The Issues and the Solutions

Road Repairs and Infrastructure


Crumbling roads and aging infrastructure have been an issue in West County for a while. No one solution is adequate. We need multiple revenue streams.

I want to see the transient occupancy tax (TOT) increased (including AirBNB) and then a portion of that MUST be dedicated to the community it came from. If the funds come from Guerneville a set portion must stay in Guerneville. If the funds come from Bodega a set portion must be allocated to Bodega. These funds will then be used for improving roads as well as Emergency Services for the area IE:  Bodega Bay Fire Protection District. These are basic safety issues.  What I propose is just fair play.

I will push for a daily fee or by the mile fee be charged to all vehicles rented in the County by non-residents. These funds will be solely dedicated to improving our roads.

We can pass a pure ballot measure that guarantees a temporary increase in the sales tax will be dedicated to roads.

When the State legalizes Recreational marijuana, we can place a tax on that. I do not believe a County tax should extend to Medical Marijuana.

What we need is the will to get this done. We need to be more concerned about doing what is best for our County and the 5th District than what id politically expedient.
  
  

Housing


A study found that over the past 25 years, the average annual income of 99 percent of Sonoma County households declined by 10 percent. In the last 4years the price of housing has increased by 40%. It does not take a “Math Genius” to figure out these numbers are unsustainable. People are frustrated and angry. We need to channel that frustration and anger. Focus it like a laser to create positive change.


Home Ownership:

We need to stream line the permitting process. We need to get rid of in lieu of fees, what I refer to as not in my back yard fees. For too long, builders of subdivisions have been relieved of their responsibility to build affordable housing by paying a fee instead. This money sits around until someone else, such as Burbank Housing, picks up the mantle and builds new affordable housing. All this does is create a delay in affordable housing and segregate lower income households to an area deemed acceptable - NIMBY. I live in a subdivision that has multi economic affordability housing, and it WORKS. We need to have the political will to do what is right not politically popular. My solutions include – Requiring ALL new subdivisions have integrated socioeconomic housing (Apartments – Town Homes – Affordable Homes and standard SFD). We require what was once deemed “low income” homes in the subdivision be built first.(read: affordable to your average County resident IE teachers and trades people). We lower the permit rates for the affordable homes in the Subdivision. The County becomes the lender for up to 2 years on the affordable homes in the subdivision. This gives the Builders the reassurance that they will have the needed funding for the first phase.


Rentals:

Work collaboratively with the private sector to create more accommodations - such as the Palms on Santa Rosa Ave. This is a perfect example of what great things we as a community can accomplish, when we work together. We need to take under used buildings in the County (including County owned properties) and configure them into affordable apartments to help ease rental shortages. We can follow Marin County's lead and create junior 2nd units – bedrooms converted to small apartments. We can explore changing or adapting rules for where and how regular 2nd units can be added to a property – granny units. Rules can be put in place that stipulate these must be used as long term rentals for a period of time - to be determined. I believe these last two could be greatly utilized in West County.

We need to find ways for those who have HUD vouchers to be able to actually find a landlord who accepts them. HUD has Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits. “This is the Federal government's primary program for encouraging the investment of private equity in the development of affordable rental housing for low-income households.” This option is more complex for builders as there are certain qualifications for Ownership and Use Restrictions that apply. The Sonoma County Housing Authority (responsible for Section 8 Program) can have a member of the staff who is well versed in the process and helps Developers work their way through the Bureaucratic hoops.


Homeless:

We can not merely warehouse our homeless into shelters or housing that does not offer resources. There must be services near by (Mental Health - Counseling) – a bus line near by or a dedicated shuttle (run by volunteers) that assures they can get to appointments and services ( Employment and Training – Healthcare – Social Services).



Ideas, Suggestions, Constructive criticism welcome. We need to start this dialogue and incorporate the best ideas put forward, no matter what the source. If you elect me to represent you on the Board of Supervisor's, I will continue to seek out the best ideas, from as diverse a group as possible.
  

Water Conservation and Resources