El Centro City Council Profiles

Imperial City Council

Two seats are available on the Imperial City Council. The incumbent council members, Mayor Darrell W. Pechtl and Robert Amparano, are facing challengers Katie Burnworth and Susan Paradis.

P. Robert Amparano

Name: P. Robert Amparano

Age: 47

City of residence: Imperial

Family: Married, three daughters, one son

Current employment: Imperial Irrigation District

Political experience: four years

Employment history (last 10 years): 15 years at Imperial Irrigation District

Other affiliations/memberships/board positions: Imperial County Transportation Commission, Local Transportation Authority, Imperial Valley Resources Management Agency, Imperial Boy Scouts,

Reasons for running and top issues: I am running for re-election for Imperial City Council, I want to help keep Imperial on the forefront and moving forward. There are projects that we have started within the city, one being the new regional park that is scheduled to be completed by 2022 and a pool expansion project on Barioni Boulevard in front of Imperial High School. I would like to finish the Highway 86 beautification project to promote economic development within the city. This will give the city curb appeal along Highway 86 to attract business to come into the city and give residents and visitors the added beauty of the city. I want to keep a balanced budget amidst COVID-19, keep Imperial moving forward, keep Imperial thce safest City, and keep Imperial great!

Katie Burnworth

Name: Katie Burnworth

Age: 30

City of residence: Imperial, CA

Family: widowed, mom of two

Current employment: Imperial County Air Pollution Control District

Political experience: None

Education: Bachelors of Science in biological sciences from Northern Arizona University

Reasons for running and top issues:

I am a mother, project coordinator, planning commissioner, business partner, and fifth-generation Imperial resident. I graduated from Imperial High School and later earned my bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. I returned home focusing my career on local public health issues in Imperial County, mainly the environmental disaster at the Salton Sea.

I’ve been able to improve our quality of life through partnerships, breaking through bureaucratic barriers, and connecting with our community.

As a mother of two, I believe that every kid in Imperial should have a well-maintained park to play in. While some parks in Imperial are well maintained, others are merely just retention basins that have playground equipment in them. For example, Sunset Park does not even have a water connect. However, it was hydro seeded about a year ago and to no surprise it was unsuccessful because without water grass can’t grow.

Imperial has attracted families to move here, but not businesses to stay here. I will promote a business-friendly environment that concentrates on helping our small businesses find the easiest way through the permitting and other regulatory processes. Our business community will take the lead as Imperial moves into our new normal that we will live in post-COVID-19.

A thriving business community generates needed funds to maintain our existing infrastructure. It’s time for Imperial to focus on a long-term plan that improves the quality of life for current residents, rather than short-sighted growth that leaves our city financially burdened and unable to afford our most basic needs. We pay some of the highest taxes and water rates in Imperial County and we deserve to get what we pay for.

If elected, I will focus on preserving Imperial’s small town roots while advocating for sustainable growth. Imperial has been my family’s home for over 100 years, and I look forward to making it a better place to call home.

Susan Paradis

Name: Susan Paradis

Age: 55

City of residence: Imperial

Family: Married, five children

Current employment: CEO, Imperial Chamber of Commerce

Political experience: None

Employment history (last 10 years): CEO, Imperial Chamber; Farrar Business Solutions, owner

Other affiliations/memberships/board positions: Member of Kiwanis, member of California Society of Executives, Young Women’s Christian Association-SD board member, LEAD San Diego alumni

Education: Imperial Valley College, University of Phoenix

Reasons for running and top issues:

I am running for Imperial City Council because I believe it’s time for new leadership. I care greatly about the city’s quality of life and its future. My candidacy offers a fresh face and a new perspective on the financial and development issues facing our community. I will work to implement an efficient and transparent local government, I will advocate to establish an affordable platform for new development and provide accountability to the community. 

As a resident of Imperial, I am eager to take on the issues that affect us all: water rates, increased taxes, and lack of community resources. As your City Councilmember, I will address these important issues head on and keep you informed.

As the CEO of the Imperial Chamber of Commerce, I know firsthand the struggles our developers and businesses face especially during these unprecedented times. I will continue to diligently advocate on their behalf at the local, state and federal levels.

I am ready for this new challenge and with your help on Nov. 3, 2020, we can work toward a better Imperial.


Darrell W. Pechtl

Name: Darrell W. Pechtl

Age: 54

City of residence: Imperial

Family (optional): Married to Norma Hernandez-Pechtl and father of Kennedy

Current employment: Director of Adult, Student and Parent Services for CUHSD

Political experience: Four years on City Council, 14 years as appointed Planning Commissioner

Employment history (last 10 years): Central Union High School District and San Pasqual Valley Unified School District

Other affiliations/memberships/board positions: St. Mary’s of El Centro, Southwest Valley 4-H

Education:  AA from Imperial Valley College and BA and MA from San Diego State University

Reasons for running and top issues:

I am running because I believe that service to our city is a privilege. I’m old-fashioned enough to think that we should give back to our country and our community. I have served for the past four years as a council member and prior to my election, I served for 14 years as a planning commissioner for the City of Imperial.

I have worked to support bringing more small businesses in our town center, and I am looking forward to new business development on the North and South entrances to Imperial.

I, like all Imperial residents, cherish our tradition of great family events and entertainment, and over the past four years have worked with our council and staff to improve our parks and recreation events for our families.

I’m excited about our plans to take over the Township Park Site with the swimming pool and see that full renovation. I’m excited about the new shade installation for the Eager Park Splash Pad, and the new lights we’ve erected in other parks. We’ve begun replacing worn padding in parks and have worked to improve existing landscaping.  Our new “regional” park on the Northend has gone to bid for design work and will be a large family/event/activity venue when it opens in 2022.

Imperial is my family’s home. We are proud of the growth and stability in our community. We are proud to be the “Safest City in California.” I am proud to support our city staff and police in their mission to be responsive and professional. I believe we are going to continue to grow and am proud of the steps we have taken together to grow responsibly.

I hope you will consider letting me represent you for the next four years.

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