2018 Sand City 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

Elizabeth Ann Sofer
What is your position on affordable housing? Please be specific with regards to policies you support or oppose. Adequate affordable housing needs to be addressed in each and every community. Each City needs to participate by providing housing for all levels of income using a community based combination of resources. The City plan must accommodate low income housing by including it in the design review process with public, nonprofit, developers and residents participating.
Do you support modifying city policies to make it easier and cheaper to build housing? If so, what specific policy changes do you support? I do support modifying city policies when necessary on a case by case scenario. Sand City is already doing that. We have always reviewed and evaluated each project on each property or with each developer to individually taylor the housing results.
Do you support requiring developers to actually build inclusionary units instead of paying an “in lieu” fee? Yes I do believe in requirements for developers to build actual inclusionary units. This also needs to be worked out through the community based public review process in a property by property review.
Do you support requiring that “inclusionary housing” units be made permanently affordable, even upon resale? If not, please explain. Yes I do believe inclusionary housing should be a permanent fixture of our city. If an affordable housing unit were to become unavailable due to a sale, another  should replace it.
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? Yes I do believe the hospitality and commercial community should accommodate workers with housing to some degree. Since they already pay taxes and improvements this must be fairly balanced through the Public review process.
What other housing policies do you support or oppose? I have looked at fast tracking construction by developers proposed by Scott Wiener-San Francisco 2018. This would encourage cities to build taller denser housing near transit. That would be appropriate in places in Sand City as worked out in public discourse. Also David Chin San Francisco Democratic proposed encouraging low income tax credits for developers for housing construction.

Water Supplies

Elizabeth Ann Sofer
What specific proposals do you support to ensure your community can meet its water demands without over-drafting groundwater aquifers or, if you live on the Monterey Peninsula, also the Carmel River? Sand City has invested in a desalination project. We need to drill additional wells for brackish water that will give us alternatives for our regional contribution to protect against over-drafting groundwater aquifers and the Carmel River.
Do you support expansion of Pure Water Monterey as an alternative to building a desalination plant? I believe we need a desalination plant to augment the expansion of Pure Water a Monterey. We need both.

Sprawl Reduction

Elizabeth Ann Sofer
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 I do support the reuse and wise use of a carefully planned community with investigation into land use through the public process. Each city should protect open space as well.

Transportation

Elizabeth Ann Sofer
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? Building hotels near public transportation encourages visitors to park their cars and use transit. In Sand City we can encourage high density hotel and living units next to MST.
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 roundabouts are useful once drivers get used to them. They keep traffic flowing smoothly.

Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA)

Elizabeth Ann Sofer
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? I continue to support The Fort Ord Reuse Plan as adopted by the Fort Ord Reuse Athority which if it is reached through a review process that included the public, cities, environmentalists and other entities.
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. I support extending the Fort Ord Reuse Authority because it will help the entities involved keep cohesive goals and safeguard public interest and access.
What is your position on the Eastside Parkway/Freeway/Road? After a careful review of the EIR/EIS I would support some version of the Parkway/Freeway/Road to help compensate for on coming development in Marina, Seaside, and neighboring communities.

Leadership

Elizabeth Ann Sofer
If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities? I would be a good stabilizing person to facilitate the changes that are happening in Sand City due to retirements etc. of Staff and personnel over the next few years. I have been involved in Sand City politics for 14 years so I know the routine.I am excited about the upgrading and development from a heavy  commercial use of our city to a more green mixed use with traffic calming and walkable public spaces. This includes adequate affordable housing with comfortable neighborhoods. I want to safeguard our businesses so they thrive and prosper.
What land use policies are you willing to champion for the community? A great city has a lot of different things going on-lots of layers and flavors. We want a great city with eclectic neighborhoods. We want to use our  finite footprint well to accommodate reasonable growth. I advocate for studied development that will preserve a good healthy city.
What accomplishments in your career or public service are you most proud of? I started and helped sustain the Ormsby Volunteer Fire Department in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I participated as a Fire Chief, Search and Rescue Officer and a First responder and Training Officer for 16 years. I have been involved in Sand City political life as a resident and have promoted the arts in Sand City for the last 14 years.

Background

Elizabeth Ann Sofer
Occupation Retired Fire Chief/Artist
Years Lived in Area 14
Education A S degree Fire Science Technology
Experience Many years in public service and as a first responder. I have been involved in the Sand City community
, including going to League of Cities Conventions, and Costal Commission meetings,  because my partner was the Sand City Administrator for 18 plus years. I have seen every aspect of Sand City governance in action. I know how to work hard for my community.

Jerry Blackwelder, Nicol Casas, and Craig Hubler 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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