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Josh Donovan

Josh Donovan
Josh Donovan - Candidate for Mayor of Atascadero

Candidate for Mayor of Atascadero

Why are you running for office?: I am running for Mayor of Atascadero to serve the community I love. The people have always been what makes Atascadero a special place, we have the best people and I know a lot of them are excited about the potential for our city’s future. Atascadero is struggling with its ability to accomplish the basics or listen to its own people. Our city has had a long-standing notorious reputation for being difficult to work with, scaring away business and good-paying jobs from our community. We deserve a business-friendly Atascadero, with leadership that is willing to listen and take appropriate action, not bureaucrats. We deserve a Stronger Atascadero and that is what I plan to deliver.
What makes you qualified for the job?: Born and raised in Atascadero, I am a true entrepreneur passionate about business, leadership and people. I am a United States Marine Corps Veteran with a B.S. in Organizational Management and am certified as an Integrative Wellness & Life Coach. I serve as CEO of two companies, am a business consultant, executive coach and co-host of the podcast All Things Atascadero. I have been heavily involved with the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, serving on multiple Councils as well as the Board of Directors. I was unanimously appointed to the Planning Commission after submitting an at-large application in 2016. Most importantly, I know how to facilitate difficult conversations through collaboration in pursuit of common goals. 
What are your two main priorities if you win?: Economic development and moving Atascadero toward being truly business friendly is my top priority. While my opponents believe that additional tax is the answer, I will be voting NO on Measure D-20 due to the fact that it is a general tax with no oversight committee. I believe the need for this tax stems from cumulative failures of city leadership, past and present, to successfully implement economic development. I am not in favor of taxing our way out of the challenges we are facing. This is not the time to be taking money out of the economy to put into government. We need to bring new business to Atascadero and give people a reason to spend their money in our city. That is the path to creating more resources for our emergency services.

I would also like to lead our city council toward creating a regional solution for our homelessness crisis. There is an opportunity for us to explore the use of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as a way to fund a navigation center or warming/cooling shelter that could serve multiple purposes. First, it creates the necessary infrastructure for our police officers to enforce daytime camping and also provides a central location for services to be made available. We can leverage county resources and partner with nonprofits to get people off of our streets.
How will you interact with other governments?: I will work to build, maintain and leverage relationships with other governments or government agencies while maintaining a relentless focus on Atascadero's interests.
What are your plans to help overcome COVID-19?: Right now, I think we need to get everyone back to work and open all of our businesses up. We need to give people their personal freedoms back, the ability to choose. If we can stand inside at the grocery store, we should be able to eat inside a restaurant or workout inside a gym. We need to get our kids back in school, we need youth activities not only reactivated but expanded. Small businesses are going to need support from the city and we will need to re-think what the future looks like as we re-evaluate make General Plan updates and zoning revisions.
Which two issues are most important to you?: The same two issues referenced above as my two main priorities.
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