I'm running because residents and small business owners asked me to enter the race. They're frustrated with the lack of responsiveness from the current mayor--particularly during this pandemic. As I've walked our neighborhoods and talked to folks, I keep hearing the same concerns: traffic jams, parking shortages, people speeding on our streets, trash left behind in our parks and on our beaches and streets, and tourists not wearing masks and not social distancing. There's a real sense that tourism has overwhelmed our city. I want to fix these problems with some common sense approaches that nearly everyone agrees on. It's time we stop kicking these problems down the road. Let's make Pismo feel like home again.
What makes you qualified for the job?:
The whole point of local government is to identify and solve concerns, helping residents to survive and thrive and keep them safe. Addressing those challenges requires solid communication and problem solving skills. For the better part of the last 20 years, I've worked as a journalist, covering complex stories, seeking out the best experts, collating and distilling information, and explaining challenges and potential solutions in compact, easy-to-understand fashion. Most importantly, I know how to listen. I'm also a small business owner who specializes in problem solving. I've lived in Pismo for years. I love our unique culture and know that we can work together to solve problems if we just make them priorities. I'll put my skills to good use, finding common ground, moving the conversation forward, and charting a path that will improve life in Pismo for all of us.
What are your two main priorities if you win?:
The first priority is to safeguard our residents from deadly COVID-19. As we head into the winter months, we may see an uptick in local cases. I want to enact a general ordinance that will keep us all safe and our economy open. (See more below.) The second priority is getting a handle on the challenges that our increasing tourism brings--traffic, parking shortages, and trash. I want to start regular trolley service from outlying parking areas, with multiple pickup and drop-off points to service Shell Beach, the Pismo Preserve, and the downtown Pismo areas. I also want to connect our bicycle paths to the Bob Jones Trail and SLO to the north, and south through Grover Beach to the Oceano Dunes. Mass transit and better bike paths will get more people out of their cars, lessen our traffic headaches, reduce pressure on parking, and pave the way for a more pedestrian friendly, more resident-centric environment that will allow us to preserve our unique beach culture and manage tourism effectively. And the last part of that is to increase the numbers of trash and recycling bins and how often they're emptied. There's more on my website at Shadwell2020.com.
How will you interact with other governments?:
Many of the challenges we face are regional and require help from surrounding communities. I have already had discussions with county leaders as well as government officials in San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, and Arroyo Grande, and have worked to learn about their communities' needs and how we can forge alliances to combat difficult problems. I'll also work with State officials, including the Coastal Commission and CalTrans to cooperate on other projects to help Pismo succeed.
What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:
While Pismo Beach currently has a mask ordinance, it's weak and puts the onus on waiters and waitresses, clerks, and shopkeepers to police it. I think that's a bad plan. We shouldn't be forcing many of our most vulnerable workers to choose between their pay and public safety. We should have a general ordinance requiring social distancing and mask wearing indoors and out. That way, we can all remind visitors that we don't want to see them forced to pay stiff fines. It'll also allow for enforcement when needed. That'll keep visitors safe, us safe, and our economy open and thriving.
Which two issues are most important to you?:
The two most important issues to me are improving our communication and processes--because most people agree on the details of the current challenges we face--traffic, parking, trash, and public safety (and they agree on most of the solutions). I want to include our residents in the decision-making process. I want to know your concerns and include your ideas and voice in how we move forward. When I'm mayor, you'll never hear "Well if I do that for you, I have to do it for everyone." Instead, you'll hear "Tell me more. I want to understand so we can fix this." When we put our heads together, we can achieve our goals and make Pismo feel like home again.