With the resignation of Paul Raver, City Council has an opportunity to appoint someone with expert management experience
■ By Galen hammerle / Columnist
Paul Valenzuela was an excellent candidate for Hemet City Council, District 4, on the Nov. 8 ballot, competing against an incumbent mayor. The Valley Chronicle Editorial Board unanimously endorsed him to serve on the Council. After the election, we learned Paul Valenzuela received 45 percent of the vote, making him a very strong runner-up.
Recently, Councilman Paul Raver resigned leaving an open seat on the Council. His vacant seat may be filled without the Council holding a new election, an expense the city doesn’t need. Raver’s seat undoubtedly will be filled by someone who will step in line behind the Council majority and likely be subject to majority pressure. However, we would expect that person to be at least as qualified in all aspects as Paul Valenzuela.
Paul is a native Californian, born in Valencia. At age 8 or 9, his family moved to the Dallas, Texas area where he grew up. “I was an ordinary kid, played hockey in high school, and was pretty much interested in what other boys my age were interested in.”
Paul’s father was military, so he grew up under military influence and discipline. “My father was strict but caring. He understood his responsibility to make sure I grew up to be a good man who would do the right things in life. When he said that I couldn’t do something, or that I was grounded, he meant it.” He allows that his father may have been military strict, but always a loving parent – an example he tries to follow with his own young family – a boy 9 and daughter 7.
At 19, he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps, took boot training at Camp Pendleton, took engineer training in Maryland, and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
As a young member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, he was obligated to serve two years missionary duty, which the Marine Corps understood and allowed him to serve two years of inactive duty as a church missionary in Southeast Asia as a teacher in Malaysia.
It was an amazing experience, learning the language and saying things in a simple way so that we all understood each other. Being a people person, I too was learning that people, although different, are also alike in so many ways.” – Paul Valenzuela, candidate for Hemet City Council
He returned home to Texas after his two year mission was completed and returned to reserve duty in the Marines. Shortly thereafter, he fell in love and got married. Less than a year later, when his son was about to be born, he learned that he’d been reactivated to active duty in Iraq for a year. Although every day was a dangerous one in the war zone, he doesn’t see himself as any kind of hero. “I was not an infantry man. They were the heroes.” Despite his modesty he was subjected to shelling and IEDs at any given time.
He returned to the United States, grateful that he came back unscarred. Not long afterward, he moved his family to California. That’s how he happened to become a resident of the San Jacinto Valley.
Paul is well experienced in management matters, having worked his way up through Safe Streets USA, the largest ADT dealer in the United States. He is currently director of inventory for the entire country. He came up to his current position when company officials discovered that his ideas were increasing efficiency and saving them money. With a degree in organizational management, and a history of getting things done, he has ideas on how to serve the community as a Councilman.
“I know how to cut costs because I have the insight to know where the gaps are.” As an analogy, he says, “Where there’s a faucet dripping somewhere, I have the operational mind to say here are the steps we need to take to fix the problem.” He believes that instead of gloating over what’s done, one should “follow up and see that it continues to work right.”
He also says, “I can visually show charts and spreadsheets that are visual so that a citizen can see the impact of changes. I don’t think there is currently anyone on the council that can actually do that. It is just as important for people on the council to know whether or not they’re making good decisions as it is analyzing them so that the people in Hemet understand what they’re voting on.”
His ideas on moving forward as a city, understanding that we have a younger demographic than we did just a few years ago, Paul Valenzuela is an individual who has shown leadership in the military and in the business world. He is a man who identifies the problem and solves it. Hemet needs that kind of councilman. Additionally, he represents the makeup of this city in other ways: Married with a young family who wants to raise his children in our environment; man of faith, former U. S. Marine and Hispanic in a community that is growing in Hispanic population that has rarely, if ever, had representation on the Hemet City Council.
The Editorial Board of The Valley Chronicle is once again proud to endorse Paul Valenzuela and urges the City Council in its effort to improve Hemet to appoint him to the now vacant seat.