At this point in time, about 50% or more of the voters have already turned in their ballots. So this is written for those that are still debating. I want to offer you my closing arguments for why you should vote for me as Mayor of American Canyon.
BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE
Sometimes the most important thing you need to know about a candidate is his/her background and experience. A candidate with a law enforcement background, for example, is probably more likely to offer his/her experience to guide the Council towards improving public safety.
Likewise, someone with municipal finance and management experience will be good to help guide our City through tough financial times, not only in the immediate, Covid-19 induced recession, but for the long-term as well. With my experience as a Finance Director in three Cities, including American Canyon, I have that background. I believe the next Mayor will need to be able to go through the City's budget to find areas where we can save money or spend it more efficiently; to identify new revenue opportunities and plan for the future. To find the funds to maintain our parks and streets when they need to be renovated, and not years later.
SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY
We all give back to our community, in one way or the other. For 26 years, I have been active in the community, including the American Canyon Arts Foundation, Kiwanis Club, and Relay For Life. I have served on the Boards of the Napa Valley Vine Trail Coalition and the Arts Council Napa Valley. I am an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Vice-Chair of our local Tourism Improvement District, and serve on the Countywide Climate Action Committee and Napa Valley Transportation Authority (NVTA). I also served on a Countywide Affordable Housing Task Force.
Where I cannot serve, I am a financial sponsor, including the Middle School's Casino Night and other School-related events, the Reindeer Run, the building campaigns for Holy Family Parish and the Boys & Girls Club; the Kiwanis Food Pantry, Disaster Relief Agencies, the AC Community Parks Foundation, and just about any community organization that asks!
Perhaps the best indicator of my service to community is being honored as the 2007 "Gateway Award" winner--American Canyon's highest honor for local community service.
THE ROLE OF MAYOR
A lot of this campaign has been about what the Mayor's role should be--more ceremonial or more centered on action and leadership. I support the latter, and I believe a leadership Mayor needs to demonstrate three traits:
Focus on what's Important: There are many tough challenges facing our community--traffic, climate change and business development. The next Mayor should focus on those important issues, and let the City Manager deal with the day-to-day affairs.
Focus on the Future: If we aren't looking forward, we won't anticipate problems until it's too late; and we won't see the opportunities that present themselves. For example, how we work with the developer to build the Ruins at Watson Ranch, or how we work with property owners along the 29 Corridor, can have a tremendous impact--good or bad--on the quality of life in American Canyon.
Focus on Solutions: More than anything else, the next Mayor needs to offer more than generalizations--new ideas and strategies are key. I have spelled out ways to build the Newell Extension to address traffic; changes we can implement to address climate change and grow our economy; and even how we can better meet the needs of our mobile home park residents.
When it comes to the issues, the debate is not so much over what, but how and when! Whether it's economic development, traffic or affordable housing, there isn't that much dispute over the end result. But the next Mayor should be able to offer specific plans and strategies, based on input from the voters as well as their own experience and training. That's the real distinction in this election. As noted above, I offer specific ideas on how to move forward on these tough issues.
This is the last point When trying to decide, it helps if people you know or trust support one candidate over the other. I am proud to have the support of every former Mayor in American Canyon. In addition, I have been endorsed by the Napa Solano Central Labor Council, and the Napa Solano Building & Trades Council. On the other hand, I have also been supported by business owners and property owners that want to build in American Canyon. I believe this demonstrates I can work with all sides of the community. In a similar vein, I have been endorsed by both the local Democratic Party and the Napa County Farm Bureau, And lastly, State Senator Bill Dodd, Council member Mariam Aboudamous, Napa Valley College Trustee Beth Goff, and Napa County Office of Education Trustee, Sindy Biederman, have endorsed me in my run for Mayor.
I hope the arguments above have convinced you it's time for a change. If you want to see things happen; if you want to see the City working with community groups as an equal partner; or if you want to see a Mayor with the experience to provide real oversight and accountability, then I am the right choice for you. If that's not enough, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But really, the most important thing is, VOTE! To the half of the likely voters that already voted--Thank You! For the rest of you, please fill out your ballot and drop it off at any number of locations in town. When we see other states discouraging voters from voting, we need to appreciate how fortunate we live in a State that makes it easy. So please--VOTE!