growth. I want to keep our neighborhoods secure and strengthen our local economy.” says Winger
Engineer and entrepreneur Max Duncan plans to revive the local economy, address commercial tenant flight, stop development at the Commons, and reopen schools, among other issues, according to his election website.
David Zero, a service reliability engineer said that “Aliso Viejo has a lot of the good kind of boring, in that it’s safe and quiet. But we can add some more fun and improve ourselves and our sense of community while we do it, by implementing a lot of very simple programs,” according to his campaign website.
Businessman Greg J. Williams is “committed to servant leadership” and states he is “not running for city council with any agenda or list of pet projects.” He is “committed to listening to the diverse perspectives in our community and will work to incorporate those voices into the broader vision for the future of our city,” according to his campaign website.