Party/Affiliation: No party preference
Current Job: Retired Military Officer and Retired Aerospace/Safety Manager
Top 3 Priorities if Elected:
INCREASE LOCAL JOBS AND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL SERVICES
PROVIDE BUDGET STABILITY
I intend to increase local jobs and economic activity by making Economic Development a top-level goal of the City Council like public safety. I propose forming a joint steering committee with the county and those with private sector experience. They will run the program, establish deadline, measureable goals, and report frequently to the public. It will be their job to develop strategies, remove barriers, identify and support opportunities, encourage uniform procedures, and recommend the necessary reforms to public agencies. This is a key step - things that have the attention of leadership get done.
We must streamline by reducing the cost and speeding the development process – those willing to invest in the area deserve cost-efficient and timely decisions. Doing this right will cost some money up front, that is why I propose using up to 30 percent of Measure E funds to support the economic activity program as an investment in the future.
The Economic Development Program must include proactively promoting the region, stopping job losses, perhaps with temporary concessions, adding social and entertainment venues, solving the transportation issues, partnering with Hollister Hills, the wineries, and the Pinnacles, finding funding for the Westside Plan, beautifying the area with quarterly cleanups reconfigure downtown and modifying commercial impact fees to make sense.
Maintaining essential services will require that we add flexibility and partner with the county where it makes sense. We have to cut overhead so we can provide more service for the same cost and shed some non-core functions or pay for them via special districts. We should staff and schedule based on local experience and knowledge, not just a one-size-fits-all formula. We will have to be proactive with training to prevent injuries that take our workers off the job. That will also limit our worker's comp costs.
It is important to look for labor- and time-saving devices and enlist the residents help in aiding the police with information and doing in-home and on-the-job fire protection as well as local cleanup and code compliance. We should consider expanding the reserve officer program especially for compliance activities and violations so sworn regular officers have more time for serious calls. We have to work the geographic response designations to make agreements more efficient.
To provide budget stability I propose using up to 20% of Measure E funds annually to increase the General Fund reserves. With limited revenue sources, we have larger reserves. The budget documents must be reorganized adding rollup calculation for each detailed line item so the City Council and public can see where the significant expenses are.
I would completely revamp the historically inadequate grant process so Hollister can get its share of private, state, and federal funding to help stabilize the budget. I would make the grant process a core function of city government and establish a dedicated team within the organization to plan and prepare in advance, manage/accomplish the submission process, keep the schedule, and to administer the grant programs to make sure we stay in compliance.
I would ask that the Finance Director identify critical data indicators to give us early warning of potential problems and update that very frequently so we can avoid emergencies.