Tuesday, October 11, 2016

• Meet City Council Candidate Dustin Nigg

So that the community can have a chance to better know the candidates for city council, I like to invite them to a chat. This year is a bit different because —there's only one person actively running for a seat on the council— yet there are still two names on the ballot, and though Linda Gonzales has withdrawn from the race, the scuttlebut is that if she gets more votes she'll take the job.

 WR  How long have you been in Wildomar and how did you choose it to be your home?
 DN   I've been in Wildomar since, essentially, 2001. My parents bought a house off of Cherry Street, living with them when I was 18, joined the Marine Corps, I was in San Diego for a while, [we] were renting down there. Then we started a family and it was time to buy and I had family up here.  

 WR  What got you interested in being a city council member?
 DN   My car was broken into about a year ago. They stole a diaper bag, [had a] broken window, [it was a] $200 inconvenience. It's something I've never really had to think about —public safety, but having three kids I consider myself a stakeholder in the community. I decided that I could give back to my community. I'm smart, intelligent, I like to be well read on what I'm doing, I felt like I had something to give back.

 WR  Tell me a bit about your family.
 DN   I have four brothers. One builds Alumawood patio covers out of Murrieta, one is a cop in Irvine, one is a construction manager in Orange County, the youngest is in the Marines. I have three little girls 7, 5 and 3 and my wife Desiree (also a veteran —14 years— with three deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan). 
Dustin and Desiree Nigg at the Wildomar VFW.

 WR  What is your day job?
 DN   I work for the Marine Corps as a civilian. It's basically command and control systems, "IT stuff" that's the best way to put it. I work at Pendleton, it's rewarding because I get to support the Marine Corps still. 

 WR  When traveling to work, what do you listen to?
 DN   I'll answer it in two ways, that's the time I talk on the phone. That's usually what I'm doing when I'm driving. If I'm not on the phone, I'll listen to '90s Summer Hits on Pandora or '60s oldies.
Official campaign sign seen around town.

 WR  Measure V is a $105 million school bond, do you have an opinion on it?
 DN  Initially I'm against any kind of new tax. That being said, [at a] local level where you can see the effects and benefits of the money that we're all going to be contributing —I'm for it. I want [Wildomar] kids to have good education and I want them to have good infrastructure. 

 WR  Do you follow any sports and if so, do you have any favorite teams?
 DN  I switched from the Chargers to the Rams. I was happy to do so because Philip Rivers irritated me all the time. I'm not an avid fan, but I have a fantasy team which makes it more fun because you have players on every different team. [Also] the World Cup. I played soccer in high school, so the World Cup, I'll watch that.
I still think the campaign sign that WR created is more fetching.
 WR  Each council member nominates a planning commissioner. Do you have a philosophy for future growth you'll be looking for in the one you'll nominate, and will you meet/talk with them regularly?
 DN  Ultimately I want [Wildomar] to look pretty. The biggest thing that I'd want to impress on the planning commissioner that I'd appoint would be the secondary and tertiary effects of things. I don't want to do something that sounds great [on paper], but we didn't think x, y or z. 

I do want to encourage growth. I think it's the [local] government's responsibility to set the conditions —facilitate the conditions, for responsible growth, and then we can be picky about what we're doing, but create conditions for people to want to come here and build. We get revenue that way, more cops that way, infrastructure improvements that way. 

 WR  There's an on-again off-again project adjacent to The Farm known as Spring Meadows Ranch. The last time it came before the planning commission there was opposition from people that live at The Farm. What's your take on it, including any linking roads.
 DN  In my opinion, before that could go any further, Bundy Canyon would need to be [fixed], and that may be the plan. I would not feel comfortable putting anything else out there until Bundy Canyon is fixed.

When you were talking about "sharing roads" were you talking about community to community?
 WR  Yes.
 DN  As a Farm resident I'm not against that. I think they're worried about through traffic into The Farm, where in reality it would be the new community that would have the through traffic because people from The Farm would take the side roads through to wherever they want to go.... that's how I see that happening. I don't see it adversely affecting The Farm residence too much. 

 WR  What kind of hobbies do you have?
 DN  I like comic books, I like Superman. I don't read them as much now, but they're fun to collect. Reading, I enjoy reading constitution type stuff. I'm reading a book called "Original Intent" which goes through the original intent of the amendments and kind of goes along with the Federalist Papers. 

Game of Thrones, I'm an avid Game of Thrones watcher.

Hanging out with the kids and barbecuing.

 WR  A big hot button issue in Wildomar (and the rest of the country) is marijuana dispensaries. Knowing about the city's budget woes, and that people are already using it in town, what are your thoughts on the continued ban on pot shops in Wildomar?
 DN  I'll have a good inkling on how Wildomar feels about it in November (referring to Prop 64). I've never smoked weed so I don't really have an [opinion]. In my eyes it's a state issue and not a federal issue anyway. That being said, there are concerns before I'd want to vote yes or no... I'd leave that up to the constituents, if that's something they fully wanted, I'd be ok with that. But there is public safety —I wouldn't feel comfortable having marijuana dispensaries here until those concerns were mitigated. 

That being said, I don't see a full need for it, I don't see it bringing that much revenue into us, because there's already established places [in other areas]. I'd have to look and see what we thought we'd bring in (tax revenues) but as far as the legalization of it... it's up to the people of Wildomar. 

 WR  Social media is a great tool. It can be a good way to communicate with the residents, but it can also lead to headaches for those that partake too much. Do you a plan on how you'll use it?
 DN  If elected I'll create a Councilman Nigg page. I'll pretty much accept to be friends with anyone. I'll preface it on the front page with: you can bring concerns here, I cannot guarantee they'll be answered here. This is not the official avenue to reach me or bring forth concerns. 

 WR  You're a combat vet, for lack of a better way to ask, where and when?
 DN  I'm a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marines. My first deployment was Iraq in 2004. That's when we took back Fallujah (Operation Phantom Fury). Djibouti 2006-07, and again to Iraq in 2009. 

I joined the Marine Corps in 2002 as a reservist. I spent eight years on active duty. In 2013 I went to something called a weapons and tactics course. That's like a masters level course for the Marine Corps, it's like Top Gun for the Marine Corps. I'm the only reservist to ever have gone through and pass.

 WR  Being a member of the city council takes up a lot of time. With a full time job and a family it can be difficult for some. What will your approach be?
 DN  I know what I'm getting myself into. Ben [Benoit] and I have talked quite a bit. I know it's going to be a taxation on my time, I understand that. My approach is it's a service to the community, others before self. I'm committed to putting the necessary time in. Whether that means I'm staying at work late to read the agenda and the packet or the weekends going to events. I know that, I'm going to do that. It's time and commitment and the mentality of serving.

 WR  What is your favorite meal?
 DN  Pizza, burritos —California burritos and In-N-Out Burger. Fun fact about me, I worked at In-N-Out Burger for about seven years. That place taught me good work ethic too. After working there for seven years I still love their food, it never got old... that place is amazing.

 WR  Though you'll get more info once sworn in and get to be part of the city council closed sessions, do you have thoughts on those that continually sue the city?
 DN  Initially the thought that comes to mind is legal extortion, and if it's not that then my thought is if you're actually concerned about the wellbeing and the status of our city, why are you suing and why aren't you calling? Why not call a councilmember and talk about whatever x,y,z problem it is... because maybe it's valid. If you actually have a stake in the community and care, why would you want to cost the people around you —your neighbors— money?

That being said, I don't think managing the city under the threat of lawsuits is the ideal way forward. I'd like to really address how do we overcome that; how do we have money to fight lawsuits. We can't even rezone land to have a brewery if we wanted to under the threat of a lawsuit. Personally I'd liked them to say, let's go to court then.

I hate to be that way, but if we're ever going to take a step forward, or keep taking steps forward, then we may have to eventually. Not that we don't now, but we can pick our battles instead of being forced to lay down like a submissive dog. 
Dustin Nigg speaking at the Melissa Melendez campaign headquarters.

 WR  How available to District 2 residents do you plan on being?
 DN  I plan on being available damn near 24-7. If I get a phone call, especially if I get a voicemail, I'm going to call you back. I live in the 21st century. You can email me, call me, or facetime me or something.

 WR  What do you think are your strengths that will help you as a city leader?
 DN  I tend to want to be the subject matter expert on things. I know that doesn't happen overnight. I think it'll take me a good year to get fully adjusted, maybe a year and a half. The different lingo, rules, all that kind of stuff, but my goal is to be the subject matter expert. That's ultimately my goal with everything... I want to be the resident expert. I guess that drive and determination is a strength. I like to speak competently to the subjects, so I tend to want to be well versed on agenda items. 

I think probably my biggest strength is problem solving, and looking for solutions. I have a different set of experiences, than the council. I've Worked under different circumstances and had to think critically. I can handle stress, and still think coherently. 

 WR  What are your top three concerns for Wildomar?
 DN  Public safety is a big thing. Road improvement, infrastructure, that kind of stuff. I drive on Bundy Canyon everyday. I see a woman pushing a stroller everyday, like six o'clock in the morning, on the side of Bundy Canyon. Obviously she's doing it because she has to, but it seems like a death trap to me, on a road with no shoulder, no sidewalk. 

I'd like responsible growth. Not exponential growth, [but] responsible growth, because with that, it encompasses the other two. Responsible growth, whether it be residential or commercial, that's money for the city. With that comes road improvements and with that comes public safety.

Wildomar Rap Summation

For a guy that is only 32, Dustin Nigg is very together. He seems eager to serve his community and shows he cares by the time he puts into what he's doing. 

He's engaging and is very easy to converse with. He also comes equipped with a vice grip level handshake, so brace yourself when you meet him.

He didn't ask for the questions I'd be asking ahead of time, but I gave him most of the topics so he could give informed opinions. 

One question I asked him, that I didn't put in the blog, was what he knew of the missing VLF funds. His answer was very complete, and showed how much energy he put into it.

Though Linda Gonzales contacted city clerk Debbie Lee and "withdrew" from the election (link to blog about it) she is still on the ballot, and Dustin knows he needs your votes.
This is District 2.

Remember, the only part of Wildomar that will be voting on a city council race is newly formed District 2. 

Not that Linda Gonzales isn't the nicest woman since Mother Teresa (and that's basically what I've heard is the case), but only tools and fools would cast a vote for her at this point.

"Tools" in that you're intentionally voting for a person that has already declared she doesn't want the job, or "fools" because a person would have to be so ill informed as to not know the score and vote for her anyway.

If you're registered to vote, and you take your franchise seriously, and you're in District 2, do your civic duty and vote for Dustin Nigg when you cast your ballot.
•          •          •

The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.
— William Butler Yates, 1865-1939

Wildomar Rap has never had a quarrel with time.


  1. In fairness to the "fools". Unless it is listed on the ballot it is very possible for a busy citizen to NOT know the other candidate has withdrawn. Not everyone reads your blog, the patch or is on FB. I have lived in Wildomar for 24 years and was busy living my life, involved in my daughters school, girl scouts and my own interests so I was unaware of much of the so-called city drama and "insiders" until a few years ago. Knowing the names of all the city council members(which I did not know until a few years ago) is not a prerequisite for expecting things to run well and for your tax dollars to be spent wisely. We have 35,000 residents who contribute to the community in many POSITIVE ways yet they may not be involved in local politics.

    1. You make a fair point. Yet I still think that people should NOT vote on things that they don't have more than a minimal understanding on (I've never voted for any of the judges on the ballot since I have no idea who they are).


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