Candidate for Mayor of Lompoc
|Why are you running for office?:
|It has been an honor to serve Lompoc as mayor these past two years. I am running for re-election to continue working on returning our city to a safe and beautiful community. We need to provide a better Lompoc for all our residents and businesses through investing in our youth, parks, public safety and infrastructure. The current council majority has chosen to cut deeply into all these programs rather find ways to invest in our community and drive economic recovery. I look forward to a new council majority who sees not only the potential in Lompoc but our ability to succeed and is willing to set a vision and goals to achieve a better Lompoc.
|What makes you qualified for the job?:
|I spent four years on the City of Lompoc Economic Development Committee, was elected to city council in 2016 and mayor in 2018. I have a degree in History focusing on Public Administration and a career that encompasses working for nonprofits, private corporations and being a small business owner. I have volunteered for local nonprofits supporting the library, the police department, youth, arts and health and understand the history and current community of Lompoc. I chose to live in Lompoc 20 years ago and know it is the best place on the Central Coast and want to work to make it so for all our residents and business.
|What are your two main priorities if you win?:
|My two main priorities are public safety and economic recovery. Our public safety needs to create a safe and positive environment for our youth. This means cleaning up our parks and making them safe for all as well as providing activities that are free or low cost as an opportunity to steer clear of gangs and drugs. We need the appropriate staffing levels to combat drug and gang activity in the police department but find the resources to have mental health, homelessness and code enforcement covered by other departments than the police. With regards to economic recovery, we need to streamline city processes for permits and turnaround times as well as recruit and retain knowledgeable staff to make sure wait times don't impact business development. We need to support our local small businesses who make us who we are - a small town.
|How will you interact with other governments?:
|I will continue to build and work with local, state and federal governments as we had prior to the pandemic. The pandemic has actually improved many of the relationships and I will continue to have regular emails, phone calls and meetings to advocate and request support for Lompoc. VAFB has been a priority since I was elected in 2016 and the city has a healthy relationship with the base again as a result. We have partnered with the hospital district and LUSD over the past year as a result of the relationships and discussions I initiated. Both the state and federal elected officials regularly communicate with our city as a result of the efforts I have made especially during the pandemic, to connect and communicate our needs at all levels. Finally I believe we would be a strong partner with the county especially if a new council majority is elected as it is important to understand fighting with another governmental office doesn't improve your community. Communicating early and often opens more doors and resolves issues much quicker.
|What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?:
|Overcoming COVID-19 requires us to lead by example. I will continue to wear my mask, practice social distancing and wash my hands while advocating all do so. If we can put politics aside and understand this health crisis will hit every one of us and respect its danger to many in our community, we can begin to show respect for each other and create a supportive community. We will only see a survival rate increase and economic recovery occur if we practice these simple steps and adapt as we learn more.
|Which two issues are most important to you?:
|Besides at risk youth and public safety I think we need to close the digital divide in our community to make education and remote work easy and economical for all. We need a municipal broadband option that is as reliable and reasonable as our own electrical division is over PG&E. The city also needs to work with LUSD, adult ed and Hancock to implement educational programs locally that open the doors for the next generation to work for the city as a lineman, wastewater technician, landscaper and so many other important positions that are career tech rather four year degrees as the city workforce matures and retires.
Extended Interview with Janelle Osborne