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Interview with Compton City Clerk candidate, Satra Zurita

satraMuch is at stake in the municipal elections that City of Compton residents will vote on this coming April 16th.  Recent news reports show Compton is clearly in need of new leadership to return the city back to solvency and most importantly, restoring pride in the city amongst all of the residents.  We invite you to read our latest interview with current CUSD Board Trustee Satra Zurita who wants to become the next City Clerk of Compton.

Please state your name and time as a resident in the City of Compton and which district do you reside?

My name is Satra Zurita and I was born and raised in the City of Compton, where I have resided for 51 years.  I live in the 3rd District.

What makes you qualified to run for the seat you wish to fill? 

I am qualified with over 20 years of administrative experience in municipal government.  I have been a Project Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Air Force Base in El Segundo, CA.  I was also the General Manager of the Compton Ramada Hotel & Convention Center, where I managed the hotel with a staff of 258 employees.  I have extensive administrative experience that I will bring to the City Clerk’s Office to insure that the office services the residents of Compton in a timely, professional and efficient manner.

What are your visions for generating additional revenue to shore up the Cities fiscal deficiencies?

With more technological advancements and systems in place, we can more efficiently collect and manage the current sources of revenue that the City should be collecting.  For example, I would like for businesses to be able to renew their business licenses on-line.  If we have the proper systems in place, businesses would be automatically notified their license is due to renew and allow them to renew online.  Currently, there are no systems in place to routinely notify the businesses nor are they able to pay for renewal online.  The same goes for building permits and pre home sale inspections.  I would also aggressively collect the hundreds of thousands of dollars in substandard fees owed to the City.  I do not support additional fees and taxes on our citizens, but I do think that we need to aggressively collect those that are already in place.  Same goes for all other fees that are not being collected (i.e. ambulance fees, false alarm fees, abatement fees, etc.).
How will you work with the current council to ensure the City reaches solvency? 

I will assist the Council in any way necessary to turn the City around and Move Compton Forward.  I will continue to be a bridge builder, and I will utilize my personal and professional relationships with local, county, state and federal legislators to seek additional funding to assist the City in its quest for fiscal solvency.  I am willing to work on the City’s budget team and any other capacities to assist.
What are your top (3) priorities for the City of Compton if elected

1) Restore the integrity necessary to manage the City Clerk’s Office independent of the Mayor’s Office,

2) Install technical and system advancements that will help to Move Compton Forward into the 21st Century by providing information online for review and download, as well as, providing critical information to residents, businesses and potential contractors (bids) in a timely manner.

3) Only certify documents and contracts that have been fully vetted by the City Attorney.  I will covet the City’s seal, and if I have concerns regarding the abuse and waste of tax payer dollars, I will notify the citizens that something is wrong.  The Clerk certifies all city documents, so she should have informed the citizens about the $43,000,000 plus deficit.

Many of the residents, particularly the senior citizens are worried about continued water rate increases, how will you address this issue if elected? 

I, too, am extremely concerned about the extremely high water bills.  As well as, the $4.00 fee to pay water bills with the automated phone system.  As the City Clerk, I would support the City Council and administrators in seeking water rate relief, by exploring any opportunity to creatively refinance the bonds.  The intended use was to upgrade the water infrastructure, however like most other things, it was poorly managed!

Is there anything else you wish to address not covered? 

I am an administrator, I have administrative experience, and the City Clerk’s Office has lacked an administrator for almost a decade.  That is why we are faced with the lack of accountability and efficiency in the Clerk’s office.  We must insure that the most qualified candidates fill all open positions in the City of Compton, from the Mayor to the Building & Safety Director.  This election is critical; it can be a great turning point for the residents and businesses of Compton.

I understand the honor, and the great responsibility that comes with being a great public servant.  My unanimously elected position as Clerk on the Compton Unified School District Governing Board of Trustees has afforded me the experience necessary to assist the City.

In addition, my reputation and personal relationships with local, county, state and federal legislators is an added asset that will build coalitions to move Compton forward. I am prepared for the challenge.

Some of my accomplishments while on the Compton Unified School District Governing Board include:

  • 3 California Distinguished Schools
  • Increased Graduation rate.
  • St. John’s Medical and Dental Clinic on Dominguez High Schools Campus that will serve 36,000 students and their families.
  • St. John’s Clinic on Compton High School Campus in 2014.
  • Our Elementary Schools are outperforming schools in surrounding areas.
  • Laurel Elementary has an AYP of 919, and a nationally recognized writing program.
  • $1.2 million additional dollars and national recognition for our 2012 gains in attendance, due to my push for electronic communication with parents.
  • New running tracks at all 3 high schools
  • Middle School Reform

(Partial List)

 My endorsements include:

  • Congresswoman Janice Hahn
  • Senator Curren Price
  • Assemblyman Isadore Hall
  • Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer
  • Assemblyman Imeritus Jose Solario
  • Assemblyman Imeritus Steve Somolian
  • Assemblyman Imeritus Tony Mendoza
  • Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
  • Water Director Albert Robles – WRD
  • Water Director Leticia Vasquez –CBWD
  • Mayor Jim Dear – Carson
  • Councilwoman Yvonne Arceneaux, Compton District 3
  • Councilman Willie O. Jones, Compton District 4
  • Councilwoman Aide Castro, Lynwood
  • Councilwoman Jackie Robinson, Pasadena
  • Councilwoman Emeritus Delores Zurita, Compton
  • School Board President Micah Ali, CUSD
  • School Board Vice President Margie Garrett, CUSD
  • School Board Member Jose Solache, Lynwood
  • SEIU 99 Chief Steward Adrian Cleveland CUSD
  • Josie Muraffo, Candidate Compton District 3
  • LA County Federation of Labor
  • LA County Democratic Party
  • Compton Firefighters Local 2216
  • AFSCME 2325
  • AFSCME Council 36
  • Local 250
  • Many other elected officials, teachers, residents, business owners, members of the clergy, law enforcement officers and others.
Recognitions & Awards
  • 2011 Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Woman of the Year
  • 2010 Top Ladies of Distinction Vehicle of Change Award
  • 2010 Congressional Recognition (Rep. Laura Richardson) for being a Role Model to young ladies and women my community
  • 2009 WRD “WOW” (Woman of Water) Award
If you have concerns or would like to discuss my candidacy, please call me on my cell phone at 310-420-1104.

It’s a pleasure to serve you!  VOTE ZURITA FOR CITY CLERK ON APRIL 16, 2013!

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