2018 Salinas City Council Candidate LandWatch Questionnaire Responses

In 2018, LandWatch solicited input from candidates for Mayor and City Council in the cities of Monterey . While LandWatch does not support or oppose any particular candidate this information is helpful to our members in understanding how their votes at the ballot box have the potential to influence land use policy locally.

All candidates are in alphabetical order

Land Use Policy - Affordable Housing

Nona Childress Anthony Lane Steve McShane Jose "Andrew" Sandoval
What is your position on affordable housing? Please be specific with regards to policies you support or oppose. The severe shortage of affordable (30% of income) housing in the region cannot be denied or ignored. Recent use of Measure G funds for a Farmworker Housing Study to provide actionable data on existing needs is an excellent example of recognizing the need for accurate information to inform policy. MBEP recommendations regarding fee structures and deferrals to encourage higher density infill projects provide specific actions that can occur on the local level. Creation and funding of ombudsman positions to help employers navigate barriers to providing employee housing will help. Propositions 1 and 2, if passed, also offer a way for local jurisdictions to leverage their impact. The timing of affordable units within a development coming online must also be distributed throughout the project instead of only being the last step, to protect the impact in case of incomplete projects. I believe that the Cities need to work with all the developers in adding more affordable housing. This is a very big problem in our area.  The young work force or young families just cannot make ends meet here.  We need to make it easier.  We know that there is a 10% of new housing rule but that rule has to change to accommodate the growth in our area. I think the Cities should use some of the properties that they own and convert them into affordable housing. We are a blue collar city of modest means - I believe every part of Salinas must be treated equally. Affordable housing needs to be made available to several income levels. Addressing affordable housing needs to go hand in hand with addressing job-creation, retention, and regularly implemented fair collective study of wages.  Housing is my #1 priority as a candidate.  I have been aggressive at including both units and fees for affordable housing.  I have also been an outspoken proponent of several affodable housing projects in collaboration with the County, State, Federal Government and Non-profit developers. I have lived in Salinas all my life and I have never seen worse housing conditions than we are experiencing right now. We need more affordable housing now! Rents are way too high for most of our salaries, people have to spend more than half their paycheck just on housing with little left over for other family necessities including emergencies.  Home prices are way out of reach for most people, outside investors or commuters from San Jose are taking up available housing. I support strengthening our Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to make sure new housing includes as much affordable housing as financially feasible. I also support City and County efforts to create new funding sources for affordable housing similar to what is currently proposed in Santa Cruz County. They have put a housing measure on the ballot that would generate approximately $140 Million and create over 1,000 affordable homes that will be available to formerly homeless, seniors, farmworkers, and first time home buyers. We should do the same in Salinas and Monterey County.
Do you support modifying city policies to make it easier and cheaper to build housing? If so, what specific policy changes do you support? Yes, I support the consideration of policies which move to square-foot fees, deferment of development fees until certificate of occupancy is issued in cases where new infrastructure buildout is not a limiting factor, and reexamination of zoning requirements in core areas to optimize density. Incentivization of bonus density projects and impact fees based on vehicle miles traveled are other areas for examination. Changes to incentivize ADU development within Salinas have not had the hoped for effect, and examination of impact fees specific to ADUs should be considered in order to promote adoption, particularly with the advent of ADUs which are accessible for those with disabilites. Yes I so support Modifying city policies to make it easier and cheaper to build housing.  The greatest problems that we have is that the Cities need to key in to the functionality of the Building and planning departments to make it easier for new construction.  Plan checks take way to long.  There are to many new policies to follow.  Field inspectors are not able to make the simplest decisions in the field, thus holding up construction or forcing more plan checks which takes more time and costs more money.  It is such an easy fix but the Cities make it to complicated then blame it on public safety.  They say they have to dot their i's and cross their t's but, they do not take the qualified Engineers or Architects word.    Yes. Incentives for building up, infill and workforce housing linked to major employers.  I have been an outspoken proponent of infill and development of our dowtown housing district.  I support making planning and zoning changes that can create more higher density market rate homes that aren’t mansions so that they can be more affordable. We need to build more housing that is higher density to use our available land more efficiently. There are 9 recommendations in Monterey Bay Economic Partnership’s White Paper that can be adopted locally to help make a difference. Salinas should adopt as many of these as possible. One example is changing impact fees to be based on square footage so that developers are incentivized to build smaller units and more of them which will help drive down sale and rental costs.
 
Do you support requiring developers to actually build inclusionary units instead of paying an “in lieu” fee? In general, yes; but sufficient flexibility for local conditions must be preserved to ensure that, if efficiency can be gained by leveraging matching funds and the inclusionary units are built in the same neighborhood as the projects, the extra benefit can be realized. This can have increased impact particularly for smaller (5-10 unit) developments. It is important to set in-lieu fees based on thorough economic feasibility studies that help ensure the greatest impact and avoid both use and perception of use of in-lieu fees as a way for developers to avoid responsibility. I think that all developers need to build these units with no way out.  The City is letting these companies get away with a responsibility they should be held accountable for. I decline to state. This would require examining what type of development is appropriate for inclusionary units. Yes, developers should actually build inclusionary units instead of paying in lieu fees. The whole purpose for having an inclusionary program is so that we have more balanced communities where all income earners can live in new high quality housing. In lieu fees are better than nothing but land is so hard to find and so expensive that it will take too long to create affordable housing offsite from a new housing development that should meet its fair share onsite.
Do you support requiring that “inclusionary housing” units be made permanently affordable, even upon resale? If not, please explain. I do support permanent affordability, both on a practical level and the moral level of obeying the spirit of the original designation. I would be willing to revisit the definition of permanency in a strict sense, possibly reducing it to the lifespan of the well-maintained structure, if we achieved a state of abundant housing and increased general affordability - but I suspect market forces would beat me to it in the unlikely event of such a thing being achieved. Yes i do agree that "inclusionary housing" units should be made permanently affordable.  If housing is made easy for a family with low income to purchase it, than when they resale the home they should not be able to reap the benefits. 
The opportunity should be passed on to the next family or individual.
Yes. Given that "permanently affordable" is defined in the policy and addresses the various market factors that impact housing. Yes, “inclusionary housing” units should be made permanently affordable. Public and private investment in housing should be for the long term. 
Do you support requiring developers of hospitality, commercial and industrial projects that significantly increase demand for already scarce housing resources to also build workforce housing? I support this requirement if the developers are adequately supported in navigating the existing barriers, as with the ombudsman program in San Mateo County. In general, ""growth" has been considered to include increased employment and income; I believe we need a broader definition which includes the supports necessary to perform those jobs that are created - whether in the form of housing, safety nets, health care, transportation and planning, or training. Numbers of job creation and employment rates are an important measure of economic well-being, but they do not tell the whole story unless supported with other numbers. In many cases that may hinder us from encouraging new businesses to want to come to our City.  We will have to make all the right decisions to average out the housing being built and the hospitality, commercial and industrial projects being built. Sure. *Require* is a strong word.  I'd rather incentivize.  We're working on this idea. Yes, all major employers should be required to either build workforce housing directly or contribute to funding sources like “commercial linkage fees” so that those funds can be used to create housing for their lower income workers. Creating more low income jobs without helping solve the housing shortage will only make our community more unlivable.
What other housing policies do you support or oppose? I support creative housing platforms for long-term residents which would provide a way to match underhoused people with those who have excess capacity to mutual benefit; increased investment in public transit to allow reduction of parking requirements to make infill developments more achievable; and examination of commercial space requirements in mixed-use developments to allow flexibility of ground-level space depending on market needs. I just feel that there is so many areas, example Fort Ord, that could have supplied so much low income housing.  It is a shame that this area cannot work together with all of the agencies to make it easy to try and come up with a solution to better the affordable housing situation. Housing & Homelessness is my #1 priority.  I am aggressively seeking to increase our stock of housing.  I believe we should build up and work toward infill before anything else. Existing renters need more protections from unfair rent increases and poor housing conditions. Renters in Salinas should have more legal assistance to prevent unfair evictions so that they can negotiate directly with landlords for a more fair lease agreement. This may or may not lead to Rent Control which I am not sure is a good idea. The first step is to have more legal support for renters so they can have more negotiating power.

Water Supplies

Nona Childress Anthony Lane Steve McShane Jose "Andrew" Sandoval
What specific proposals do you support to ensure your community can meet its water demands without over-drafting groundwater aquifers? I support expansion of Pure Water Monterey and increases in irrigation efficiency as stopgap measures to allow time for developing regional solutions which will likely include both recycling and desalination. An interesting article in Science recently pointed out a paradox of increased irrigation efficiency not delivering expected returns for groundwater recharge in basins, and this is worthy of further exploration to ensure we are using effective solutions. Ongoing improvements in conservation should be paired with phased-in improvements of monitored metering for early detection of leaks. I support the Salinas City Water, Waste, & Energy's efforts on water sustainability that include water recycling and re-use. I am not aware of a water shortage in Salinas. We should continue to conserve water wherever possible and prevent contamination from pesticides or other chemicals into our water sources.
Do you support expansion of Pure Water Monterey as an alternative to building a desalination plant? No, I support expansion of Pure Water Monterey to demonstrate feasibility and capacity particularly given the unique challenges of agricultural water, and as s stopgap measure to buy time to develop regional solutions. Reclamation of wastewater is well-established worldwide. Desalination will likely be part of a long-term package of solutions, but it needs to be designed in a regional manner with all stakeholders participating, acknowledgment of the interconnected nature of water systems, and proportional benefits and impacts. Pure Water Monterey is well poised to demonstrate a major part of a long term solution and allow breathing room to develop truly regional measures. Alternative is a tricky word. I support the need for sustainable water use. The primary focus needs to be on water recycling/re-use projects and working with City partners as part of the Pure Water Monterey Project. I am not aware of the pros and cons of Pure Water Monterey. I support having more water sources so that the Peninsula can meet its fair share of housing. It is not right that so many workers on the Peninsula have to commute from Salinas and other areas.

Sprawl Reduction

Nona Childress Anthony Lane Steve McShane Jose "Andrew" Sandoval
Salinas recently approved expansion of low density development onto 500 acres of prime farmland, even though the the City currently has over 7,580 acres of land for potential economic development within its existing city limits and Sphere of Influence. Do you support this expansion? If so, why? I support further examination of this approval, as recommended by the County Board of Supervisors. It seems counterintuitive to try and revitalize downtown and other urban areas while pursuing the development of retail in an outlying area which could cannibalize the economic growth achieved within city limits. Extreme caution needs to be used when making irreversible decisions - once development happens, it is nearly impossible to return land to former uses. Salinas is an agricultural community, and needs to be conscious of preserving that identity and function while still developing as an urban area. Urban infill needs to be pursued before expansion, but population needs for housing do need to be addressed and may require expansion - but only once infill is complete, or nearly so. I do not think that the prime farmland should be touched.  Agriculture is what the City of Salinas strives on.  We should not change that. The expansion was based on what the community as a whole believed was the least impact of agriculture. The low density development will help to prevent people from living in garages and motels.
Do you support the creation of “urban growth boundaries” or expansion of the existing boundary as a way to prevent urban sprawl, and to insure that future growth is compact, efficient, and protective of the environment? If not, what measures would you support to prevent urban sprawl? If yes, will you sponsor an urban growth boundary in the upcoming year, and make it one of your top three priorities Urban growth boundaries can be viewed as one possible solution to the problem of sprawl, but I would note they are somewhat flexible and, of necessity, constantly being renegotiated. Increased development densities, better public infrastructure and transit, and streamlined approval processes can help offset price increases within urban areas, reducing the perception of UGBs as contributing to increased housing costs. Political will to balance growth and development relies on education. I will be open to sponsoring educational sessions on urban growth boundaries in 2019, and the boundary itself depending on constituent input. This will not be specifically one of my top 3 priorities but it is closely related to the housing priority which is in my top 3; and UGB specifically would be within my top 10. I do believe that any future growth should be compact, efficient, and protective of the environment. Preventing urban sprawl is a way to support agriculture & the environment. Our City has boundaries now and every effort should be maintained to prevent sprawl.  Our Future Growth Area will be a model for such policies. I do not support urban sprawl. We should build up and not out wherever possible. We are in need of more housing and there are over 12,000 homes planned in Salinas Future Growth Area. We need to make sure as much of this new growth is affordable and meets the needs of current residents. That is the best way to protect our environment. The more people we serve from the existing overcrowded conditions in Salinas the better it is for our shared environment.

Transportation

Nona Childress Anthony Lane Steve McShane Jose "Andrew" Sandoval
New commercial developments and hotels create more trips and additional vehicle miles travelled on already overcrowded roads and highways. Both residents and visitors pay the price of delay and increased pollution. What specific traffic congestion relief solutions do you support? Increased investment in public transit to a level where usage does not inflict a significant (>100%) penalty over driving would incentivize several people I know to use it more often. Uber POOL and Lyft Line are being tested in other locations; depending on results, these may offer a more palatable alternative to traditional carpooling or park & ride. Staggered work hours and telecommuting are impractical for a large number of job types but can be encouraged where reasonable. Improved engineering of choke points could also help maintain motion but can be difficult when multiple jurisdictions are involved because of conflicting timelines, resources, and requirements. We all know that this area is growing at a very quick rate.  These new commercial developers need to help in expanding the roads at there cost.  I do support the expansion of many of the roads with heavy traffic.  The less vehicles that are sitting in traffic the less delay and increased pollution. Agreed.  I am a huge proponent of alternative transporation.  I have served on our Air District Board 8 Years and am a founding board member / Vice Chair of Monterey Bay Community Power.  I have brought round abouts to our City and rail service connecting us to San Jose and San Francisco.  I brought the "road diet" to Alisal Street in South Salinas and will continue to work towards a cycle / walker friendly City.   New commercial developments, especially hotels should include workforce housing onsite or pay linkage fees to help mitigate their impact on our overburdened housing stock and roadways. The fees should be used to support more housing that is higher density and near job centers so that people can live closer to where they work. That will reduce car trips which means less congestion and cleaner air.
Do you support roundabouts on Highway 68 and other roads? What other transportation policies or practices have you seen that local governments should incorporate? Yes, I grew up with roundabouts (although they were called rotaries) and public acceptance of the Holman Highway roundabout has largely increased, despite initial skepticism. Bus-on-shoulder, where practical, showcases a tangible benefit to drivers waiting in traffic for a relatively low investment cost. I am not sure if I support roundabouts on Highway 68.  Not sure how that could work until a plan is drawn up.  In other areas I do support the theory of roundabouts only if it makes sense where they will be placed. Yes.  I believe in Round Abouts.  I helped gain funding for the first Round About in Salinas.  I support the coming Round Abouts on Boronda.  I have secured funding for them.  Yes, from what I have read, roundabouts can be a better alternative than signals and stop signs. I would want to study the specific proposals more and make sure that everyone impacted understands the assumptions that are being made for the various options.

Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FOR A)

Nona Childress Anthony Lane Steve McShane Jose "Andrew" Sandoval
What is your position on the Fort Ord Reuse Authority? Do you believe the Authority has achieved its original goals? If so, what evidence do you cite? FORA was designed to address the regional impacts of base closure. After 27 years, the closure is a settled fact, not a sudden economic shock. Munitions removal is reported to be complete, although some monitoring requirements remain. In cooperation with local jurisdictions, progress has been made on building removal, although many remain. FORA also reports that a private clean-up by the Army has been completed on time and on budget. From the limited research I have done it does not sound like FORA has achieved all there goals and that there is a lot of public opposition.  I cannot comment further at this time. I believe they have successfully completed their founding policy goals.  I do not know enough about the issues pertaining to their extension.  Based on what I do know, I think we could abolish FORA and move on. I understand that the Executive Director has stated that the Fort Ord Reuse Authority has not met its original goals for housing or job creation. I do not have a position on whether FORA should continue to try to achieve its goals or be terminated.
Which do you support: 1) sunsetting the Authority in 2020 as current legislation contemplates or 2) extending the Authority beyond that date? If you support extending it, please explain why. It is difficult for any entity to plan for its own demise or replacement. I support clarity in the process in terms of specific lists of remaining responsibilities/liabilities, quantified accomplishments, and an actual succession plan, which may require outside expertise. I am opposed to extending FORA in its current form unless efficacy can be proven, and believe that transfer of authority to local jurisdictions may provide greater accountability. I do note that some economies of scale will be harder to realize on a local level; this should encourage cooperation among stakeholders. I would also note that the timeline for sunset has already been extended once, in large part due to economic conditions which have supposedly improved. I believe sunsetting the Authority in 2020 makes sense at this point for me until I look into this further. Decline to state, primarily a County issue.  I lean toward abolishing FORA. I do not have a position on whether FORA should continue to try to achieve its goals or be terminated.
What is your position on the Eastside Parkway/Freeway/Road? I attended the public scoping meeting for the NE-SW Artery in Salinas on 9/5/18 and was favorably impressed by the productive atmosphere and interest of all participants in finding workable solutions. I believe careful engineering of any road in the area will be needed to maintain safety (pedestrian, biker, equestrian, fire) and avoid creating new choke points; the relative proximity to Inter-Garrison would create fairly small islands of habitat. The atmosphere was more receptive than some discussions on the Eastside Parkway had been, but I am not completely convinced the proposed road will address the stated targets to the satisfaction of my potential constituents. Decline to state, primarily a County issue. I do not have a position on the Eastside Parkway/ Freeway/ Road.

Leadership

Nona Childress Anthony Lane Steve McShane Jose "Andrew" Sandoval
If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities? Representation/transparency; housing; responsible use of tax funds for infrastructure and transportation improvements • Strengthen Economic Development – by attracting and retaining small businesses and non-profits in our city, developing more middle class jobs, creating conditions for sustainable growth and try to procure more additional low income housing.

• Improve Public Safety – by working with our public safety officials and neighborhoods to target and eliminate property crime and bolster our police and fire resources.

• Enhance Residents’ Quality of Life – by seeking partnerships to increase parking and public transportation options, improve our air and water quality, support the arts and create after school programs for our children, fix our streets and sidewalks, make them safe and beautify our neighborhoods and parks
Housing & Homelessness ,Public Safety &  Roads / Sidewalks My top three priorities are creating more affordable housing, supporting small businesses in District 5 and across Salinas, and improving public safety through more community engagement and after school programming.
What land use policies are you willing to champion for the community? I am willing to champion well-supported and proven policies with supporting data! I would prefer to support land use policies that preserve habitat and agricultural land, protect water supplies, and otherwise pass on to future generations a similar or better quality of life to what I enjoy. I will fight for more low income housing and work on the growth of our City Center without forgetting the needs or growth of existing businesses. I am committed to working with the County of Monterey to address our homeless population with the right resources and attention. We must increase housing inventory for our local population with support for all levels of income.  We should build up and in before out. I will champion creating more affordable housing in the future growth area and in the downtown area.
What accomplishments in your career or public service are you most proud of? I was instrumental in obtaining a food waste dumpster for my workplace which diverts over 10 cubic yards per week from the municipal trash stream, not counting the recycling diversion which I also encouraged. When serving on Town Meeting, my amendment on snow removal clarifying intent to avoid inadvertent violation was adopted and several constituents expressed their appreciation. I also represented constituents holding positions I strongly disagreed with, holding the sworn duty of the office above my personal view. At a previous employer, I advocated for the use of candidates from a rehabilitation agency which became a beneficial situation for all stakeholders. While I owned Planet Gemini in Monterey which became the longest running comedy and dance night spot in the area I was able to help fund many city programs, youth sports teams, a battered women shelter, cancer patients and the Children’s Miracle Network.
In 2007, I purchased the Fox Theater.  This was the beginning of bringing back to life a beautiful and historic gem.  This venue has provided the community with a great place for live music and entertainment and children a place to go for theater and arts.  The Theater was shut down on April 12th, 2018 due to City made issues.  The theater was reopened August 30th, 2018.  I fought to reopen the theater and I will fight for City growth and my District.
Infrastructure
- Upgrades to partial street closure at Los Palos & Abbot Street intersection.

- Leadership role for traffic calming on Ambrose, Riker, Nacional & Los Palos

- Support for Measures funding street, sidewalk and tree rehab programs
- Support for Measure X & SB 1
– Leading to more than $100 million for Salinas projects

Housing & Homelessness:

- Funding for Haciendas I, II, III, IV Affordable Housing Project
- Key role in support of Future Growth Area of the City
-
 Approval for Dai-Ichi Village, Salinas Gateway, Mid Pen Chinatown Apartments

- More than $2 million for homelessness including shelter assistance, cleaning, outreach
- Long term solution with County of Monterey for permanent shelter – Natividad x Laurel

Economic Development
- Founder / Chair, Salinas Valley Ag Technology Summit
- Establishment of WGA Center for Innovation / Thrive Accelerator

- Key role in establishing Digital Nest
- Strong voice for local agriculture / Only councilmember with ag employment experience

- Key role / advocacy in over-haul of the City Permitting Department

Technology & Budgets:

- Established App for reporting city code violations & issues
- Roll out of Granicus online agenda & meeting streaming technology
- Roll out of OpenGov financial (budget) transparency software

- Roll out of Priority Based Budgeting

History, Community & International

- Founder / Chair City Holiday Home Lighting Competition
- Chair, 2018 Salinas Founders Day “150th Community Birthday”

- Established Soke, Turkey
– Salinas, CA Sister-City

- Founder / Past-Chair, Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival

- Established donation of (2) surplus fire trucks to Quiroga, Michoacan, Mexico
- Co-host to Seogwipo City, South Korea (Possible future sister – city)

Arts, Parks, Recreation & Libraries:
- Founder, Salinas Arts Ordinance – annual funding for public art
- Co-sponsor & donor to Bataan Park Renovation Project
- Renovation / Rebuild of El Gabilan Library / Renovation to Cesar Chavez Library
- Founder / Sponsor to Central Park Community Garden Project
- Advisor / Donor to Central Park Veterans Rose Garden Renovation Project

-Co-Founder / Past-Chair, Salinas United: Community Clean Up Event

Constituent Relations:
- Host & Co-Host to more than (20) Community Meetings as City Councilman
- Successfully administered (200+) constituent case work files
I am proud of my advocacy work at Oasis Charter School which resulted in real improvements for students, teachers, and parents. I am also proud of our successful bridal service business that has helped hundred of families celebrate their most special occasions.

Background

Full Name Nona Childress Anthony Lane Steve McShane Jose "Andrew" Sandoval
Occupation Microbiologist Small business owner Self - McShane’s Landscape Supply / Converted Organics of California Small Business Owner
Years Lived in Area 9 31 18 30
Education BA Music; RM(NRCM) Microbiology (Masters level certification) including graduate work at Harvard Grade 12 diploma - degree in music and engineering
Masters in Agribusiness Administration - Santa Clara University, B.S. in Soil Science - Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Some College
Experience 2 terms as Town Meeting Representative in Reading MA; other work experience includes 17 years as microbiologist, prior experience as lab support and animal support technician. This day job supports a habit of music, civic attendance, and volunteer work, including as Court Appointed Special Advocate and court liaison for foster youth. 14 years in the music and production business.
Owner of Planet Gemini Comedy & Dance nightspot for 25 years.
Owner of the Fox Theater in Salinas for 11 years.
Salnas Police Community Advisory Committee, Salinas Design Review Board, Salinas Traffic and Transportation Commission, Salinas Planning Commission.  Also – Californian Postsecondary Education Commission, California State Nursery Advisory Board, Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District & Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments.  Also Vice Chair, Monterey Bay Community Power, Hartnell College Board of Trustees 2003-2007, Salinas City Council, 2010- Present
Small Business Owner, School Site Council Vice President, LULAC Board Member

Tony Barrera and Christie Cromeenes did not respond.

LandWatch Monterey County compiled and distributed this questionnaire to 71 mayoral and city council candidates on the November 2018 ballot. LandWatch is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization that does not endorse, support or oppose individual candidates or political parties. Replies from candidates are printed as received. LandWatch is not responsible for the content. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order. No part of this questionnaire may be reproduced without permission of LandWatch, or used in any way that may be construed to be an endorsement of an individual's candidacy or views by LandWatch.


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