Emanuel Patrascu

August 23, 2010

Name: Emanuel Patrascu

Age: 29

Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania

How long have you lived in Laguna Beach? Four years

Occupation: small business owner, district representative for Sen. Tom Harman

Education: bachelor's degree in business administration, master's degree in political science

Previously elected or appointed positions: none

Community organizations you belong to: board member, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce
Back to School (provides backpacks, school supplies, shoes and clothes to 100 low-income children in Laguna Beach), Chamber Government Affairs Committee member, member, Surfrider Foundation

What is the most critical issue now in Laguna Beach?

Getting the local economy back on track is one of my highest priorities. According to the Chamber of Commerce, the business vacancy rate is some parts of Laguna is as high as 30%. The poor local economy is hurting our ability to balance our budget, hurting tourism and harming the quality of life we are accustomed to enjoying. 


How would you resolve that issue?

Not all of Laguna Beach’s budget problems can be attributed to the global economic situation. The city’s onerous regulatory burdens and start-up fees are cost-prohibitive for small businesses. In this struggling economy we must focus on the needs of Laguna Beach's small business community. Local governments ought to provide incentives for businesses to grow with over-due regulatory relief. As a small business owner myself, I know that private enterprise, not the government, creates jobs. We all know it is small business owners, not appointed commissioners, who know best how to operate a small business. 
Government policies and priorities make the difference to families, businesses and government at all  levels. Government has an obligation to act responsibly and fairly when it comes to spending, budget deficits, tax and fiscal policy.

Unfortunately, too many small businesses in Laguna Beach are struggling. Our community is reeling from the pain of closing stores and ultimately the end of small business owners' dreams. If we do not act now, we will be putting the future of Laguna Beach on hold, changing it forever.

One of my top priorities will be to promote policies that create jobs and economic opportunity. I will work with business and community leaders throughout the region to achieve that goal.

What qualities would you like to see in a new city manager?

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