We asked each candidate to answer a few questions so that you can know a little more about their priorities. See responses from other candidates: Erik Long, Jan Marx, James Papp, Andy Pease and Abrianna Torres.
We have yet to receive responses from Kelly Evans and Jeffery Specht.
This year, voters will have the chance to enact Measure G-20, a sales tax that would support long term community and economic health through direct investment in key infrastructure, local businesses, vibrant neighborhoods, and the acquisition and preservation of open space; do you support Measure G? Why or why not?
I absolutely support Measure G. We need to plan for long-term solvency and support for our City’s public programs and infrastructure. This 1% sales tax increase will help protect our quality of life in SLO while bringing us in line with the rest of our region to the north and south.
For more than ten years, buildings in the downtown core have been allowed to be up to 75 feet tall if they provide significant community benefits; do you support these current regulations? Why or why not?
I am firmly in support of protecting our open spaces in SLO, and that can mean building up, not out. Thoughtful and considered use of tall buildings in our downtown core can offer increased density, promote walking neighborhoods and decrease the impact of parking needs.
There are nearly 2,000 homes slated to be built in the City of SLO through Avila Ranch and San Luis Ranch; do you think that this will solve our housing shortage or do we still need to build more homes?
I think we need to look closer at the roots of our housing shortage and examine creative uses of existing buildings as well as new construction. We need a deeper look at the diverse housing needs of our residents and what the City can do to help support a variety of housing. More density in walkable neighborhoods is key to solving the housing issues with our downtown working community and cutting down on traffic and parking impact. Growth and building are necessary, but we also need to think and
act outside the box.
Rank the issues in order of importance for our city:
If elected, what will you do to address the issue you identified above as most significant?
While there are many incredibly important issues facing our city and community today, none is more wide reaching and impactful across the board than our Economic Recovery and Jobs. Our ability to work and provide for ourselves and our families is essential to our personal health, safety, and success as well as the success of our City as a whole. Health, Safety, Jobs, and Civil Rights are all affected by this umbrella priority.
Is there something the city is not currently doing that you would take up if elected?
Our City would benefit greatly from a more accessible and comprehensive hub for resources and knowledge sharing. Many of our local businesses and residents are facing similar struggles, and we need to encourage community more than ever. Our City champions some amazing programs and benefits to our residents, and we need to spread the word. Covid-19 has seen us face many challenges, and many shifting regulations and guidances. Our ability to understand these regulations and learn as we go is crucial to our businesses surviving this pandemic and it’s impact on our economy. Sharing what we’ve learned, successes and mistakes, will help us all get ahead of the curve.
What is your approach on traffic and parking issues? Are there any policies that you are committed to advocating for or against?
Parking is a pervasive problem in SLO, most particularly in the downtown area. Parking structures offer some relief, but we need to look further afield for additional solutions. When we recognize the intersection of our housing issues and parking, we can embrace the adoption of more downtown residences, and mixed-use spaces, eliminating some of the parking crunch.
Which theme in the Chamber’s economic vision, Imagine SLO , do you think deserves the most focus in the next four years and why?
For me, Creating Connection is so timely right now. In a year of social distancing and remote everything, community connection is sorely needed. We are living with common challenges and when we work together to mutual benefit, everyone is supported. Our businesses, non-profits, workers, visitors, elected officials, residents, and students are all part of our community. Imagine the power of a population that works together toward a common goal in recovery and success. A rising tide truly raises all ships.
What is the biggest opportunity for our City in the next four years and why?
We are entering a phase of recovery, to be sure. But with challenge often comes opportunity. We have a moment here to decide what to fight for and what we have outgrown. Preservation and Progress can go hand in hand. We are at a turning point where we can choose who we want to be going forward. A thriving, successful, inclusive SLO for All.
What are you most proud of having contributed to our community in the past 10 years?
I am most proud of the work I’ve done in our public facing businesses. Whether working planning major events, as an advocate for our local Arts organizations, designing menus, or writing for national publications about our local hospitality scene, I have always been a champion of putting SLO on the map and promoting our incredible life here on the Central Coast. We are a unique and fascinating community, and its our community members and local businesses that make it so. I have dedicated my career to supporting the Central Coast and am committed to seeing us thrive!