Housing & Environment
We all choose to live in Ventura because it is beautiful. I support SOAR and I will protect our open spaces and agricultural resources. But because growth is unavoidable, rather than taking an ostrich approach to growth, I will plan for growth.
We should take a lesson from the countries of Europe. Rather than subdividing and paving over our productive fields, growth must be up – not out. By having a more walkable/cyclable city, we can limit traffic trips and we can protect our air quality. I support smart growth and the mixed-use of property.
The City should reexam its past exclusionary zooming policies. Why does the south part of town only have light industrial uses? Why can’t neighborhoods develop there that will provide new areas for affordable housing?
And why should multi-family apartments be exclusionary zoned to only a handful of areas in the city? By mixing housing uses in neighborhoods, a more dynamic sense of community can be developed.
Properties must be allowed to have more flexible uses. If a business cannot profitably operate in its property, then the city should allow a residential use. We must reduce restrictive zoning codes so that residential properties can also accommodate some retail and commercial uses.
Ventura’s Community Development Planning Department has lost sight of its mission. Its unexplained delays are allowed to take place with no apparent oversight. There is no reason to add tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of dollars to the cost of building housing or making a business improvement because of an under performing department.
Businesses are not attracted to Ventura because they know money will be drained and years will go by, as they face delays and roadblocks. I support nearly all the recommendations of the Matrix Report.
Projects that provide needed housing should be fast tracked, not delayed.
We must streamline our Planning Department so that property owners are treated fairly, they are not required to go through numerous hearings, and their applications are not lost for years waiting for the department to take action on them.
Water & Net Zero
Because new building cannot produce its own water, all new building is assessed yet another fee – the Net Zero fee. The price of housing in Ventura is so high that I doubt that, when they are ready to become homeowners, that my children could ever afford a house here. There is no basis for the exorbitant fees placed on new residential housing by Net Zero. Moreover, in these times of financial stress on business and property owners, fees should be lowered, not raised.
Not only is Net Zero forcing our children to move out of Ventura, but it is discouraging businesses from locating and building here. We are losing the tax revenue that these businesses could generate, as well as the jobs they could bring to our city.
How can we attract more tourists [who come, spend and then leave with no demand on schools and other costly services] if high fees prevent more quality dining, shopping, recreational and cultural opportunities from being created? We are losing hotel and sales tax revenues from tourism, which benefit us all, because high fees are discouraging new businesses and hotels from opening.
Net Zero fees should be eliminated, or at least reduced. Let’s save $300 million dollars
and NOT activate our state water allocation at this time.
I have a PhD in Urban Planning. I am well versed on issues that can develop in the updating of our General Plan. It is critical that the General Plan be transparent and easily locatable by all interested residents. Everyone should be given the opportunity to provide their input into the plan.
Like everyone else, I am not excited by the idea of increased traffic, increased population – growth. But since growth is inevitable, I support the growth going up and not out. I am against creating more subdivisions and eliminating more orchards and field. We must recognize that our agricultural and open spaces are critical to maintain the quality of life in Ventura. That means that density will increase. Let’s deal with it, rather than stick out heads in the sand.
Because cities like Ventura took the ostrich approach to growth, the state has stepped in for us. Now ADUs are allowed on all residential properties. If we don’t plan for growth, I guarantee that the state will do it for us. And in a way a lot less acceptable that if we properly address growth ourselves in our General Plan
I am a smart growth advocate and believe that exclusionary zoning has done more harm to the physical structure of cities than good. High density and mixed-use development should be encouraged throughout the plan to prevent even more subdivisions, and to stop even more productive fields and orchards from being paved o
No More Tax Increases
With a shortage of funds coming in as a result of the COVID restrictions on business, the wrong answer is to increase taxes on those same businesses and employees. I am adamantly opposing to increasing taxes once again.
Between income tax, social security tax, property tax, sales tax, vehicle and personal property tax, and other miscellaneous city fees and taxes – more of worker’s income goes to pay these taxes than goes into their wallet. This is wrong. Government must be reined in from continually increasing taxes. I will oppose any and all proposals to increase taxes on Ventura’s citizens.
Father Serra Statue
Taliban leader Mullah Omar ordered the Buddhas of Bamyan, built on the Silk Road in the 500s AD, destroyed in March 2001. The Buddhas were offensive because they did not conform to his interpretation of current Islamic religious beliefs. The director general of UNESCO called the Buddhas destruction a "... cold and calculated destruction of cultural properties which were the heritage of the Afghan people...”
The Ventura City Council took it upon themselves to order the removal of Fr. Serra’s statue, as they felt he was offensive under current ethnic beliefs.
This cancel culture must stop.
I am no fan of statues of generals on horseback, or priests for that matter – and I bet the individuals they represent were all racist or flawed looking back at them by today’s standards. But they are all part of our collective cultural heritage.
The Serra statue is the cultural property of all of us, and no council motivated by current politics should make that important decision for us. If elected I will insist on a ballot measure to vote the fate of Father Serra’s statue.
Police & Fire Departments
Having worked with police officers and sheriff’s deputies as a former L.A. County prosecutor, I am against enacting policies that would put our officers in danger if implemented. I will not blindly adopt Campaign Zero, nor the 8 Can’t Wait prescriptions, many of which would endanger our officers in the field. Unfortunately, not all criminals are harmless, nor do they “play by the rules.”
I am absolutely against defunding the police department. I oppose the recent proposal to cut additional positions from the Police Department and from the Fire Department. If we want to maintain our public safety, we can’t do it by reducing positions. Instead, all authorized police positions must be filled, and all authorized firefighter positions must be filled as well.
Like everyone else, I am tired of the impact on quality of life by those homeless that have drug problems and mental illness. By doing nothing, we are not helping these homeless. Meanwhile, the strange behavior, and sometimes aggressive behavior, is allowed to go unchecked, and we have to endure that behavior. The killing in Aloha by a homeless man should have been an alarm bell, but mostly, it is still more of the same.
The Ventura Police Department wants to address this problem by Enhance Patrol Task Force (PTF) coordination with County Behavioral Health and social service stakeholders and by utilizing enhanced patrol officers in public areas. They would also reinstitute gang prevention and intervention programs and focus on habitual offenders.
I am all for these strategic goals of our police department. But it’s not going to happen if we are cutting positions and not filling the positions that are authorized. I support filling all positions as a means of providing the police department with the means to implement their plan to address the homeless.
For those families that are homeless because of finances, the ARCH by Mercy House is a great resource. By helping get these families off the street and back on their feet we all benefit. I support ARCH and mental health and drug addiction intervention to help and reduce our homeless population and to win back our streets.