I'm planning to write my Endorsements for City Council in the next two weeks. I'm emailing some questions to each of the candidates.
1. Why are you running again for City Council?
1. I believe this city is positioned very well to come out of this recession if we (council) don't blow it.
Follow up to question 1. How would the council "blow it?"
Anyone who gets elected is capable with their vote of messing up approved projects. We just ended a three year lawsuit over CEQA thresholds that should have been automatic. Nothing is over until it is over.
2. What are your goals for being on the Council? Do you have any projects or plans you would like to see happen?
2. Fiscal responsibility, city center, build the new school, continue to improve our police force and give Greg the reins to hire prudently.
Follow up to question 2. Which new school? Isn't that the responsibility of developers and the school district anyway?
The new school was voted for in the last bond measure. It wasn't that long ago when the school district wanted to reneg on our middle school and put a third one in Danville. This would have put 8th graders at Cal High and leave us with only one intermediate school. That would reflect on our property values. I've been telling them they were short on campuses since 1995.
3. You have a lot of experience on transportation issues. Where do you stand on the Norris Canyon HOV lanes and why?
3. I was not on CCTA when this project was selected for measure J. I can tell you that Walnut Creek HOV lanes and Norris Canyon on/off ramps are the highest priority for CCTA now that Caldecott and Highway 4 are winding down. The why will take a lot longer (to answer) then we have here. I have offered to talk to people on Sat./Sun. to show why. So far only Abram has come in to talk.
4. You have been on the Council the longest. Why is your experience beneficial to the City? If voters are looking for a change, how would you convince them it's better to keep you than take a risk on someone new?
4. California changed drastically in 2008 with SB375 and the climate action plan. Do not underestimate the value of my seat on two regional executive board of directors, BAAQMD & ABAG. We are capable of being first in line or close to it for many grants. I am one of 20+ votes on these boards and Clayton will be the president of ABAG next year. There are 97 elected council members in Contra Costa and we are only allotted two seats on both boards. I am one of those seats on both boards. That will be gone if I am not re-elected. We may never see this again.
Follow up answer to question 4.
I was at a meeting (BAAQMD) this morning (9/9/13) about bike sharing and I have us next in line for a pilot program. I've learned that Sunset is also interested and I have been lobbying Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, and Pleasanton. You don't get into these battles unless you are at the table. No one else on this council even knows this $6 million project exists or that a lawnmower exchange program has been approved. Why should we give this position away. I may not give you the clarity you want in an answer but, I can point you in the right direction.
5. Where do you stand on the Mudd's property? This is one of my important issues. Matthew Larson has made an offer to buy it but wants a direct sale. Jim Gibbon wants the City to rezone Mudd's from Commercial to Park to limit other uses.
5. I wanted it to be a park from day one. That is why I convinced the council to pay 1 cent over the foreclosure price. Larson's offer will have to go through state procedures. Does this mean that Jim Gibbon and I agree?