The Merced College Los Banos Campus forum for school board and City Council candidates Thursday featured a mix of policy and personality questions from a crowd of about 50 people.
Three Los Banos Unified School District candidates, four City Council candidates and Mayor Mike Villalta, who is running for re-election uncontested, introduced themselves and answered questions from the public.
Three school district candidates declined the invitation to speak, and one City Council candidate, Erasmo Viveros, did not attend because of a family emergency, according to organizers.
Each candidate had 15 minutes to address the public. No more than five minutes were allotted to an opening speech, with the rest of the time dedicated to answering questions from the public.
Mike Villalta, Los Banos mayor
Other things residents liked in the survey include recreation facilities, youth programs, a dog park, animal shelter improvements and a Highway 152 bypass.
Also, 66 percent of residents said they are satisfied with city services. I’d like to see that number higher.
Megan Goin-Soares, LBUSD Area 2
I also see finding a permanent superintendent high on the priority list. We need a captain, a permanent captain, for our ship. We need a visionary.
Dominic Falasco, LBUSD Area 4
Marg Benton, LBUSD Area 6
Palmer McCoy, City Council District 4
I also think we need to provide the police and fire departments with the latest tools and technology to do the job.
Deborah Lewis, City Council District 4
I’d also like to continue working on the business park planned along Interstate 5, and moving the airport.
Daronica Santos, City Council District 1
Brian Ring, City Council District 1
The second thing, I would like to bring more jobs to town and give more opportunities for businesses to keep jobs in town. I would also like to keep people and activities in town.