(Jesse Kurtz) Mr. Chauhan, thank you for agreeing to appear on The Atlantic City Scoop. Why are you running for Sixth Ward Councilman?
(Ytit Chauhan) I have always had a deep passion and appreciation for public service. Even though Atlantic City elected officials have disgraced and misused the public trust time and time again, I would hope that average people still have the ability to respect the few honest and sincere individuals out there who pursue elected office as a means to better their community. I love Atlantic City, and I can no longer be an innocent and inconsequential bystander and watch this city deteriorate politically and culturally. The people are yearning for change, and I entered this race because I believe I am the only candidate in this city who can unite the many political factions in order for the greater good for the city at large. Petty bickering and opportunistic decision making has left this city with many mediocre politicians. The voters on November 6th will reject all the non-sense, and elect common sense.
(JK) What should potential voters know about your personal history?
(YC) Voters should know that I represent a new era of Atlantic City politics. I may not have 50 years of life experience, but I do know one thing: During my life, if the past 19 years of my existence have taught me anything, it’s that honesty, integrity, and courage truly define one’s personal character. I haven’t lived in Atlantic City my entire life, in fact I’ve lived in 10 different cities spanning numerous states. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, lived a few years in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Trenton, New Jersey, along with many small towns along the way. I am not a product of wealth and privilege, and I understood at a very early age that I am not entitled to anything, if I want something, I would have to prove myself worthy. I’ve spent 5 years in this city, a graduate of Atlantic City High School in 2006, and I completed my freshman year at The George Washington University in Washington D.C. The challenges that I’ve faced in my brief lifetime have helped build character and excellent people skills. I’ve attended 10 different public schools, from the most urban and poor, to the most suburban and affluent, and everywhere that I’ve been has helped build my character and personal philosophy on life. People are the same everywhere, their hopes for the future, their dreams for their children, their own personal shortcomings. I believe I have the ability to connect with people from all walks of life, and give them a sense of purpose as they face challenges and encounter setbacks.
(JK) What do you bring as a young person that will make you a good Sixth Ward Councilman?
(YC) My youth, vigor, and energy aside, I believe I am the only candidate in the upcoming elections that is practicing retail politics. My opponents are spending tens of thousands of dollars, I am spending $200 dollars. The voters in my ward aren’t stupid. Fancy yard signs and expensive mailings doesn’t translate to votes. The 20 minutes that I spend sitting on their porches, living rooms, and kitchens will translate to building personal relationships and a bond of common purpose, which in turn will yield dividends on election day. There’s a timeless quality of candidates looking voters into the eye and giving them straight talk instead of rhetoric on a fancy of paper. My title of Councilman will never define me, and that is what the voters are looking for. When our elected officials begin to get out of touch with their constituents, then it’s time for a drastic change. My age has nothing to do with how I plan to utilize my office, I will merely be one of the nice councilmen. Perhaps, and I hope, I can become a role model for the young people of Atlantic City. Too many smart and talented kids never realize their potential, I think that is a disgrace and I plan to become heavily involved with raising the standards of success and achievement in our city. Attending a 4 year university should be an option for every child in the city, no longer should we be proud that our young people graduate high school, in today’s competitive world a high school diploma means nothing. Parents, Teachers, and Students need to establish certain goals for our community, and they begin with raising the standards of academic achievement. Mediocrity is a disease that is plaguing every aspect of Atlantic City. We all need to aim higher. Better government, better education, better standards of decency and respect, and in the end, a better and brighter Atlantic City.
(JK) Why did you decide to challenge long-time Councilman Tim Mancuso?
(YC) Tim Mancuso is the longest serving Councilman. He’s been serving since 1992, and his span of over 15 years he has never been Council President, and nor has he ever had a real shot at becoming mayor. He’s been through nearly 2 decades of ineffective and mismanaged government, where was his leadership? If Atlantic City is ever going to move forward, the politicians of our corrupt past need to remain in the past. Tim Mancuso has not earned another 4 year term on Council. He is under the impression that he controls the 6th ward, and that nobody is entitled to wage a challenge against him. He refuses to debate, he is obviously afraid to talk about the issues because at this point in his council career there should be no need speak about change and moving forward. He’s had 15 years to do something about our system, but in fact the very system has helped maintain his power and influence. He doesn’t want an open and clean government. Transparency in City Hall is every incumbent’s worst nightmare. You’re either a part of the solution or a part of the problem, Tim Mancuso has been a part of the problem for 2 decades, and enough is enough. I am not making any personal attacks on Tim Mancuso, his personal life is something I have no interest in, I am focusing on his tenure on Council, and his lack of a record speaks for itself.
(JK) What do you think of Steve Layman, your other challenger?
(YC) I don’t think very much of Steve Layman. Enough said.
(JK) Thank you very much for braving these questions. Do you have any thing else that you would like to add?
(YC) Due to time constraints these are the only questions I can answer from the top of my head. The questions that require greater detail and substance regarding re-val and traffic management, and also my beliefs on city government as far as partisan elections and campaign funding will also require greater detail. Same thing with the ballot questions, the main question about the sales increase and property tax relief will require a long and substantive answer, and I’ll be happy to get to that. Unfortunately, I have a lot going on. … I hope the above answers can suffice for now, if not, let me know and I’ll try to see if I can fit in some time as soon as I can. … I’ve been doing 14 hour days lately and my campaign schedule starts at 6 a.m. tomorrow. A grassroots campaign is an exhausting process, but I’m excited about the results my hard work will yield.