COSTA MESA — Chad Petschl made up his mind to run for City Council two days before the deadline for filing the paperwork.
He said that his chances of winning are slim, but he believes that he brings a fresh face to the community and is someone who is willing to listen. Petschl doesn't like seeing all of the empty buildings and storefronts around Costa Mesa and wants to find a way to fill them with businesses that bring revenue to the city.
"We have to market the city to get businesses to come to the city," he said. "We need to just open up the lines of communication, find out what other cities do that promote their environment."
When asked about some of the issues affecting Costa Mesa during candidates' forums, Petschl, who moved here from Las Vegas more than a year ago, didn't seem to be familiar with them.
For example, he didn't know much about the city's Recreation on Campus for Kids After School (ROCKS) program, which made local headlines since the city dropped it for lack of funds. He also wants to expand John Wayne Airport – not the most popular idea in Newport-Mesa.
Technology is always advancing, and maybe there will be a day when airplanes do not pollute so much or are not so loud, he said.
Why should people and communities limit themselves to what's working now and not look to the future? he asked.
"Ultimately, I think people will respect me for standing up for an opinion that I believe, but I'll do what the people want," he said.
Petschl, 35, who is trying to start up his own sales business, said he's learning as he goes.
"I wanted an experience," he said. "I wanted to learn something. I've always had the love of politics. It's always been an interest of mine. I wanted to see if possibly it was a calling of mine. I wanted to try to get involved in the community, and I also wanted to get young people to participate and get out."
He proposes attracting major sports leagues from around the country to play tournaments in Costa Mesa in hopes of shoring up city revenue.
Petschl, who describes himself as a Constitutional conservative, said when it comes to public service employees, their work is difficult to quantify. Much of this year's campaign for council has been dominated by debates about the costs of pensions for police and firefighters.
"You can't put a price on a job where you put your life on the line," he said.
Petschl, who was raised in Minnesota, said his Constitutional conservatism leads him to believe that 10% of one's earning should go toward helping the poor, the church and the community.
"I'm a free marketer, a believer in the Capitalist system," he said. "But I grew up with a mother in social work, my wife is a social worker and for seven years I took care of three people with developmental disability, and I grew up helping the poor."