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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City CouncilCity of Arroyo GrandeNovember 8, 2016California General Election

Local
November 8, 2016California General Election

City of Arroyo GrandeCity Council

Election Results

  • 100% of precincts reporting (12/12).
  • 10,265 ballots counted.

About this office

Members of the city council draft and vote on city laws and appoint certain municipal officers and employees.
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Who’s Running?

You can vote for 2 candidates of 5 total candidates.
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Caren Ray

Educator/History Teacher
4,963 votes (31.37%)Winning
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Kristen Barneich

Appointed City Councilmember
4,109 votes (25.97%)Winning
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John F. Mack

Architect/Planning Commissioner
2,480 votes (15.67%)
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Small Business Owner
2,452 votes (15.5%)
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  • Determing our economic engines to drive our economic development plan
  • Working with neigboring cities to establish a long term reliable water source.
  • Community growth that includes afforadable housing options.
Profession:Small Business Owner
Business Consultant, The Sage Associates (1999current)
Arroyo Grande Traffic Commissioner, Arroyo Grande Traffic Commission — Appointed position (2016current)
County Grand Juror, San Luis Obispo County Grand Juryt — Appointed position (20142015)
Business Owner, The Village Framery and Gallery (19891999)
Manager, AT&T (19671989)
Univ. of Miami MBA, Business (1967)
Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity (2015current)
Member , Pismo Beach Rotary Club (20022010)
My Background and Experience

My wife and I fell in love with this small city and moved here more than 16 years ago. As a resident I’ve become concerned about how the current political landscape has impacted City Council decision making, and is changing our city.

I decided to run for a seat on our City Council because I believe it is critically important to improve communications between community members, the council, and city administration. I also have concerns about our council members lack of collaboration and the unwillingness to attempt to reach consensus on major issues. I believe my extensive business experience can serve as a guide to resolve these conflicts and help the council in making decisions that our entire community can support.

1. I am a military veteran, having served 6 years in the U.S. Navy where I learned the importance of critical thinking, discipline, and teamwork.
2. I can leverage my 20 Year multi-department management experience (engineering, operations, customer service and marketing) with AT&T, to foster the use of organization management techniques to help the council reach consensus on complex issues.
3. With my 10 years of small business retail ownership and 17 years business consulting services, I understand the impact decisions made by the council can have on small businesses and therefore our community.

  • Republican Party of San Luis Obispo County

Water Management

Summary

Most of our local water supplies are shared resources with our neighboring cities and so water conservation and water supply development is a major concern for all of us.

Arroyo Grande along with our neighbors, via joint participation in the Northern Cities Management Area, have been successful in re-distributing water supplies to provide relief to stressed resources over the past several years.  While this has enabled us to stretch limited resources, it has not developed a focused consensus for the creation of new short or long term water supplies.

As a result it will require all of to continue our conservation efforts while solutions are being addressed. A return to the cash for grass and other previous conservation efforts should assist in this effort. City Staff should also continue to work closely with residents who are still not in compliance with our usage goals.

While some individuals feel that water usage targets should be established by the City for local businesses, I disagree. According to metered data collected by the City most of our businesses have already implemented water reduction programs that provide effective savings. Many of our businesses operate on a low margin and additional costs would likely result in reduced services. We need to remember that a significant portion of our City Operating Budget is based on sales taxes that these businesses collect.

WATER SUPPLY: We are all hearing “political” responses to this issue and most are not well thought out.  It’s well past time to form a regional task force comprised of professional staff from each of our cities and an experienced water consulting firm to vet the available possibilities and provide us realistic options.

Desalination:  This has been attempted by several cities and in each circumstance has failed because of high cost and the lengthy approval process. Even when a facility successfully comes on line, subsequent rainfall that replenishes our traditional water sources, results in cheaper water than that produced by the desalination facility, resulting in the shut down of the desalination facility.

A larger scale regional facility may over time help alleviate some of these issues, but the short term cost of a new facility, distribution pipes, ocean intake limitations and on-going operations are significant. Any discussions of a regional facility must include financing sources and other uses for the generated water when our lake and underground supply sources are replenished.

Water reclamation:  Of course we have to use water before it can be re-claimed. This in itself is a limiting factor when our current supplies are so low. Hindsight tells us that if we had pursued this option when our lake was full and groundwater supplies stable, we would have several more years of available water. This may still be one of the most cost effective options available to us and  should be evaluated by the task force.

State Water:   Much has been said about this option, but most is supposition and not fact. While our citizens previous decision prohibits us from contracting directly for State Water, it does appear we can purchase water from any of the water purveyors who do purchase State Water. While this could be extremely costly it also should be looked at as negotiable. Failure to pursue negotiations eliminates this as an option.

If Measure E-16 is passed we would be able to pursue the direct purchase of State Water. While this may also be prohibitively  expensive if pursued as a city project, it may be more acceptable if pursued as a regional project with our neighboring cities.

 

New City Manager

Summary

The primary role of the City Council is to establish policies and to measure performance of the City Administration in carrying out those policies. The primary role of the City Manager is to implement those policies by developing, implementing, and measuring goals and objectives for the policies.

NEW CITY MANAGER: This is the key to get us out of the repetitive problem solving mode we have been in for the past few years and into a more proactive goal driven mode. We need our Council to address long term plans and goals and let our City Manager address and drive the implementation activities. The Council’s role is policy and direction. The City Manager serves as the CEO and drives how we meet policy goals.

Many of our issues are regional in nature and collaboration with neighboring cities and agencies is important to developing good solutions. Our new City Manager must be capable of effectively communicating our needs and position when working with our neighbors.

The City Manager role is also key to improving staff morale and our ability to retain high performing managers. We need an experienced City Manager who is a problem solver and will support City Staff.

We need to cease the Mayor/Council micro-management of our city and let our professionals do their job.

Economic Development

Summary

In order to create an effective Economic Development Plan we need to first decide what our economic engine(s) will be. This in turn is dependent upon our vision of what we want our city to look like.

Successful economic development requires that we control the direction of this development by marketing our city to businesses and not relying on developers to direct the selection of business types. This should be a key function of our City Manager and staff.

Certainly, sales tax based businesses offer a more consistent revenue stream and have the advantage of including contributions from our visitors and tourists. However, we need to realize our need to support these businesses during times when tourists have returned home and business revenues will decrease, remains. Our City Council and City Staff should work closely with our business community to support targeted community events that offer opportunities for our citizens to maintain support for our businesses. My extensive business background can aid this process and provide direction that helps to ensure success.

We also need to recognize that it will be difficult to draw new businesses to our city when we have a water shortage and may be considering, or have, a broad based building moratorium. The development of a realistic  Water Supply Development Plan can offer encouragement to potential businesses.

Academic Advisor
1,794 votes (11.34%)
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  • Get Arroyo Grande on the path to a balanced budget and increase revenue.
  • Develop a focused plan that addresses our water crisis; focusing on water recycling and balanced development initiatives.
  • Fully staff Arroyo Grande Police Department; the current practices are unsustainable and come at a cost to the community and the department.
Profession:Academic Advisor in Higher Education, Retired High School Teacher, Small Business Owner.
Academic Advisor, Brandman University (2013current)

I have spent the majority of my professional life in education, as a high school teacher in Social Science, Math, and as an Education Specialist.  I am now an academic advisor in higher education.  I earned by Bachelor's Degree in Sociology at University of California, Santa Cruz, my first teaching credential through College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California, and my second teaching credential and Master's in Special Education through Santa Clara University.  I built a successful education consulting business, Successful Student, where I provided direct and targeted internventions for students struggling in school.

 

  • Dan Carpenter, San Luis Obispo City Council, Candidate for District 3 Supervisor
  • Arroyo Grande Police Officers Association

I believe that local government is where tangible governing happens.  Local government is where the focus is on meeting the needs of the community, and where transformational leadership, and therefore change can happen.  Local government should focus on creating a vibrant and dynamic local economy, while encouraging this growth in smart ways.  

Local government is there to truly serve the people and should be true servant leaders.  In that effort, personal agendas should not dictate voting.  Local elected officials need to be reflective and willing and able to listen.  They should not come the dais with their mind made up---that discounts public input and goes against the spirit of local governing.  Local leaders should not come to the dais feeling they have all the answers, they need to be diligent in inviting the public to participate in the governing process.

Economic Development

Summary

The City of Arroyo Grande is at a cross-roads with regards to economic development.  We need plan that not only lists our goals, but how we will achieve the goals as they relate to the economic development of our community, and how our progress towards those goals will be measured.

Economic development in the City of Arroyo Grande is an important topic on which we need to focus. I have owned and operated my own small business, an educational consulting firm providing targeted interventions for students struggling in school. It is difficult to get a new and small business up and running, but with the right planning, tools, and support, it is possible. While I do not have all the answers to growing business in Arroyo Grande, or retaining the businesses we currently have---I do have some ideas to help in both areas.

1. As a city, we need to support our local businesses. There needs to be a targeted and sustained campaign to encourage residents to buy local (food, gas, clothing, building supplies, etc.) and to utilize local service industries. This effort should focus on businesses city-wide.

2. We need to provide common spaces for small businesses to share work space and costs while they are in the design and launching phases of their business. This environment allows for networking and idea generation to possible investor connections.

3. The city should have a full accounting of all vacant business/commercial space inside the city limits. We should work with the owners of those properties to help creatively market the spaces. This strategy is being employed across the nation and has proved successful in smaller cities.

4. We should be encouraging pop-up stores in some of the vacant storefronts. While they are not intended to all become permanent, they do allow new businesses the ability to implement a trial run, with low cost and therefore low risk. This model encourages new business to be developed. The fact they do not have to sign a long term lease allows pop-ups to focus on getting their business up and running--focusing their funding on the product or service being offered, not on the space needed to house the business.

THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT: Buying local has a multiplier effect in the community. This means that as we buy locally, this injection of money into the local economy, produces a ripple effect because that infusion of money will expand employment and the production of goods and services in that local community. The more we spend at home, the better our overall economy will be.

My list above is clearly not exhaustive, nor the complete answer to the economic development questions facing the city. I hope if you have additional ideas, you will share them with me in an effort to collect more and have open and public discussions about this issue. The economic development of Arroyo Grande is not just an issue addressed by the City Council or the staff at City Hall, the economic development questions need to be addressed by all stakeholders in the City of Arroyo Grande.

Email leannakinsagcitycouncil@gmail.com

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