Current Job: Associate Professor of National Security Decision Making at the Naval Postgraduate School
Top 3 Priorities if Elected:
BALANCE OF PACIFIC GROVE BUDGET
The cost of the City Council budget and the city attorney are nearly $1 million. I researched ten other cities that have a population comparable to Pacific Grove, and none of those cities had dedicated city attorneys. Pacific Grove hires outside counsel when necessary, so cutting this staff position and eliminating stipends to Council members could save money to balance the budget. Examining the benefits that Pacific Grove gives to city employees could also be a cost-savings measure. For example, accrued benefits are not pensionable benefits, so if the city is providing a level of benefit to its employees that it is not legally obligated to pay, the city could see some cost-savings with little impact to employee benefits. Sharing services with Monterey Fire has saved Pacific Grove a minimum of $280,000 per year. This, along with the $1 million mentioned above, could be redirected to the Recreation Department to support the library, museum, golf course, upkeep and maintenance of parks, and other activities that attract families to Pacific Grove. Overall, I think political and business leaders should market Pacific Grove to the rest of the Monterey Peninsula. Students, faculty, staff, and family members associated with NPS, DLI, MPC, MIIS, CSUMB, and the College of Law should be the target market for Pacific Grove businesses. Having these young people and families come to our community would make Pacific Grove more vibrant, more diverse, increase the volunteer pool, and bring new ideas and contributions to the community.
Regarding revenue streams, there are few low-impact ways the City could raise revenue. First, putting parking meters in parking lots downtown could raise significant revenue. Today, there are meters that are technologically advanced to allow one hour of free parking followed by an hour of paid parking. This would allow local residents to run errands downtown without having to pay for parking, but it would still generate income for the city from those who want the convenience of parking downtown longer than one hour.
REBUILD THE RECREATION DEPARTMENT
Privatizing the Pacific Grove tennis courts and inviting tournaments would both generate revenue and enhance tourism. There is a successful model in Monterey that Pacific Grove could follow without substantial costs. Finally, I would negotiate with the base commander at DLI to open the Taylor Street gate at night and on the weekends. This would increase foot traffic to the Forest Hill area of Pacific Grove. Students from DLI would be able to walk to stores and restaurants in Pacific Grove. Pacific Grove has abundant opportunities for success. I would love to see the Council develop a strategic plan to become a leader on the Peninsula. Our issues and challenges do not exist in a vacuum; rather, everything we do will impact our neighboring cities, our residents, our schools, and ultimately, the next generation. We have an obligation to be an effective and efficient Council that gets things done and moves the City forward toward a more prosperous future.