Fairfield council candidates weigh in on crime

By From page A3 | April 19, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Crime was a key topic when Ben Afisivalu formally announced Friday that’s he running for Fairfield City Council.

“We are facing hard times in our city,” he said. “Crime has brought fear in the minds of some of the residents.”

When people are scared to enjoy the place they call home, Afisivalu said, “I refuse to sit around and pretend that everything is OK.”

Put people back to work to reduce crime, he said.

Moreover, bring volunteers – including church members, whom he said are ready to assist the community – to enrich programs that can deter youths from crime.

Speaking outside the Samoan Christian Fellowship Church, he called crime the top issue before Fairfield and noted three homicides have happened so far in 2014.

The council candidate, a facility manager at a residential program for at-risk youth, called for a change in the culture and said the city can’t arrest its way out of the crime problem.

Scott Tonnesen, the city Planning Commission’s vice chairman who is also running for City Council, said Friday in a phone interview that crime “is certainly not everything a campaign is going to be based on.”

But, Tonnesen said, “you can’t not address crime.”

He said he’s interested to see what’s said at the April 29 town hall meeting about crime. The event from 6 to 8 p.m. will take place in Willow Hall at the Civic Center.

“We’ll get a good pulse,” Tonnesen said of views of residents and city officials in response to crime.

Terms of council members Catherine Moy and John Mraz end in November. The term of Mayor Harry Price also ends in November.

Price, who with Vice Mayor Rick Vaccaro was at Afisivalu’s announcement, said Friday he expects additional candidates to seek a City Council seat.

Rod McClean, an emergency disaster service coordinator, spoke after Afisivalu and said of Fairfield that this is our house. We have to protect it, McClean said.

“We can’t rely on just a few men to do it,” he said. “We need God in our town.”

“Make this the best place in California to live,” McClean urged, “not the most dangerous.”

Gary Hill, a 42-year resident of Fairfield, called it a great city facing enormous challenges.

“When you take leadership there’s a target on your back,” he said. “(I) have Ben’s back.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • The MisterApril 19, 2014 - 7:10 am

    Never let a good crisis go to waste.

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  • hazelApril 19, 2014 - 10:42 am

    The crisis is, people need to get off of their butts and get a job OR a productive hobby! Get off the streets, get off of the drugs and stop thinking you are living a life from a rap video! GO SEEK an education! I paid over $200,000 for mine and will be paying that off for the rest of my life! I was NOT born with a silver spoon in my mouth & had to raise myself in a tuff childhood. IT CAN BE DONE! Where is the accountability????

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  • JaeJuly 16, 2014 - 11:27 am

    Wow Ben Afisivalu is running for City Council? He use to be my Youth Pastor about 7 years ago when I attended Samoan Christian Fellowship. I haven't seen him since I departed the church, but it's nice to know he has been doing well for himself and wants to help troubled youth and improve the Community of Fairfield. Good for you Ben!

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  • hazelApril 19, 2014 - 10:38 am

    I say go for it, l will vote for you if that is your promise...this city is a death sentence and people causing these issues are ignorant, low down dirty shames! Tired of it!

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