Paradise Town Council Candidates Forum
Paradise Town Council Candidates Forum
Message from the Chamber 00:00:13, Steve Oehler 00:01:09, Gregg Mowers 10:21, John Gillander 14:19,
Steve "woody" Culleton 24:16, Melissa Schuster 32:06, Warren Bullock 38:40, Sam Gronseth 45:05, Rachelle McCann 51:51, Greg Bolin 55:36
Rose Tryon 1:07:29, Mike "Zucc" Zuccolillo 1:15:08, Julian Martinez 1:27:05
The Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce (PRCoC) has produced the 2020 Paradise Town Council Candidate Forum as a public service. PRCoC does not endorse political candidates and provides this platform as a nonpartisan resource.
PRCoC thanks the thirteen candidates for their commitment to our community as demonstrated by their willingness to serve in an elected capacity. We appreciate all who work toward our common mission of supporting the civic and commercial progress of our community.
This Town Council Candidate Interview Forum was made with the intention of producing an informative, accessible video for the Ridge community.
This video is meant to be an opportunity for the Town Council candidates to be heard on an equal platform, where citizens can compare responses and get to know the candidates better.
Questions with a focus on economic development were solicited from chamber and community members. Final selection was made by the PRCoC Board of Directors. All candidates received the same three questions, as follows:
1) If elected, what will be your immediate priorities?
2) What are the greatest economic development opportunities and challenges for Paradise in the next two years? How would you capitalize on these opportunities and overcome these challenges?
3) The Camp Fire and COVID-19 have presented Paradise with great challenge as well as great opportunity. How do you think Paradise should market itself to attract residents in the post-COVID economy, and what partnerships would you seek in supporting a new direction?
All candidates were invited to participate. The candidate interview order was determined by filming order, and all interviews were conducted by the Paradise Ridge Chamber of Commerce Operations Associate, Kathleen Liljeberg.
If you have any questions about the forum, please contact the Chamber.
Candidate Contact Information
Culleton, Steve "Woody"
McCann, Rachelle email@example.com
Zuccolillo, Mike "Zucc"
(Alphabetical by last name)
My family and I moved to Paradise from L.A. in 1967. I loved living and growing up in Paradise. I went to school here and played sports. I met my wife in our church youth group, and we married in 1977. We raised 4 children here, started our family owned business in 1979 and worked throughout the North state. Life seemed to be cruising along until Nov. 8, 2018 when the Camp Fire took our town but not our spirit. As all of you know, it is very difficult to find words to describe our sense of loss and devastation we all experienced that day. The days and months to follow showed us the heart of the people of this town. Determined, optimistic, resilient, and ready to get to work bringing our town back. Through many meetings with our town’s people, an aggressive plan was developed to make Paradise stronger and more resilient than before. I’m running to see this plan implemented and accomplish what you said was important for the comeback of the place we all call home, Paradise.
Steve "Woody" Culleton:
I lost everything in the Camp Fire. Escaping only with my dogs Charlie-Horse and Scarlett. My property was cleared at the end of the DROC clean-up. I spent 2019 living in a motor home and camping on my parcel. After completing the site work on my new manufactured home, myself, I became the 71st homeowner to receive a Certificate of Occupancy. I now live in my new home. Rebuilding my own home is not enough for me. I need to help others get home too.
Having a 20-year history as a masonry contractor building both private and public projects along with building custom homes, provided me with insight and experience to understand the details of the tasks ahead of us. Working for the past 24 years with local and state representatives has provided sound knowledge of local procedures and policies.
Your vote will enable me to represent our needs, to protect property owners’ rights in the rebuilding process as well as to advocate for realistic ordinances and encourage wise use of the town’s funds. I’m committed to each household and business that wants to return to Paradise.
I have been a resident of Paradise since 1986, working to envision and strengthen the youth on the Ridge. In my retirement I serve as a mentor teacher, director for Paradise Community Chorus and Chief Financial Officer for the Inspire Foundation. My ties to Paradise are very strong, and I am interested in developing a balanced and thriving community as we rebuild from the Camp Fire.
I request your vote. As I have built, cared for, and developed students over the past years, I will do the same for the people and Town of Paradise.
Julian J. Martinez:
Honesty, transparency and critical thinking are what I will bring to the Paradise Town Council. My diverse background ranging from behavioral health to construction gives me a unique ability to understand both physical and social logistics. I will use my skill set to make decisions that improve the quality of life for the residents of this community.
In 2018 I ran for the Paradise Town Council on the platform of fire prevention and preparedness in addition to building economic opportunities. I accurately predicted the Camp Fire and the unfortunate obstacles of the evacuation. My long standing connection to this community and history and track record of innovation, enable me to understand and provide solutions to the problems we face. I do not pretend to have all the answers but what I can assure you with absolute certainty that I do have, is the ability to contribute to a team effort to produce effective resolution to anything that comes our way.
Honesty, transparency and critical thinking are what I stand for. My love for this community and dedication to creative problem solving run as deep as our treasured canyons. Together, we will continue to rebuild and demonstrate our resiliency.
I am a 20+ year resident of Paradise. I am an Office Supervisor at the U.S. Census, which is extremely important to me to assist in getting Paradise federally funded. I am also on the board for the Paradise Parade of Flags.
My main priority in running for council is bringing people home. I want to make the process of building homes and businesses easier. I want to encourage and attract new businesses to build our economy back up on the Ridge.
Safety for all residents is very important to me. I want to help make the town safe in the event of another disaster. We need to work together to try and eliminate the escalating crime.
I want to be a voice for you, I want to work with the citizens of Paradise to find out what Paradise actually wants. Please consider voting for me to help bring us all home and work together to make Paradise all it’s name implies.
I bring a diverse background. I am born and raised Californian. I graduated from CSU - Chico with a BS in Healthcare Administration. I spent 21 years in the Air Force performing duties in Law Enforcement and Recruiting. After retiring, I opened a retail business in Paradise. I was an Executive Director for a Residential Care Facility and I am now in Real Estate. A Paradise resident for 24 years, my wife and I raised our children here.
After the Campfire I found it my mission to help with the recovery of Paradise. I started by joining the Board of Directors for the Gold Nugget Museum, then I was appointed to the Paradise Irrigation District (PID) Board as the DIvision 5 Director. I serve on several committees including PID/Town of Paradise Liaison, Administration & Personnel, Finance, Ad Hoc Negotiating Committee, ACWA/JPIA. I also serve on the Paradise Association of Realtors Board and am an active Rotarian.
My positions and life experiences have gained me knowledge in areas including budget development, union negotiations, marketing, formulation and evaluation of policy, legislative decision-making, and more. When I do something, I go all in. I am dedicated to the rebuilding of Paradise.
I have a unique advantage in executing our recovery. I am a Project Manager for over 20 years, now working in the Planning, Permitting, Code Enforcement, and Public Works departments for Yuba County, providing software and process improvements for customers.
I am a citizen member of the Paradise Irrigation District Finance Committee; hold a California Real Estate Salesperson License; and Stage Designer for North Valley Shooters Association.
I have a Master’s in Business Administration and am trained by the Institute of Internal Auditors.
I will aggressively follow the Long-Term Recovery Plan designed by residents and reject distractions and false agendas.
I will balance our personal property rights with the community’s need for infrastructure and safety.
I will fairly respect the rights of individuals, provide opportunities for recovery, remove obstacles, and support business opportunities.
Like you, I am a Camp Fire survivor overcoming the challenges of rebuilding. My daughter, also a Paradise resident, survived the fire, but could not remain here without her church, her children’s schools, and network of friends. It is the responsibility of the Council to move our recovery forward, and quickly, so as to not lose our sense of belonging to the Ridge.
In 2016 I ran for Town Council because I wanted to help “make Paradise a business friendly, self-sustaining, and safe community with a strong, diverse and growing local economy.” Following the devastating Camp Fire, this is more important than ever and my dedication to enhancing the quality of life in the Community of Paradise has never been stronger.
Along with friends and family members, I, too, lost my home and business. I understand, first-hand, the challenges of rebuilding, of living in an RV, and of struggling with difficult life choices. We have come so far and, yet, there is still so much work to be done. I am, and always will be, committed to this Town and proud of the resilience, strength and remarkable recovery efforts of the citizens of Paradise.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the Town and other organizations to ensure that the vision of our residents, as stated in our Long-Term Community Recovery Plan, is achieved.
Please vote for me on November 3rd. Allow me to continue to represent you, to serve you, and to be your advocate for a stronger, safer, more positive Paradise!
Mike "Zucc" Zuccolillo:
Join me in continuing to restore the paradise to Paradise. As the Camp Fire has forever been etched in our minds, I ask for your continued support in serving the Town of Paradise. As an outspoken leader I stayed behind to evacuate fellow residents while delivering information & facts when it matters. My passion & heart for serving has allowed me to be an advocate and voice for the Town.
My top goals this term are to improve evacuation routes, restore downtown Skyway to 4 lanes, improve fire infrastructure (town-wide air siren, working reverse 911), wisely manage PG&E settlement funds so we never have to ask for another tax increase and create policies to streamline our building process while eliminating laws that don’t work. We have many important decisions that will forever shape the future of Paradise. What made Paradise great was its people, its traditions, and its small-town values. Let us rebuild the future without forgetting our past. I have kept my promises I made in 2016 and will continue to do so. I ask for your vote.
Ensure that you are ready to vote! All registered California voters will be sent a vote-by-mail ballot with a prepaid postage return envelope for the November 3rd election. Check to be sure you are registered to vote: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.
gov/ and update your registration today at https://RegisterToVote.ca.gov
If you need a paper registration form, call the Chamber at (530) 877-9356 and we will set one outside our office for you to pick up.