Editor's note: Candidates Cathy Schlicht and Ed Sachs did not respond to requests to be interviewed.
Absentee voting starts Monday, and Mission Viejo's city council has two seats up for grabs this November. With six candidates to choose from, how do you decide who gets your vote?
Here's a chance to learn more about the candidates. These four candidates agreed to tell Patch readers what to expect from them as council candidates. They are listed in the order in which they were interviewed.
This is Bucknum's first time running for a council seat. She's a governmental & public affairs manager closely connected to Mission Viejo's business community.
Bucknum says she has a lot of support from the sports community, seniors and school volunteers, as well as past council members.
She said government and businesses must work together, and as a council member she would find ways to support the city's tax base:
"The city needs to reach out to businesses. We need to go after some businesses and explain to them why Mission Viejo is a great place to operate a business. If there are things getting in the way, we need to come up with a common sense approach to solving that."
Ury seeks his third and final term on the city council this year. (Term limits would prevent him from seeking a fourth term).
In 2004, Ury was the top vote-getter with 18,772. In fact he received more votes than any other candidate since the city was incorporated in 1987. In 2008 he again led the candidates with 16,928 votes.
He said that forging close relationships with local businesses and government officials is key to Mission Viejo's future. Sharing school amenities is one way this could work, he said:
"If schools will let us use the fields for AYSO (soccer) on Saturdays, Sundays, maybe we’ll split the maintenance fees wih them."
Another council newcomer is Desi Kiss, who owns and manages DJK Engineering from his Mission Viejo home.
Kiss said his experience working on behalf of large companies like Disney has given him the practical know-how to deal with the city's problems.
He has criticized the city for using contracted building planners, a relationship that leaves the potential for corruption, he said.
Kiss said his engineering experience would add an expertise to the council:
"The City Council appears to lack many areas of expertise with the engineering profession. Public safety would be one of the issues of concern."
Test engineer manager Coleman moved to Mission Viejo 14 years ago.
He said a desire to offer public service inspired him to run for city council:
"I’ve never run for anything in my life. Last year when we started hearing about all these cities having problems with their finances, with their debt, I thought, 'I wonder how our city is doing. I wonder if there is some way that I might assist."
Keep an eye on Patch for full interviews with these candidates. If you really want to get to know your council candidates, plan to attend the Patch City Council debate Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Murray Community Center.