Wednesday Sep 24 2008
Allen Cuenca is in tune with families
By: Brandon Darnell The News Messenger
Allen Cuenca, who has lived in Lincoln for seven years and spent the last six as a member of the Planning Commission, is running for a spot on City Council. “I’ve always been politically motivated,” Cuenca said. One of the first things he did when he and his family moved here was to start a neighborhood watch for Glenmoor. “It went from there,” he said. He started an e-mail list so he could send out updates, news and things going on in the community. His goal was to educate others as he educated himself. That list has grown from a handful of friends to more than 600 people now. He has been involved in myriad community activities, including being a leader for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, a Kiwanis member and former member of the board of directors of the Police Activities League. He said that to run for city council, “you need to have things lined up at home and at work.” He said his involvement in the community and his experience on the Planning Commission has given him the experience he needs to be an effective councilman. “I’ve been on both sides of the microphone,” he said, referring to being a concerned citizen and executing his duties on the Planning Commission. Cuenca was appointed to the Planning Commission after endorsing Councilman Kent Nakata for his seat in 2002. “Being on the commission has been a real eye opener,” Cuenca said. “I’ve learned a lot.” Cuenca said that Lincoln faces four major challenges: the fiscal challenge, providing more activities for youth, especially after school, working with neighboring cities and environmental responsibilities. “Lincoln plays an important role in the push to go green. We want to live in our means, environmentally,” Cuenca said. Cuenca said that if Lincoln has a shortfall, it is with having made some mistakes in the past as far as planning. He said some spaces have been developed that probably should have been left open, but that the city has learned a lot, and those mistakes shouldn’t be repeated. Lincoln’s greatest strength, Cuenca said, is that, despite rapid growth and a changing demographic, its citizens have been able to pull together. Cuenca said that if he is elected to the City Council, he will remain approachable and available, as well as continuing his commitment to the city. He would work to add youth activities, opening more youth centers and rebuilding the Scout Hall. “What sets me apart is my perspective. I have a corporate background, and I have young children,” Cuenca said. He added that he is more in tune with the typical Lincoln family. “This is where I’ve planted myself and my family. I’m devoted to it,” Cuenca said.