Larry Bergman, 55, retired fire captain and Realtor
What differentiates you from your opponents? The only candidate with experience in elected office. Proudly served the citizens for over 32 years as firefighter and councilman. Not afraid to make the difficult decisions. I stand by my decisions and fight for what I believe in.
What can be done to improve public safety in Atwater? We must continue to increase staffing and equipment. Having spent 30 years in public safety, I know firsthand what is needed. Create a community outreach program to inform citizens of crime safety and awareness.
What is one thing you would like to accomplish during your next term, if elected? Eliminate debt. I have been a part of eliminating over $4 million in debt in the last four years. With diligence and tough decisions, we can make Atwater debt-free. Financial security is the key to growth and development.
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Paul Creighton, 48, business owner
What differentiates you from your opponents? I have personal experience in all aspects of local government. I extensively studied the issues that the city of Atwater faces today and I believe that I have a strong economic development plan on how to move the city forward.
What can be done to improve and secure public safety in Atwater? Continue our push to hire additional police officers without sacrificing our high standards, and modernize our police department at the same time.
What is the one thing you would like to accomplish during your first term, if elected? I want to eliminate the $3.4 million debt by bringing in more commercial developments like the city of Turlock has done with such great success.
Cindy Vierra, 50, area manager for Nations Lending
What differentiates you from your opponents? My positive attitude and strong desire to do what is right and just makes me a great candidate for Atwater City Council. I have a strong background in finance that has taught me to work within strict government guidelines and assist my customers with homeownership. My background in sales has taught me how to go after and obtain new business and recruit new opportunities. I hope to utilize that to help Atwater grow and prosper.
What can be done to improve and secure public safety in Atwater? The officers that work in Atwater deserve the best training and equipment that we can afford to them. It is import to balance our budget so that we can hire and retain qualified individuals and offer that to them. I think we should work to bridge the gap between our law enforcement/public safety and our community.
What can be done to improve and secure public safety in Atwater? I really don’t have one specific thing that I hope to accomplish. I have many. Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Let’s make sound financial decisions that will bring our finances back on track and assure us a more prosperous future.
Dan Hernandez, 72, a retiree, did not participate in the Merced Sun-Star’s questionnaire.