My years of public service have prepared me for this position of leadership within our community. I would like to work for you in order to make our city an even better place. Nearly three decades of government experience and organizational leadership has shown me what it takes to navigate complicated governmental agencies in order to find solutions and get things done.
REDUCING TRAFFIC & IMPROVING ROADS
While serving on Auburn’s Traffic Committee for two years I heard your concerns loud and clear, about careless speeding in our neighborhoods and the increasing levels of traffic congestion in our city. This past year Auburn experienced an increase in traffic collisions. This is not only frustrating to drivers; it also makes our streets increasingly unsafe. It is time to take a fresh look at our traffic situation and find solutions to alleviate these growing problems. As a former Police Traffic Lieutenant, I implemented several programs that not only reduced speeding, but significantly decreased accident levels. By bringing together the three E's: Education, Engineering and Enforcement, we can improve our traffic issues.
One of the greatest responsibilities of any city is to provide smooth, hazard-free roadways. Past Council decisions have deferred maintenance dollars away from our roadways in order to pay for other projects. Consequently, as our streets become overrun with cracks and pot holes, the amount of wear and tear our vehicles are subjected to continues to increase. In order to avoid increasing personal vehicle maintenance expense, we must look for a new approach to improve the condition of our roadways.
MANAGING OUR BUDGET
The costs of providing community services continue to rise. However, our city revenue has not kept pace. About 40% of the annual revenue is derived from sales tax. I will work to find new ways to generate additional sales tax revenue by promoting local merchants and attracting new business ventures.
One way the Council attempted to balance the budget was to combine the Administration of the Police and Fire Departments. The Council needs to evaluate this consolidation closely to determine its effectiveness and long term viability. If it is decided that Auburn should proceed with a full integration of the Public Safety Departments, my experience in law enforcement could be instrumental in the development of this program. A change of this magnitude does not happen overnight. It will take significant planning and understanding of both professions to find common ground.
We also need to explore additional ways of reducing the unfunded liability. The PERS unfunded liability payment is approaching $500,000 per year. Auburn, as well as most other cities in California, must come up with a solution to control this cost. Failure to do so will lead to further cut-backs of services our community desperately needs. As the President of the Santa Clara Police Officers Association, I was involved in many fiscal and policy contract negotiations. I have seen the issue from both sides; as both a member of the workforce and as management. I will work to find a solution that could benefit both the employees as well as its leadership. Employees are a cities most valuable asset. It is essential that the city staff and the employees work together to find ways to perform their individual functions in a more cost effective manner.
TECHNOLOGY & INFRASTRUCTURE
Two years ago I became a member of the Auburn Technology Commission. Upon joining the Commission I was informed that the current IT infrastructure was on the brink of collapse. The network is old and crumbling and there is no one on staff that is a trained IT specialist who can manage technology programs. This leaves City Departments to their own ingenuity to tackle large IT projects. Working together with the Technology Commission we can find solutions to stabilize and upgrade the network infrastructure.
During my law enforcement career I gained an expertise in technology. My field of responsibility included the network infrastructure of the entire Santa Clara Police Department. I was also tasked with exploring new technology and enhancing the efficiency of our officers on the street. Additionally, my experience on the Technology Commission has provided me with invaluable insight into Auburn’s IT network that no other candidate has. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to address this perpetually overlooked issue and find solutions to ensure long-term stability for our City.
A large portion of Auburn’s budget comes from sales Tax. Council needs to find ways to encourage business growth within Auburn. A discussion is needed with our business leaders to determine what can be done to assure increased economic development. Government regulations have a tendency to get in the way of free enterprise and stifle growth. I am proposing that we examine the current city rules and regulations, with our business partners, to see what can be modified in order to provide local merchants more freedom to grow their business. A timeline should be created for our Economic Development Commission to complete a strategic plan that clearly identifies how we can bring more business into our city.
PUBLIC SAFETY VISIBILITY
It is a proven fact that police visibility reduces crime. The resources of the Police Department are stretched too thin. In the 2015 budget the department’s stated goal was to complete crime reports in less than 3 hours. We need to improve on this performance. It is time to consider alternative methods of making our officers more efficient. By working directly with our Public Safety Director, we can identify what is needed to enable our officers to increase visibility on city streets and in your neighborhood.