The Press

Five candidates seek seats on Cudahy City Council

CUDAHY — Incumbent Baru Sanchez and appointed City Council members Diane Oliva and Cristian Markovich are being challenged by newcomers Adam Ochoa and Christian Hernandez in the March 3 municipal election.

Sanchez , an accountant and auditor, was elected in spring 2013, Councilman Osvald Conte, who resigned from the council after he was charged with bribery regarding a medical marijuana dispensary that wanted to open in the city.

Sanchez said he has lived in Cudahy for 14 years, is with the accounting firm of KP&G. He said his financial knowledge is helpful in straightening out the city’s financial problems. He has a bachelor of science in accounting from Cal State Long Beach.

A member of the committee to establish a chamber of commerce in Cudahy, Sanchez said his main goal is to bring in a revenue stream to the city via new businesses and jobs.

Markovich was appointed in 2013 to serve the remaining term of Councilman Frank Gurule, who had resigned earlier that year citing “familial commitments and responsibilities.”

Markovich said he is a life-long Cudahy resident whose parents lived in the city since the 1960s. He is a technician with Arie Jones, a firm that supplies technical information to schools. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Cal State Long Beach.

“I want to stay on the council to continues the good work we have done to help stabilize the city and its financial situation,” he said.

Markovich joins his council colleagues in seeking to establish a chamber of commerce in Cudahy to promote businesses and jobs.

He and Hernandez are running as a slate, he added.

Oliva was appointed to the council in late 2014. She replaced Councilman Juan Romo, who had suffered a stroke.

An accountant and tax return specialist, Oliva said she has lived in Cudahy since 2013 after growing up in the Southeast Los Angeles County area.

“I believe we are not properly representing the wishes of our residents,” she said. “As the only woman on the council, I have a point of view which might differ from men.

“My interest is to represent the community, to listen to the voice of the people,” Oliva said.

She also cites public safety as a main concern along with the need for programs for youths and senior citizens and would seek grants to help the city’s financial operations.

“I believe there is a lack of communication with residents,” she said. “I will work to get adequate information to the public. It’s all about results.”

Hernandez, an account executive with Ricoh US, said he moved to Cudahy in November 2014 from Lynwood and grew up in the Southeast area.

“I am running because we have a lot of deficiencies in the city,” he said. “My main issue is addressing community resources.”

Hernandez said his accounting experience with private industry, nonprofits and small business operations will be helpful in addressing Cudahy’s financial woes.

Ochoa, 18, is listed as a community  volunteer on the ballot. He said he has lived in Cudahy since he was 2 and graduated from South Gage High School.

“I want to put Cudahy residents in the forefront, said Ochoa, a student at Cal State Northridge.

He calls for extracurricular programs for youths and community services for senior citizens.

Because the city can’t afford to hire more police, Ochoa said he would organize neighborhood watches with residents to upgrade public safety.

Ochoa plans to complete college classes next fall, earning a degree in political science in two years because of advance college courses he took in high school.