In light of the current economic crisis at the local, state, and national level, we must be very strategic in order to maximize cost savings, increase revenue opportunities and improve effectiveness. We must take the time to carefully analyze options to preserve jobs and maintain essential public services.
The General Plan (GPU5)
After nearly eight years and $8 million, much contention, expensive lawsuits, referenda and a special election, Monterey County has a compromise General Plan draft called GPU5. The policy language of the current plan was unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors on November 6th, 2007. I support moving forward with GPU5 and fostering the spirit of compromise it represents.
Natividad Medical Center
Like communities all across the United States, Monterey County is struggling to provide adequate healthcare. Monterey County’s two largest industries are agriculture and hospitality. Most of the employers in these industries do not provide health care benefits for the majority of their workers. This creates huge financial challenges for NMC since reimbursement rates often do not cover the cost to provide the services. It is critical to ensure a business model for NMC that ensures stability and self sufficiency.
Preventing Gang Violence
Youth and gang violence are serious issues facing Monterey County. The Board of Supervisors has a responsibility to address violence of any kind in our community with a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach that utilizes proven best practices. There is much agreement among those who have worked to quell gang violence in the last 10 to 20 years about what works: a combination of suppression, intervention and prevention SUSTAINED OVER TIME. The County has made a commitment to this balanced approach.
Family Friendly Policies
Open and Accessible Government
People must be able to access information about County business in order to participate in County meetings and decisions. Among my first official actions as your County Supervisor was to request the inclusion of full Board Packets on the County website. At that first meeting, I announced that I will host Agenda Review meetings on Sundays prior to each Board of Supervisors meeting. I will continue to search out opportunities to increase the accessibility of County government.
Our roads are in trouble. Traffic service levels, mandated by the existing General Plan to be at “C” or better, have been at levels “D” and “F” in key areas of the county for several years. Further, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC), the multi-jurisdictional agency charged with regional transportation planning, coordination and implementation, projects a $1.5 BILLION shortfall for road improvement and maintenance over the next 20 years. This is of particular concern in a county that relies on the efficient transportation of agricultural produce and tourists for its economic vitality.
Advocacy for affordable housing has always been a priority for me. Not only is affordable housing an issue of social justice, it is a critical component of economic well-being for every local business or organization that hopes to recruit and retain employees.
The Board of Supervisors must exercise leadership to bring together community stakeholders—businesses, nonprofits, schools, colleges and anti-gang, youth development and after school program providers—to offer activities at school sites to support students' academic and personal success.
Sustainable Monterey County
Not only must increased attention be given to the impact of our decisions on the environment, we must look at proactive opportunities to support environmentally responsible agendas.
Legislative Agenda >