When I met with Vincent Salinas for this interview, he was full of information and ideas, and his love for the city of Visalia was apparent. Although a non-incumbent seeking a Visalia City Council seat, he is an old face to Visalia, proud to trace his family roots back to 1872 when his great-grandmother first settled in the city.
Salinas recalled his years at Redwood High School and the hardships he faced as a young teen when separated from his natural parents. Although hard times forced him into the foster care system, he persevered and excelled in high school, and was an active club and community leader, ultimately attending College of the Sequoias and San Jose State, where he majored in administration and criminal law. His education and career work experience as a business consultant, stockbroker and financial advisor demonstrate his work ethic and determination to succeed.
He described himself as a family man who preservers in the face of adversity. He believes he is qualified for the city council in light of his very diverse background.
Salinas’ concerns start with the issues of city planning and traffic congestion. “It’s just common sense that we embrace the progress of our whole city, not just overpopulated areas such as Mooney Boulevard, by providing a logical analysis of the traffic areas,” he explained. He supports improving city planning to benefit the entire city, with ultimately a more concentrated effort to build up the city’s north edge (Riggin Avenue). He envisions a Visalia with a balance of positive growth through productive commercial development and new housing.
Salinas does not want Visalia to have the “sprawl” of Fresno or Bakersfield, with undeveloped lots between existing commercial buildings. He says council members such as Greg Collins, who is seeking re-election, would avoid building out if there is land in commercal areas that needs to be developed. Unfortunately, according to Salinas, a lot of this land is not for sale and is unlikely to be on the market anytime soon. He says that Collins would delay projects in hope of land within existing commercial areas coming up for sale. Salinas says that if empty lots within the city are not for sale, they must build outside and he does not consider that to be “leap frogging.”
Salinas’ visions for the city also include a proposal to gather all law enforcement administration toward the newly planned 911 center. “Bringing all the task forces together will not only save taxpayer monies, but will also improve communication between departments,” he explained. His other platforms include reducing flood insurance for homeowners, working with Visalia Rescue Mission to help with the issue of personal storage needs for the homeless, and employment opportunities as a result of proposed positive and balanced city planning.
Salinas has been on the Visalia Planning Commission for the past nine years and the Visalia General Plan Update Committee for three years. He believes himself to be up-to-date, involved and well informed. His experience also includes work in the city of Newark where he served on the city council for four years, representing Newark at the Association of Bay Area Government, and working with the board of supervisors of several counties. He is a member of the American G.I. Forum and was commander of his chapter and state treasurer.
Salinas believes he is a man with a vision for Visalia who comes with a resume worthy of candidacy. To learn more about this candidate, visit vincentbsalinas.com.