I’ve asked both candidates for mayor a series of questions and Councilmember Steve Sojka was quick to respond. It’s important to note here that I have not yet received any answers back from candidate Bob Huber. Mr. Huber would like to meet with me personally before answering these questions and we’ve been unable to connect. I expect an answer to these questions from Mr. Huber in the near future and it’s worth mentioning that he’ll see Mr. Sojka’s answers before submitting his.
Simi Valley voters have expressed concern about the state of our local economy. One concern is related to local businesses. I asked both candidates a question about businesses in Simi Valley closing and Steve Sojka provided a thorough response.
Vote Simi Valley: What do you say to voters who express concern regarding the closure of businesses in Simi Valley?
Steve Sojka: I have the same concern regarding the closure of any business here in Simi Valley. I have been fighting for Simi Valley businesses for the past 25 years and the last 12 years as a businessman on the City Council. Unfortunately we are experiencing the by-product of the worst economy we’ve seen in decades but I believe the worst is behind us and we’ll start to see some improvement this year.
Last month I was briefed by our Dept. of Economic Development and we examined the vacancy rate for businesses in Simi Valley and it is currently at 5% which is much better comparatively than the County or State, but is still not good enough for my hometown. That’s why I am continuing to fight for local businesses by Chairing the Simi Valley Small Business Advisory Committee which produces the successful “Shop Simi Valley First” program educating residents on the importance of buying from local businesses. This Committee has also provided a series of FREE Business Workshops to help local businesses navigate through items such as: Financing, Marketing, Business Plans, Permit Process etc…All in the name of helping Simi Valley Businesses grow and prosper.
I also believe that government sometimes needs to get out of the way of business and let the Free Market take hold. I have been working hard at City Hall to streamline the Permit Process so that we can encourage entrepreneurs to expand and grow their business which ultimately provides jobs for our residents. As Mayor, I will develop a “Business Roundtable” which will put Business Owners, Planners, Inspectors, City Management and the Mayor all in one room to discuss ideas on becoming more business friendly and provide solutions to the hurdles that business owners face today.
Ultimately if we want to help small businesses, we need to attract big businesses here. As Mayor of Simi Valley, I will continue working to attract and develop clean industries to Simi Valley like Hi Tech, Bio Tech, Film and Aerospace which bring with them high paying jobs that create disposable income and increases the wealth for all of Simi Valley.
My sincere thanks to Councilmember and Candidate for Simi Valley Mayor Steve Sojka. For more information regarding his campaign, check out his newly launched website at http://www.sojkaformayor.com/