Fiscal Responsibility / Economic Development
Fiscal health and stability are essential components of a thriving, flourishing Novato. Currently, the city of Novato has a $1.5 million budget shortfall. As a city council member, I will look at creative methods to increase diverse revenue streams and promote economic growth. As a member of the City Council, I will work to ensure that economic development aligns with the unique small-town character we all treasure.
I will work to attract new restaurants and address any barriers to bringing new business to Novato. As a small business owner, I appreciate the hard work that goes into any local enterprise and would like to see a new cycle of healthy & sustainable economic activity.
We have the opportunity to revitalize multiple shopping centers throughout our town, some of which have sadly fallen into disrepair. I will work with landowners to develop realistic and economically responsible ways to attract new businesses. We can provide unique & desirable products & services, employ residents, and produce new tax revenue for our town.
One of my top priorities as a City Council member will be to keep our town safe. I will work closely and productively with the police department to reduce the crime rate and support positive relations between our men & women in blue and Novato citizens. One initiative I would like to implement is a mobile health crisis unit. This initiative would alleviate some pressure on police and firefighters and reduce the call rate by approximately 4,000 calls annually. The program provides a mental health expert to respond to mental health calls. San Rafael has approved and is in the implementation phase of a project like this, projecting an 8% reduction in emergency calls, and has secured $2.27 million through grants, which would run the program for 2.5 years. My goal as a city council member is to secure funding from multiple grant sources and to increase our services to our community.
Wildfire Risk: With California suffering from extensive drought, our wildfire risk is great. I will help proactively plan our wildfire response and educate residents on steps to reduce the threat to their homes. Novato has already experienced the Redwood brush fire this year, and we must continue to improve our fire response readiness.
To that end, I would work to create a standing joint meeting of elected members of the community like City Council members, police & fire departments, school trustees, and the North Marin Water Board to work together more efficiently towards public safety.
As a proven environmental leader, I will work to preserve our open space and wetlands so future generations can appreciate the natural beauty of Novato. I will work to prevent further building outside the urban growth boundary, which will also help reduce the threat of wildfire. I am dedicated to prioritizing efforts to create a safe, healthy community with new housing opportunities that preserve our natural environment.
While I recognize the need for future development, I will work to ensure all development is done thoughtfully, with input from the community. Growth should never jeopardize one of Novato’s most vital assets, the natural beauty of our open space. There can be synergy between ecological initiatives and economic development efforts like new housing. I care about our teachers, law enforcement officers, paramedics, and food and retail workers and want to provide affordable housing for these individuals.
The COVID pandemic challenged our community, public health resources, and local economy. Our ability to connect in positive, social ways was compromised and limited. I will support safe, creative, and inclusive ways to help our citizens reconnect in person and strengthen the fabric of our community.
As a member of our City Council, I will proactively support restarting activities and events impacted by the pandemic, whether through financing or logistical support. I will continue to support a thriving social scene for individuals and families, the young and seniors, which is essential for a happy and healthy Novato. These efforts will bring new investment and spur economic activity to benefit local business.”
Housing / Homelessness
I am an advocate for smart housing developments while protecting our open space. The consideration of new housing developments should primarily be in-fill to preserve our open space. As a planning commissioner, I supported 118 new units, including low-and- medium-income housing.
Next year the City Council will consider the developer’s proposal for 1,081 housing units at the former Fireman’s Fund location. My goal is to ensure studies and findings are correct and to incorporate community input while making sure the project enhances Novato while being mindful of water restrictions and overall impact.
The City Council must work with the Novato Sanitary District and North Marin Water District on these developments. I will draw on my experience as a planning commissioner to leverage smart building projects that better Novato. The State of California has assigned Novato housing minimums we must meet, and I will work hard to retain decision-making at the local level.
Homelessness is one of the most challenging issues we face in Novato. Whether the drivers are lack of affordable housing, mental health issues, substance abuse, or just plain bad luck, there are no easy solutions.
As a member of the City Council, I promise to take a compassionate approach to problem-solving without sacrificing public safety and the rights of our citizens to enjoy the public property of this town. I will listen to all stakeholders and promise to be transparent with you, the citizens of Novato, on how the city plans to handle these issues.
My door will always be open to hearing your concerns so we can support those in need without burdening the hard-working women and men who make Novato a great place to live and raise a family. I will be straightforward about the implications to the community and ready to hear and incorporate feedback and constructive suggestions. As Americans, we are all in this together.