Now that he is a sitting member of the San Fernando City Council, Hector Pacheco is willing to express some thoughts about what he’d like to accomplish during his term.
He told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol he also wants input from residents as well as the business community. “We really need public involvement and we need transparency on our end to make that happen,” he said.
When asked how to encourage public involvement, Pacheco said he would reach out to community leaders, churches, and health centers without naming any specific persons or names of organizations.
The issues that concern him include the “dilapidated streets” and parking, which residents have previously mentioned at council meetings. He would also like to see the San Fernando Mall with more mixed-use buildings, and favors low-density projects over high-density projects.
The controversial JC Penney apartment project — converting the abandoned JC Penney building on the mall into a 101-unit apartment building — is one Pacheco said he could favor for residential use but with not that many units. He did not offer an exact number, “just not such a large project.”
Pacheco noted the building “is an opportunity” to be a key part of the mall — “it’s right there on the corner.” Yet, he realizes, “there is already a lot of traffic in the area, there is already a lot of parking troubles in the area. I don’t think there is a more clearer issue that the public rejected.”
Pacheco hopes to make the city more eco-friendly, particularly in water conservation, saying “the kind of problems that we’re having with our zoning and regulations and how they don’t necessarily address the fact that we are in a drought, even though it’s toward the tail end of the drought. I think we need to be smarter on where we can create areas that are more eco-friendly and green in the city.”
He has no proposals yet on how to conserve, but said that “at the right time we’ll see common sense stuff” that’s going to help.
Pacheco said he’s been involved in city politics since the 2012 recall election. He felt Sylvia Ballin was “a solid leader,” so when he considered running for city council, he consulted her.
He’s also supported Joel Fajardo’s politics since he ran for office — they are childhood friends — and backed Fajardo’s campaign for the state assembly.
Even though Pacheco acknowledged Ballin and Fajardo gave him political insight — one reason why he ran on their ticket — he doesn’t consider himself part of a majority block.
“I think that’s what people can expect from me is not so much a majority block, but more so thoughtful council member that really wants to get the policy right,” Pacheco said.
He said he loves his career as an entertainment lawyer and has no higher office ambitions.
“I don’t have special interests in mind, I don’t have some kind of governorship hope. I have San Fernando residents in mind. As a homeowner, as a lifelong resident, I think that gives me a unique perspective.”