Name: Erik Peterson
Birthplace: Pensacola, Fla.
How long have you lived in Huntington Beach? 40 years
Occupation: Huntington Beach business owner
Education: bachelor’s degree in business information system
Previously elected or appointed positions: Huntington Beach Finance Board
Community organizations you belong to: BSA
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Huntington Beach right now?
The biggest issues facing our city are financial issues. City revenue is down and the cost to run the city keeps rising. The city is incurring a huge debt of unfunded liabilities while cutting or eliminating city services and infrastructure repair. About 77% of last years $178-million budget was spent on salaries and benefits. We must control our costs, and not look to higher taxes and fees to fix the problem.
What is one decision in the last year the City Council got right and why would you have supported it?
I think working with Costco to bring them to Huntington Beach was something the council and city got right. It is a good use of the old Montgomery Wards location and will generate sales tax revenue. This helps better the city’s financial problems without taking from the residents and businesses.
What is one decision in the last year the City Council got wrong, or partially wrong, and why would you have voted differently?
The lack of decisions in regards to fixing our city’s financial problems was something the City Council got wrong. More needed to be done to remedy short term and long term financial issues. Further study and actions should have been given to items such as salaries, pensions, in-house vs. outsourcing of city services, and business development.