Kari Leon said the beauty of Apple Valley and her desire to preserve it motivated her to run for town council.
“Apple Valley is where I chose to raise my family and start my business,” she said. “My business experience and passion for our community have instilled in me the desire to seek this office and be a strong advocate for Apple Valley residents.”
She said the skills she has honed in her real estate career have qualified her to hold the position of town councilwoman. “Building two successful companies in the last dozen years, while navigating the ever-changing real estate market, has uniquely prepared me to make fiscally responsible and reliable decisions to navigate through the challenges that our town faces,” she said.
That real world experience taken together with the consideration that she is both a resident and an entrepreneur in town, she said, distinguishes her from many of her opponents. “I am a business owner in Apple Valley for over the past 12 years and I currently serve as the president of the High Desert Association of Realtors and I am a catchiest at my church. In the past I was an Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, I was a board member of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, on the Victor Valley Hospital Board of Trustees, and on the board of the Sunset Hills Children Foundation. I am a very active member of our community.”
If elected, she said her three priorities upon taking office would be “ensuring our town makes fiscally responsible decisions, moving forward with the acquisition of our water supply to stop abusive rate increases, and maintaining Apple Valley’s ‘Better Way of Life’ by improving public safety and preserving our open spaces and parks.”
In seeking to achieve and maintain a sensible and balanced budget, Leon said, “I hope to bring the same fiscally conservative approach that I have applied as a business owner over the last 16 years to the town council of Apple Valley. I am committed to both maintaining a balanced budget and rebuilding our town’s reserve fund.”
She said she is fully in favor of the already underway effort to force, through the use of eminent domain, having Liberty Utilities sell the Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company, which has been the town’s water purveyor since it was founded by Newt Bass and Bud Westland in 1945. Liberty in 2016 closed a deal to purchase the water company and its 24 wells from the Carlyle Group. Leon said it is wisest for the town, which bypassed earlier opportunities to take ownership of the town’s water system, to bite the bullet and seize control of it now. “It is vital that we continue to move forward with the acquisition of our town’s water supply to stop abusive rate increases,” she said.
To maintain Apple Valley’s trademark “Better Way of Life,” Leon said, the town should strive to make certain its residents have a vested interest in the community. “Ensuring accessibility to home ownership has many benefits for families and communities, but it must be done in the responsible way,” she said.
Leon said town government should engage itself in ensuring public safety and the delivery of critical services but should not get involved in excessive regulation or micromanagement or put itself at cross-purposes to the lifestyles, values and pursuits of the town’s citizens. “It should be the goal of our town council to put forward policy that strikes the best balance between preserving the way of life that we all hold dear in Apple Valley and individual property owner rights. I believe that this can be done without having to impose abusive tax increases or making cuts to town departments that leave our community worse off than before,” she said.
Leon said she has previous experience operating in conjunction with government. “I have had experience working as an escrow officer with The Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Department of Veterans Affairs transferring title to more than 3,500 homes,” she said.
Leon has been an Apple Valley Resident for over 41 years, having first moved to the High Desert Area with her family as a four-year-old in 1967. She attended Apple Valley High School and graduated in 1980. Her daughter graduated from Apple Valley High School in 2000 and her son graduated from Granite Hills High School in 2002. She has a granddaughter currently attending Apple Valley High School.
A licensed real estate broker, she is the owner of Agio Real Estate, Inc. and the owner of Alliance Rendezvous Escrow, Inc.
She and her husband Paul have been married for 37 years. In addition to their two children, they have what she referred to as “six amazing” grandchildren.
Addressing the town’s voters directly, Leon said, “I would be honored to earn your trust and vote.”