Dr. Hai-Sou Chen, a 35-year resident and former chairman of this city’s Design Review Committee, has told The Tribune that he is declaring his candidacy in the race to fill three seats on the five-member San Marino City Council in the November, 2017 election.
Dr. Chen – a dentist – joins Susan Jakubowski and Calvin Lo as the only three declared candidates thus far. The deadline to declare is in August.
Chen served five years on the Design Review Committee and was the chairman of the DRC in 2014-15. He was president of the Chinese Club of San Marino in 2016 and is current a member of the San Marino Historical Society, City Club, Rotary Club and serves as an advisor to the Chinese Club of San Marino.
Dr. Chen’s experience on the Design Review Committee is one of the factors that drew him to the council race.
“I would very much like to appoint an additional volunteer liaison unit or sub-committee to provide architecture guidance and facilitate communication to residents prior to submitting the building plans,” said Chen. “I think this will help minimize the cost to the applicants and also increase the efficiency of the approval process.”
He is also concerned about the security of residents, citing the recent increase in home burglaries reported by the San Marino Police Dept.
He said it is crucial to update equipment that will “function as additional surveillance assistance to all of the city’s neighborhoods.”
Chen said he has “witnessed many changes” over his 35 years in San Marino and would add a bilingual, Chinese speaking receptionist to help with the daily function of the city. He would also add a bilingual element to the city’s webpage and appoint a volunteer committee “to help newcomers understand the history of San Marino and to adapt to the living requirements of this city.”
He also told The Tribune he wants to “preserve the classic appearance of the city’s development to keep San Marino unique.”
Chen’s wife, Linda Sun, was president of the Chinese Club in 2012 and has co-chaired successful tax campaigns for both the city and school district. A longtime civic volunteer, Sun received the Certificate of Congressional Recognition from United States Congresswoman Judy Chu in April, 2016.