The Santa Ramona Chronicles spoke to Mayoral Candidate Dimitri Rousseau before the upcoming debates to be held on 29th Saturday, February 2020.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your background.
A: I'm originally from Louisiana, New Orleans. I moved to Santa Ramona with my family a couple years ago an' I have loved living here ever since. I'm an FD Chief an' also own a construction company an' I've been both a city councilman an' City Manager. I like havin' a good time, enjoy a challenge an' box in my spare time.
Q: What do you want for Santa Ramona and what do you think the city could use?
A: Opportunity, Investment, Community. These things sum up it up in brief but let me elaborate.
Santa Ramona needs a vision---one which drives the city in terms of opening it up to opportunity, investment.
I have a project which I have already started and want to see to completion as Mayor which is a TV Studio
Network. Santa Ramona has it's fair share of celebrities but imagine a city that has a strong media presence such as LA, but in our very own backyard?
The TV Studio network would be a major employer and entertainment in the city, creating jobs for actors, models, reporters and TV Hosts, hairdressers and stylists, writers and singers, local bands, so on.
It will also provide a chance for the city to partake in something that can be interactive---such as talk show forums and discussions, the news with camera crews on the street, cookin' shows, live music an' comedy an' so on.
This is part of investment which I have garnered for the city with shareholders already paid into the network in the form of two people and a third investor looking to contribute along the way. The city council passed permit approvals for the network, it's just a matter of securing another investor for the network to kick things off and they may have been secured so it's just a matter of wait and see now.
I believe community matters a great deal to Santa Ramona and one of my ideas for it is Walk In Welcomes, a proposal that would not only throw the community together but boost local businesses and increase their foot traffic:
Every and any local business would be invited to host a regular meeting session for new residents and old alike as well as visitors, building on community spirit.
The benefits of this would be the meeting spots change so the citizens discover new businesses and locations around the city, getting to explore it and meet new people. The local businesses would also be able to promote themselves and offer up any career opportunities to those interested. It can be held monthly.
Rent Caps. I've already touched on this in my last campaign but I believe this is a solid idea for a city with high expenses in terms of rent and housing prices.
Rent cap will stop greedy landlords from exploiting the civilians and ensure more affordable housing is on offer---for everyone.
Public Housing-- After the protest led by Brother Langham highlighted this issue, I would be happy to look into alloting funds for public housing or attempting to secure Federal Grants for such and I have had as my track record, success in vying for Federal Grants thanks to Governor Stone's help and efforts.
Taxes- Those who have a business or own more than one property in Santa Ramona can expect less taxation. This is to encourage investment in the city, while the rent cap will ensure that landlords do not exploit tenants and keep rent at a fair and reasonable price.
Q: How would you address concerns about the South side in terms of it's safety and crime issues?
A: With the new South side Police Department opening up soon, we will soon be able to tell if policing in the area improves or only exacerbates the situation in the South side. Tensions can run high between police and the residents there but this is why more community events need to be staged in the South side so that it is
a vibrant and dynamic part of the city and not, as I feel it is right now, an isolated and alienated section.
My ideas for community events there include:
BBQ Block Parties- Municipal departments to hold regular BBQ block parties in the community.
Beach parties- Local bands playing with all money from tickets to go to a cause in the South side.
A Sponsored Run- As a regular and recurring activity in the South side and North side, this will hopefully foster running groups for those interested in joining one to boost traffic and activity within the South side and ensure some healthy activity that can lead to friendships and new connections.
Q: How do you feel your background and relevant experience would contribute to being Mayor?
A: I have previously held the position of City Councilman and am currently City Manager. I have had 100% successful approval rates on my proposals in city council which were all on subjects related to boosting the city in terms of it's: Safety Infrastructure, Disaster Relief Management and Resources, Putting together a plan and resources for Municipal departments and civilians to be able to access in times of emergency and disaster. The Contingency Plan is for use in wild fire, earthquakes, flooding, etc and helps provide a valuable resource for the city to safely evacuate to safe zones that have been established between both the SRFD and SRSD, SRV Hospital.
I have raised money for the city for disaster relief, contributed financially to other fund raisers, organized events for the city in terms of the Cook Off Contest in collaboration with others but also the Race Track and after party.
I work to keep the city safe along with the rest of the SRFD, aiming to provide effective EMS and Fire rescue and firefighting.
All of these experiences mean to me that I am able to tackle crises with a strong mind frame, that I am able to remain calm in the face of challenges and that I will rise to them and deal with them. I have experience in City Hall. I am not unfamiliar with politics and have worked for the benefit of the city, something that other candidates may not have done or ever had in their experience of doing.
Q: Any words of comment on your fellow candidate, running for Mayor?
A: It's ultimately the city's choice and if they prefer to choose somebody who hasn't been in the city but a week before the campaign elections than that's their choice. I am not planning to run again and am not concerned if they do choose somebody who I have yet to see do anything for the city, that is on the public and if that's what they want, I don't think I'd be interested in representing those type of people to begin with.