Wednesday, August 17, 2016

San Leandro City Council Questionnaire

I have sent all candidates running for City Council in San Leandro (including the ones without an opponent) a series of questions. I wish to make an informed choice in deciding whom to support. I have told them that their answers will guide my endorsement decisions. I believe their answers will also be of interest to the community. 

Candidates for office regularly complete questionnaires from
 labor, business and issue groups. Their answers, however, are kept confidential. The public has no knowledge as to what the candidates stated or promises they made. We are only told what the candidates want to tell us - often in the form of short, simple statements that border on slogans, not solutions to the issues we face. I want to change this process for our city. We, the voters, should also be able to ask candidates questions and receive answers as part of our due diligence in evaluating them and deciding whom to support. 

I will post the answers to my questionnaire after I receive them. I requested responses by September 1, 2016. 

Here are the questions I sent to candidates running for the City Council for the first time: 

Policy Questions 
1. What is the most pressing issue facing San Leandro and how would you address it? 

2. What are three other significant issues facing San Leandro and how would you address each one? 

3. How do you intend to gather community input and involve the community in making decisions on significant matters? 

4. Over the preceding 12 months, how many City Council meetings and/or work sessions have you attended? 

5. The San Leandro school district has placed a $104 million construction bond on the November ballot to fund a wide range of modernization and renovation needs at school sites. Do you support or oppose the bond measure? 

6. The City of San Leandro has placed three taxes measures that will allocate funds to the City’s general fund to be spent, if adopted, as determined by the City Council in its budgeting process. Do you support or oppose these tax measures? How best should the City spend the revenues the new taxes will generate should they be adopted by the voters? 

7. Do you support the City’s business development objective of transforming San Leandro a new center of innovation in the San Francisco Bay Area? If yes, how would you advance this objective while ensuring our City maintains the unique qualities of its residential neighborhoods? 

8. How would you ensure San Leandro is a sustainable city and safeguards its environment, open spaces/parks, and natural resources? 

9. Do you support or oppose limitations on annual increases that landlord can impose on San Leandro residential tenants? Please explain your position. 

10. How would you keep San Leandro safe? 

11. How would you work to promote diversity and tolerance and combat racism and discrimination in San Leandro? 

Personal Background 
1. Are you retired or working? If working, what is present occupation and employer? If retired, what was your last occupation and employer? 

2. What skills and life experiences do you possess that make you uniquely qualified to serve on the City Council? 

3. Do you have a degree from a college or university? If yes, please state the degree(s), year of graduation, and educational institution from which you obtained the degree(s). 

4. Please list any elected offices you have held or City of San Leandro Boards or Commissions on which you have served. 

5. Please list any community, faith based, labor, business, or nonprofit service organizations of which you are a member and any leadership positions within these organizations that you have held. 

6. Please list any advocacy, professional or issue-based organizations of which you are a member and any leadership positions within these organizations that you have held. 

7. Have you ever been arrested? If yes, please describe the circumstances of the arrest(s) and outcome of the legal proceedings. 

8. Have you ever been a party (plaintiff or defendant) to a civil lawsuit? If yes, please describe the allegations of the complaint and outcome of the legal proceedings? 

9. Have you ever been accused of or investigated for defrauding others, financial misconduct, conflict of interest, taking bribes and/or accepting illegal gifts? If yes, please explain the allegations made and outcome of the investigation or proceedings.

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