Here is the link to the Sonoma West Article which I feel is a good portrayal of why I am running and positions and ideas on the important issues. What the Press Democrat did was just the opposite. They tried to link me to the “Recall Hopkins” group in order to disparage me. It is not accurate.
- Promote an entirely different, more cost-effective, way of addressing the homeless issue in the Santa Rosa area. Commercial/Industrial property used to significantly increase the count of available shelter spaces empowering law enforcement to deal with encampments in compliance with court mandate. Would also encourage more proactive enforcement of drug laws.
- Open a year-round shelter in Guerneville, commercial space.
- Prioritize road funding over bike paths, and begin on “local roads” which have been put aside in favor of major “collectors.”
- Redirect more TOT (hotel tax) to the Rural Fire Services.
- Affordable housing in the unincorporated area is a county responsibility. I propose more multifamily development (apartments) in the airport area where shopping and public transportation is available.
- Incentivize affordable apartments with inclusionary zoning policy, requiring 20% affordable apartments for large developments.
- Studio apartments incentivized by zoning policy. All large multi-family developments should include several studios.
- Vote to oppose the unfair well tax (water well) that is being placed on many rural residential homeowners in the 5th district, and exempt all “de-minimus” users from the well tax.
- Oppose the natural gas ban for new home construction that is being suggested. There would be an attempt to spread this to existing homes.
The $12 million “plan” to relocate 210 campers from the bike trail by creating two 40-person indoor/outdoor sanctioned camps and renting homes was ill conceived. It amounts to trying to bribe people to move, when really many don’t want to move.
These people need to be brought indoors. Some are building large structures with pallets and tarps and hoarding junk. Many are doing drugs. This situation is doing no-one any good, including the unhoused themselves.
The court has said to order someone to move you need to provide a bed with storage. And supply meals, restroom facilities, showers and laundry of course. We should go in this direction: supply the facilities.
During the Kincade Fire evacuation the Fairgrounds was used as a shelter. The Grace Pavillion, or main exhibit hall was set up with beds, an area with tables for food service, and there were ample restroom facilities and a trailer out back for showers. It is nothing but a large warehouse-type structure but served well.
I would like to see the county acquire a property and set up such a structure, properly outfitted, maybe with partitions between beds. One very large structure or multiple smaller ones side by side. Then, in compliance with court directives, move people from the encampment to the facility.
During the December 23rd Supervisors meeting it was disclosed that some 60 shelter spaces were unused and being declined. That tells you something right there, but unfortunately it is not enough to direct people to clear from the trail. Increasing the shelter capacity and directing people off the trail would clear it.
There are also several vacant commercial spaces that might be leased for this purpose. Two large spaces are vacant near FoodMax on Stony Point Road and more are vacant on Santa Rosa Avenue including where Smart and Final is and Toy-R-Us used to be.
Suggestions to offer everyone a free motel room or apartment are unworkable and unaffordable!
I also think that those who clearly present as under the influence of a controlled substance, particularly methamphetamine, need to be brought into the court system and ordered into rehab. There are many calls for police service for yelling and possible fighting where the underlying problem is drug use.
Am I opposed to the existence of the SMART Train? Certainly not! I simply believe SMART needs to live within the constraints of their own budget.
I will not allow County general fund money or road repair funds to be taken, or diverted to help SMART keep their budget in balance.
And SMART does have a serious budgetary problem. They have their own sales tax measure, which is a two-county quarter percent sales tax which they are expected to renew. They also have modest revenue from ticket sales. The sales tax is bringing in something like $40 million per year, while ticket sales are something like $7 million according to one source I’ve seen. Their annual operating expense is high and growing. I expect their operating expense to surpass the combination of their sales tax revenue and ticket revenue in the not too distant future. Therein lies the problem. So how will they fund expansion of the rail line, to Windsor and further north if revenue is barely meeting operating expenses?
Additionally the bike path that was supposed to be put in alongside the rail line was supposed to be paid for by SMART. I’ve heard estimate that $140 million would be needed to complete that alone.
I expect SMART to look for additional sources of funding to help them out. It should not come at the expense of the county’s general fund or road repair budget though.
The County Measure M Transportation Tax is slated to be renewed in about a couple years. This is a quarter percent tax that is entirely separate from the SMART two-county tax. Measure M funds have primarily been used to widen the 101 freeway to three lanes. Now that the freeway widening is largely complete, a renewed measure M will be an excellent source of funds for local road repair. I feel it is important that when measure M is renewed the funds are targeted to road repairs, and not diverted to things like the rail line bike path or to help subsidize SMART. Measure M could mean $25 million annually for repairs of roads in the county, and cities.
Some of my neighbors have not seen repairs to streets they live on for 40 years. This is not right. With proper setting of budget priorities and especially with the commitment of funds from a renewed Measure M this situation can change for the better.
The Bohemian did an investigative article the likes of which the Press Democrat never could nor would do, and what they uncovered was rather astounding.
It has to do with the nonprofit Rebuild North Bay Foundation, Darius Anderson, PG&E Corporation and some of our local politicians.
Please read the full article at this link to get the full impact of this information.
The gist of the story is this:
Darius Anderson is a so-called “high-powered” political lobbyist and one of the owners of the Press Democrat via Sonoma Media Investments. He was lobbying on behalf of PG&E. He then set up this Rebuild North Bay nonprofit which received a $2 million contribution from PG&E. County Supervisor David Rabbitt’s 2018 re-election campaign received a contribution from this nonprofit. And Chris Coursey disclosed a “gift” of $546 from the foundation.
Per the article, David Rabbitt for Supervisor 2018 received a contribution of $401.23 from Rebuild North Bay Foundation.
I am a Sonoma County native and resident of the Roseland area for many decades. I went to Cook and have degrees from UC Davis and Stanford. I worked for the Trowbridge Canoe Trip business, then after college aerospace, and more recently a couple of surveying firms, and one of the wildfire cleanup project management firms named Environmental Chemical Corporation or just ECC.
I have been a taxpayer advocate writing ballot arguments against tax measures, including the 2015 Measure A countywide general fund tax defeated by voters. This is significant. It shows I am aligned with the public’s view that more should be done with existing revenue. That vote was also a referendum on county government and the usual way of doing business.
( Link on the Measure A vote – Measure A article )
While I have generally opposed tax increases and opposed SMART at inception, I did support both library and county parks tax measures after they were revised and scaled back.
I will protect the public from misappropriations and wasteful spending and support only reasonable new taxes with real benefit. I support renewal of the County Measure M transportation tax measure if SMART is barred from siphoning revenue. A renewed Measure M will be our best source of road repair funds if the revenue will be dedicated to that purpose. Also, the problem of over-concentration of wineries with special events hosting needs to be addressed, and “ag easement” policy revised.
On homelessness, expand shelter capacity in the most cost-effective fashion possible, instead of buying old derelict motels. Better enforcement of drug laws would help with that aspect also.
I will provide principled representation and direct funding to what people really want, like roads.
I can be reached at 707-710-6747
and desire to preserve our quality of life has lead me to seek public office as a county supervisor. There is angst and cause for concern among many members of the public regarding where our county is headed and I believe I can make a positive difference.
The beauty of this land is evident all around us, from the coast to the river, the redwoods, the laguna and fields with valley oaks in the rural area I am blessed to call home.