I understand people may disagree. If a person is okay with selling the downtown lot, if they are okay with high density housing in downtown, if they are okay with dissenting voices being minimized and labeled as a "vocal minority", if they are okay with an insufficient parolee housing ordinance, restricting speech, 30% absenteeism, unanimous voting virtually all the time, then the status quo is probably what they are going to support.
I will continue to speak clearly and plainly about areas of disagreement, and call out ways I think we can do better. Here are some of the key facts related to this election on Nov 6:
- The Council voted 5-0 to enter into an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement to sell the open downtown lot - four separate times
- The net financial benefit from property taxes of selling the lot and developing it would be less than $25K/year
- Mr. Wolfe has stated the City purchased the downtown lot in order to sell it
- The city has an Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) surplus of 137 units which undercuts the narrative that there are mandates the city put in high density housing in downtown
- The Council has rezoned the three downtown lots near the post office multiple times, with each increasing the density required on the property
- The Council adopted a weak parolee ordinance that they said was the most restrictive. Then they voted for another one that was more restrictive – yet it still excluded private parks
- The Council voted 5-0 to restrict free speech limiting signage posted on property. Then they laughed about it. City Manager abandoned the ordinance after I pointed out it was likely unconstitutional
- Councilmember Shuey has been absent for 30% of the meetings in his latest term
- Except for one vote by Councilmember Diaz, since January 2014 the Council has voted unanimously, 100% of the time
- In the just over 2 years that Mr. Wolfe has been on the Planning Commission, he’s attended at most 17 meetings. The Planning Commission has canceled over 65% of their scheduled meetings during Mr. Wolfe’s tenure
- Mayor Haydon recommends that any candidate for Council first serve in an official position in the city, Trails and Landscape Committee or Planning Commission. These positions are appointed by the Council, so Mayor Haydon is saying the best way to gain experience is for the Council to pick their own successors (Mayor's Corner, page 1)
- Mr. Wolfe and Mr. Shuey dissemble about the level of interaction between the city and developers. The city currently hosts on its own website architectural drawings, and has provided 6 pages of comments about design and application process for the developer to make adjustments. Saying this is just an idea and not an official proposal is not being forthright and clear about the level to which the City has been interacting with outside developers
- Mr. Shuey asserts that merely offering an opinion on high density housing downtown precludes one from voting on the matter. He’s wrong and this is affirmed in the CA State Supreme Court case Fairfield v. Superior Court of CA.