I entered the race for 5th District Supervisor for I believed I would be the best candidate to tackle a wide range of issues and would deliver long overdue transparency, accountability and oversight.
For too many years I have been hearing the same complaints of poorly maintained roads. Where is the oversight of taxpayer paid department heads at Public Works that have allowed deferred maintenance to transpire year in and year out? Recently, “Consultants” have been hired to determine what funds are needed to fix and maintain our roads. Closed door meetings have taken place to determine how and when to place tax measures on the ballot that in effect will be throwing yet more money into the coffers. With the same level of accountability and oversight? If so, not going to get my vote!
For more than a generation, the County’s building departments has developed a fear and loathing from of the public. Incurring exorbitant costs, excessive time delays and maddening frustration in dealing with layers of regulations and multiple disconnected departments one is almost forced to hire a “Consultant” who more than likely previously worked in these same departments. Why is this so? Regardless of the answers this way of treating the public needs to end if for no other reason job generating projects are shelved or in some cases proceed without permits that yield poor construction practices with health and safety ramifications.
Citizens want basic protections and services for health, safety and venues for recreation. Well maintained roads with systems to mitigate traffic congestion, convenient parking and improved mass transportation services. Safe bike paths for both bicyclist and the motorist who are trying to pass them. Providing clean, safe parks, community centers, recreation areas, playfields, streams and beaches.
In order to create a safe and vibrant society we must invest in programs and be compassionate for ones less fortunate or in despair. Investing in programs which provide opportunities and alternatives for our youths so they are not tempted to join gangs or use drugs. Such as after school and summer programs including partnering with businesses to hire youths for after school and summer jobs. Support youth employment opportunities at community recreation centers and public parks. Help high schools to provide vocational classes that prepare for college and trade school career paths and at the same time partner with businesses and unions that will hire graduating youths with living wage jobs.
What has happened to our society of compassion? Mayor Lane should be applauded for offering ideas and solutions to cost effectively handle the “homeless” issues. We can’t have people sleeping in public areas where bushes and corners of buildings are used for defecation and urination. How is it we allow people to wander the streets in obvious mental illness, many who are Veterans who have experienced and seen the horrors of war? How is it tolerated that 1-4 children are living in poverty?
I am a proponent of supporting local Community Banks that will invest in local projects and businesses that will pay good living wages. I want to see a thriving business community supported by a local community that fairly compensates their employees with a living wages and provides basic benefit package of health care and vacation pay.
Citizens are restless with disillusionment having repeatedly heard pandering words and failed promises. Citizens want to be kept informed of the status of proposals and projects. All updates and summaries of meetings should be posted on the Supervisor’s web site for Citizens review and comment. These simple steps will go a long way in providing transparency and accountability.
While “campaigning” I have enjoyed discussing these issues and my ideas of solutions. I was able, pun intended, to find common ground and support from the staunchest Republican to the most progressive liberal environment protecting Democrat for the Supervisor position is not partisan. All stripes and labels of Citizens constituency want the same basic safety and quality of life issues addressed and careful stewardship of tax dollars.
As I initially stated I believed I was the best candidate but then Bruce McPherson announced his candidacy. Early on, Mr. McPherson personally called me and suggested we meet for coffee to share ideas. Our cup of coffee turned into a “where did the time go?” 3-hour meeting where we found common ground and agreement on a wide range of local concerns and pressing issues. Due to a combination of deep local roots of being a 4th generation Santa Cruz County family, his experience as an Assemblyman, State Senator and California Secretary of State, having developed solid relationships through out the County and State which can bear fruit when trying to secure funding for programs an projects, Bruce McPherson is the most qualified candidate and person for Supervisor.
Thank you one and all who gave me their vote of confidence and support for a position that can, with forthright perseverance make a real difference in the beloved District and County we live in. Bowing out of the race I am giving my support and vote for Bruce McPherson. I urge you to so too.
John Abel, Boulder Creek