THE CARR FIRE
WHY RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL?
“I am running for several reasons.
First, I believe everyone has the ability, and an obligation, to try and participate in the community, to fix problems and issues that may exist or arise. Participation can range from picking up a piece of trash on the sidewalk, volunteering at a non profit or local business, joining a civic or social club, setting up your own business and even a four year commitment on city council. Running for elective office demonstrates to my children that any problem, at any level, can be handled, tackled and resolved, by anyone.
Second, in 1994, when we moved from Los Angeles, my family and I made a conscious choice to pick Redding. I could have chosen anywhere in the state of California. Why Redding? There was a business opportunity for my family. The scenery, weather and outdoor activities are a big attraction. Couple that with the people who live here. They are friendly, kind, caring, outgoing and proud of their community. I want this attitude and these amenities to continue and to attract others to come here. As a city council member I can have a voice in keeping the qualities we find so attractive available for future generations.”
MICHAEL’S VISION FOR REDDING
BUILD AN ECONOMIC BACKBONE
In my vision for the future of Redding, I see the economic back bone of the city and its population coming from all walks of life, ranging from new business start ups to retired couples looking for an elder friendly safe place to live. The startup community I’ve already mentioned is a vital part of that vision.
MORE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
I see the city with vastly expanded educational opportunities for its students and citizens of all ages. I see increased post high school vocational and educational opportunities. Children who are born and raised here will be able to learn the necessary skills and vocations to obtain meaningful employment in Redding or the surrounding area. I see continued expansion of the nursing programs at Shasta College and Simpson University. I see the Builder’s Exchange trade school expanding and growing. I see the trade unions apprentice program, which was at Shasta College a few years ago, returning to our community to help educate our young people.
I see the city hosting multiple outdoor activities and events at the local, regional, state and national level. These activities and events will capitalize on the natural and outdoor amenities of the city and surrounding area, will bring visitors and tourists to town and may result in permanent residents or new business.
DEVELOP THE SACRAMENTO RIVER FRONTAGE
I see the largely undeveloped Sacramento River frontage begin its transformation into something that will attract visitors from California and the rest of the country. It will create a “tourism triangle” between Downtown, Turtle Bay, The Sundial Bridge and Arboretum and the Riverfront between Highway 44 and Cypress Avenue. Redding will not be known as a gas stop on I-5. It will be known as a destination area, a place to visit and a place to live.
THINK LONG TERM & SHORT TERM
We need a council member who has a vision for the city. We need a council member who can think in the long term as well as the short term. We need a council member who can listen to all sides and work with others. We need a council member who is not afraid to make tough decisions, but can do so with an open mind, an open door, and some common sense. I am that candidate.
Michael’s platform is based on three primary issues:
The primary job of government, at all levels, is to provide public safety services (police, fire and jail) to protect its residents. The residents need to be safe and need to feel safe. For the past few years this has been very difficult to achieve. We all know someone who has been a victim of crime. We all have places in town we will not go, at night, alone and sometimes in the daytime. Police response times have gone up and calls for service have gone up. This results in circumstances where a resident may get no response or a much delayed response to a 911 call. The police chief just said, a few weeks ago, he was unable to keep the criminals out of South City Park. The jail is a revolving door, much like catch and release. The reasons for this are primarily caused by laws passed in Sacramento (AB109 and related laws). The lack of jail space means there are no consequences for criminal behavior. This cannot continue.
We don’t just wait for Sacramento to change the laws. We need to take control of this situation on the local level. For example, The Safe City Project, prepared at no cost in 2014 by ordinary citizens, has suggestions. The Blueprint for Public Safety, which cost the community $155,000, has many suggestions to help alleviate these problems. We need to take a fresh look at those studies and see what can be implemented as quickly as possible with as little cost as possible.
The city council just voted to put a tax on all aspects of the marijuana business on the November ballot. It will be a general tax, needing only 50%+1 to pass and it will go into the general fund where it can be spent for any purpose. If I am elected I pledge that I will get an accounting for every penny generated from that tax and will vote to use that revenue to either put more boots on the ground (like hiring more CSO’s) or to help provide more jail beds, whether through construction of a new jail or renting jail beds in another county.
Some say that this is not the city’s problem because the county is the entity operating the jail. I say it is a COMMUNITY PROBLEM and it needs a COMMUNITY SOLUTION. I suggest having regular meetings with two council members and two supervisors, without staff present, to discuss thoughts and ideas. After that meeting these ideas can be presented to the respective staff for further review. This is proposed to foster an atmosphere of cooperation that seems to be missing.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND DOWNTOWN
We all know the only ability the city has to raise money is by taking it from the citizens. Whether you call it taxes or fees, it comes from our pockets. If the business base in the city increases, the tax base increases and the revenue increases, without raising taxes. This is the avenue of growth that needs to be encouraged.
We have many startup companies in Redding. They are forming and will continue to become an integral part of the economy. There is an angel investor group in town and I am one of the founders. The group has made multiple investments in local companies, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The companies that have presented to the angel group are filled with ideas, imagination, drive and creativity. We need to encourage this type of economic development. In addition to capital, these young startups have mentoring provided to them and have a workplace to meet and interact with other startups. Currently the Venture Hub, on Caterpillar Road, provides these services. There are plans to move that location to downtown Redding. My suggestions?
1. The EDC has been instrumental in helping this to happen. Let’s increase the EDC budget so it can continue to expand its efforts in this area.
2.Let’s consider waiving, reducing, delaying or crediting impact fees on those companies as they are growing and expanding.
3. There is currently a project underway to bring fiber internet, with lightning fast speeds to Redding. I am 100% supportive of this proposal and if elected will work diligently to bring it to fruition.
DOWNTOWN. The revitalization of downtown has been a long term goal for many years. At the moment there are a number of projects underway that will pave the way for a renaissance of the area. The Dicker’s building teardown and its replacement, coupled with a new parking structure and a total modification of the old police station will provide a completely new feeling and vibe for the area. There are projects underway in other downtown locations that will add to the renaissance. When completed this will be a huge plus for the citizens of our community. I am 100% supportive of these efforts and would encourage the same waiver, reduction, delay or crediting of impact fees on these projects as well as future projects in the downtown area.
The city is facing serious financial issues. The cost of paying for long term pensions, retirement benefits and health care costs, is millions of dollars. Long term infrastructure needs with roads, the water delivery system and the waste water system need to be met. In the past 4 years the city has given out thousands of dollars in raises to department heads and department managers which could have been used for public safety.
If elected I will listen to the voters and to what they want. I will work with other council members and the community members to resolve the city’s financial problems. For the financial issues I have experience as an economics major, a business owner and a bankruptcy trustee. I see on a daily basis, in the bankruptcy cases the court assigns me to review, how people and businesses fall into financial problems. I know the causes of these problems, how to prevent them from occurring and how to solve them before they become insurmountable. There have been too many cities in California (and in the nation), who have been forced to file for bankruptcy protection. Nobody wins when that happens. There are ways to solve these issues without filing for bankruptcy and I would like an opportunity to help the city in that regard.
In addition to my experience with financial issues, for the past 35 years in my daily business dealings I have encountered all types of people and all types of problems. I have been able to help these people solve their problems and move on with their lives. To do this I listen to both sides of an issue, I learn from the perspective of both sides, and then work on achieving a fair and reasonable solution. The best solutions can be achieved with honesty, integrity, ingenuity, perseverance, outside the box thinking and the ability to listen and to work together. These are the skills needed in an effective city council member.
My suggestion? If and when the Stillwater property sells, the money it generates should be used to pay down the money borrowed to buy the property. This will save a substantial amount of money by lowering the monthly payments on that loan. That money should be used for the same thing as the marijuana tax funds, to increase boots on the ground and to provide more jail beds.
MEET THE TEAM
Campaign Manager & Fundraising
Campaign Secretary & Event Coordinator
Social Media Director
Betty Harrison Smith
Cecelia (C.C) Miller
Diana Gifford Tuggle
Dr. Bill Howland
Jerry Pickering, Jr.
Pamela Batti Hamar
Renzen Randi Lachney