Candidate for Mayor of Atascadero
|Why are you running for office?:||As a CPA, business owner and your Mayor, I am deeply committed to the health of our community and the health of our economy. I am running for re-election to continue the work of building a strong, balanced economy, sustaining fiscal stewardship, maintaining a balanced approach to homelessness, protecting local control, and strengthening the connection between you and our City.|
|What makes you qualified for the job?:||I was appointed to the Atascadero Planning Commission in 2008, serving as Chairperson in 2010. I became an Atascadero City Councilwoman in 2012 and served as Mayor Pro-Tem during 2015-2016. I was elected Mayor in 2018. I serve on the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, Regional Transit Authority, and SLO County Economic Vitality Corporation. Since 2012, I have also served on the City's Design Review Committee and as Chair of the Atascadero Finance Committee. I have the leadership experience our City needs at this challenging time.|
|What are your two main priorities if you win?:||1. In 2021, we will begin the significant undertaking of updating our City's General Plan. It will be important to have robust public input throughout this process as we decide on what our community will look like in the future. Some key items to address will be underutilized commercial properties, creating more space for housing, and incentivizing downtown property owners to redevelop their property, benefiting themselves and the community.|
2. To encourage significant public input in the budget process. If D-20, the City's sales tax measure passes, we will host numerous outreach meetings, study sessions, and budget meetings for the public to provide input on the priorities they believe are important. We will also have finance committee meetings where our Citizens Sales Tax Oversight Committee will review our entire general fund to ensure funds are spent properly.
|How will you interact with other governments?:||I will continue to collaborate with neighboring jurisdictions and my colleagues on regional boards. As Mayor, I successfully advocated for State grant funding for the El Camino Homeless Organization and Transitional Food & Shelter to help continue their important work with those most in need in our community. I've brought together stakeholders in the north county to envision a regional solution for homeless services and will continue these efforts.|
|What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:||Helping businesses and the community recover from COVID-19 will be critical. We've reduced fees to zero to help struggling businesses operate safely outdoors. Through regular communication, keeping up to date on available resources, and being flexible, we must look for opportunities for funding and be creative in how we do things to support re-opening efforts.|
|Which two issues are most important to you?:||1. We need a diverse economy, where the amount of good-paying jobs is on par with Atascadero’s housing supply. More jobs equal more success for our retail/restaurant sector, encouraging more businesses to locate here. I brought together stakeholders resulting in BridgeWorks, the first co-working space in North County. I convened investors and business owners to reconfigure Del Rio with 200K+ SF for tech and light manufacturing businesses. I’ll build on our success. We must expand our connectivity. I advocate leveraging our SB1090 funds and will work with local partners for a regional strategy to obtain funding to bring broadband to Atascadero.|
2. While many are calling to divert funding from police, I support Atascadero increasing its police funding so that we have sufficient capacity to serve our growing population and maintain our quality of life. Currently, our City partners with the County, embedding mental health and crisis workers with law enforcement to help get people off the streets and into housing, and I support seeking funding to expand this effort.