Fred Tovar, nearing the end of his first term on the Gilroy City Council, said he is seeking a second term in November to continue serving his neighbors.
“I believe in Gilroy, the city that has always believed in me,” he said. “I care too much about our city’s future not to run for re-election. The stakes are just too high, and Gilroy needs a strong, trustworthy voice standing up for all residents, businesses and working families.”
Tovar was first elected to the council in 2016, part of 16 years in public service that included time on the California Community College Trustees Board and Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education.
He holds a master’s in Counseling and Education from San Jose State University. He currently works as the director of Career Services and Alumni Relations at Cogswell Polytechnical College in San Jose. Prior to coming to Cogswell, Tovar spent more than 18 years as the director of Student Affairs and assistant director of Admissions at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tovar said he is proud of a number of decisions he and the council made during his first term. Those include making a downtown police patrol permanent, supporting fee reduction programs for downtown businesses, and lobbying for funds to reconstruct First Street, among other things.
If re-elected, Tovar said he will continue to assist efforts in making Gilroy a recreation destination by supporting potential ice rinks at the Gilroy Sports Park as well as a BMX pump track in the city.
Recovering from the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is one of the top issues facing the city, and Tovar said he will work with local business owners, residents and other groups to promote economic growth.
“The City of Gilroy must provide resources that get our businesses back open and our employees back to work,” he said. “In addition to managing our finances wisely, our recovery starts with protecting the most vulnerable affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Our future should be to continue creating better paying jobs, continue supporting our small businesses, continue improving our neighborhoods, and making housing affordable for those who require it.”
Growing downtown can stimulate economic growth in the city as a whole, Tovar said, adding that city officials need to “do everything we can” to help businesses succeed. He praised the work by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce and Gilroy Downtown Business Association.
“Let’s continue to keep profits in town, support local and family-owned businesses,” he said. “I want our downtown to be known as a destination spot.”
Tovar said Gilroy can further its public safety goals by working to ensure officers have the appropriate funding and equipment to do their jobs, while also receiving the resources they need to be effective throughout the pandemic.
“I pride myself on being a tireless advocate for my constituents and I feel that one of my most important duties as a councilmember is to assist residents in accessing city services,” he said. “I am always ready to listen if you are having trouble with a city service or have ideas about how to make Gilroy a better place to live. My policy is an open door one for all citizens of Gilroy to voice opinions and be heard.”