2018 Seaside 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

Jason Campbell Jon Wizard
What is your position on affordable housing? Please be specific with regards to policies you support or oppose. I support deed restricting 15-20% of new housing to be affordable housing.  When building these units is not practical, an in lieu fee will be paid to an affordable housing fund.  These funds, will not be used to help fulfill other developers' obligations to build affordable housing, and will be used by the public agency to develop affordable housing, such as homeless shelters.  Likewise, I do not support the proposed reincarnation of Redevelopment Agencies (e.g. CRIAs) that intercept property tax increments and direct them towards affordable housing on behalf of the developers. I believe it is the government's obligation to house those who cannot afford or secure market-rate housing. I support any policy that makes a substantive and tangible impact on the housing affordability crisis we face today, including but not limited to public housing, land trusts, AB 1598 Affordable Housing Authorities, and inclusionary housing ordinances. I am interested in studying rent control in greater detail because, like all complex and nuanced issues, a nuanced approach is generally more effective than outright support or opposition. I want to change Seaside’s inclusionary housing ordinance to read 30% affordable and 20% workforce, using the following percentages: 10% extremely low income (30% AMI), 10% very low income (50% AMI), 10% low income (80% AMI); and 10% workforce-1 (120% AMI) and 10% workforce-2 (150% AMI). Also, we should adopt a resolution or amend our inclusionary housing ordinance to use nonprofit developers like MidPen, CHISPA, and Eden Housing, unless there is some quantifiable metric that makes doing so unequivocally infeasible. We need to enact a linkage fee to offset the cost of housing as it relates to wages connected to a development’s retail footprint, and we need to charge fees based on square footage.
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. Multi-use and "work live" planning allow for efficient options.  Allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will also increase housing stock. Yes, the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance is at least as old as as 2006 and needs to be updated. We need to make it easier to build ADUs; charge impact fees based on square footage; charge full capacity fees to new developments, not spread the cost evenly throughout the entire district’s service area; increase the fee in lieu amount to strongly encourage construction of affordable units; and create a linkage fee to pay for the affordable housing that will be necessary to offset minimum wage earners working retail jobs in the new development. We also have in Seaside two economic development managers and zero housing development managers. That needs to change immediately. We also have the opportunity to be leaders on the Peninsula by forming prevailing wage JPA that lowers costs for local contractors and ensures reporting and compliance, thereby empowering local tradespeople to competitively bid on local work and protecting local workers from out-of-town contractors that don’t follow the rules.
Do you support requiring developers to actually build inclusionary units instead of paying an “in lieu” fee? See above.  Yes, when practicable.  If a developer builds 4 duplexes and 20%, or 1.6 units, should be affordable, it makes sense the fraction would be mitigated as an in lieu fee. Yes, the point of requiring developers to build affordable housing is to actually have affordable housing built, not to collect money for some future unicorn affordable housing project. As of June 30, 2018, the City of Seaside estimated it would have $9,077,056 in two city funds restricted for affordable housing. No one can sleep under n lieu fees, so build the homes. Also, $9M is roughly half of what the city paid for the upcoming Campus Town development, and if the city borrowed another $9M and retained all 85 acres, we could restrict each and every one of the projected 1,455 homes to one of the affordable housing tiers. Instead, we’ve entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the Bakewell Company, the same developer of the Seaside Highlands. That project resulted in the city settling a lawsuit alleging a gift of public funds for doing zero affordable housing, despite the inclusionary housing ordinance being on the books.
Do you support requiring that “inclusionary housing” units be made permanently affordable, even upon resale? If not, please explain. Yes. In all but limited circumstances, I support deed restricting affordable/inclusionary housing in perpetuity, not just the so-called permanence of 45 years. One exception that comes to mind is downpayment assistance programs, where the city offered a repayment-deferred junior loan. If someone purchases a market-rate home and receives only assistance on the downpayment, I don’t think it’s fair to keep deed restrict that home for 45 years or in perpetuity. Beyond some very limited circumstances, there is no foreseeable end to the need for affordable housing, and every deed restricted unit that’s converted to market rate sets us back. What good is the fight to get affordable housing built if we then give it away in the end?
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 developers building workforce housing, especially in the described circumstances, yet would not mandate it Yes, developers of low-paying projects should be required to build workforce housing. I would be in favor of conditioning use permits with workforce housing, making the project contingent upon the construction of the housing. No one can afford to live in our community making minimum wage, and it’s difficult to afford housing in our community at double the rate of minimum wage. Any development that would create a burden on our already stressed housing market should be required to also create housing. The most salient example of this is CHOMP’s workforce housing on Lighthouse Avenue. If doctor’s need workforce housing, so too do cashiers, teachers, and housekeepers.
What other housing policies do you support or oppose? Prioritize infill, support higher density housing, oppose "leap frog" development. I think Seaside has the most opportunity to become a leader in affordable housing in our region. I endeavor to establish an Affordable Housing Authority, a Community Revitalization and Investment Authority, or Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District that creates public housing on city land. If we remove the onerous cost of developed land from the affordable housing equation, we can begin to have a serious conversation about housing our workforce. When 10% of an acre costs more than $200,000, the entire equation quickly becomes out of balance. Also, I think all jurisdictions in Monterey County could benefit from a prevailing wage administration JPA. If each city and the county could provide monitoring and compliance services, local contractors with smaller companies would be more competitive and successful, which means local people would be getting more jobs. Furthermore, since local contractors would be employing local people, there is less of a chance that wage theft and labor law violations would occur. Additionally, we would create local union jobs by staffing the prevailing wage JPA, and those salaries and benefits would be paid for by contractors using the JPA’s services on the jobs we put out to bid.

Water Supplies

Jason Campbell Jon Wizard
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? Condemn Cal Am. My community, Seaside, sits on top of the Seaside basin which is adjudicated to reduce withdrawals to 3000 Acre Feet (AF) per year. Seaside uses 1700 AF.  My community does not overdraft the Seaside basin. The problem is a regional one. The Seaside basin provides MORE than the excess 1300 AF to the region and, unfortunately, Seaside is then obligated to buy back much more expensive water; which is a social justice problem.  The ample Salinas river winter flows can provide water that can be stored, similarly to the Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR). The Pure Water Monterey/Regional Urban Water Augmentation Project (RUWAP) is the most important and pressing water supply project before us today. Phase II is currently being implemented, which satisfies the court’s looming cease and desist order (CDO) milestone, and Phase III completely satisfies the terms of the CDO by providing an addition 2,200 acre feet per year. In total, the finished project will provide no less than 5,700 afy of recycled water. This project has taken significantly less time than Cal Am’s first failed attempt at desal, the Regional Desalination Project, and the current, legally dubious attempt at desal, the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project. However, despite the incredible benefit of RUWAP, aquifer storage and recovery is not as dependable as we need it to be. Some years, ASR captures very little water, so we need a more consistent source to ensure we not only prevent limited supply but also future damage to the aquifer and river. For that reason, some iteration of desal is nearly inevitable; however, I absolutely refuse to discuss the matter when Cal Am owns the system and would get to charge private interest rates on top of their CPUC-guaranteed 10.8% return.
Do you support expansion of Pure Water Monterey as an alternative to building a desalination plant? Yes, as long as the injection water is exhaustively tested and shown to be free of contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides and their byproducts. Absolutely. Moreover, the more wastewater we produce, the more recycled water we create. The RUWAP is a positive feedback loop.

Sprawl Reduction

Jason Campbell Jon Wizard
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 Generally, yes, but not for Seaside.  Our development opportunities are bifurcated between Seaside "proper" and CSUMB to the North making the drawing of a "boundary" difficult. 

I will prevent urban sprawl by not supporting the unnecessary expansion of infrastructure, such as roads, into undeveloped areas.
Yes. In keeping with the protection of the environment and maximizing efficiency of infrastructure and resources, we should build up, not out. Cities and the county should have a preference toward in-fill and density, and sprawl should be avoided. I would happily work with LandWatch on defining what an urban growth boundary for Seaside might look like; however, my top three priorities are creating more affordable housing; improving the city’s infrastructure, such as our horrible roads, faded street signs, antiquated street lights, and lack of stormwater facilities; and increasing our prosperity, since Seaside has the lowest median income of any Peninsula city. There is absolutely room to discuss, and, potentially, adopt an urban growth boundary, but it is not currently one of my top three priorities.

Transportation

Jason Campbell Jon Wizard
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? As mentioned before: live work and multi-use environments.  Also careful traffic planning including, staggered work shifts for neighboring businesses but not for employees - allowing them to carpool, more intersections per square mile, and effective mass transit. In order to reduce the amount of traffic on our roads, we need to reduce the amount of people needing to commute. The easiest and quickest way to do that is to build more affordable housing. If people earning lower wages don’t need to commute to the Peninsula from South County and Salinas, there will be thousands of fewer vehicles on the road. Until and unless we build more affordable housing, MST and TAMC’s proposal to use the railroad right of way for a bus-only expressway could help alleviate rush hour congestion; however, to be effective, there would need to be rapid service from each terminus to people’s final destinations, as well as parking on each end to accommodate bus commuters’ last mile transportation medium. I am flatly opposed to making Highway 156 a toll road.
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.  Bike friendly roads, intersections, and signals; Priority lanes and merging for transit buses;  Free rides on mass transit for hotel guests are some good practices I have seen. Yes, there is data that supports the use of roundabouts in lieu of signals and stop signs. Even synchronized signals are slower than roundabouts. When FORA spent tens of millions of dollars on General Jim Moore, it is being gentle to say not constructing roundabouts was an oversight. It makes no sense to build an expressway with a stop sign or red light every half-mile. All major arterials and connectors should use roundabouts to improve traffic flow and increase speeds. Beyond the benefits to locomotion, there is a significant and measurable benefit to our environment when cars idle less. To improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and burn less fuel, we should promptly convert as many signalized intersections to roundabouts as possible.

Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA)

Jason Campbell Jon Wizard
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? It has been an abject failure by nearly every metric. It has not produced jobs at anywhere close to the goal (exclude the FORA staff and that number approaches zero).  Housing is finally (after one extension of FORA) approaching the target numbers, with the jobs housing ratio being near zero. The actions of FORA have made a mockery of the consistency determination process.  The Base Reuse Plan is only cited and followed when it is politically expedient. FORA has outlived its usefulness, and I very much look forward to their sunsetting on June 30, 2020. As time has passed, it has become less and less productive and effective, now being every bit the monolithic and calcified bureaucracy people think it is. Any agency that has accomplished less than 50% of its mandate in 24—as measure by its executive officer—has demonstrated it is the wrong tool for the job.
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. 1) Sunsetting of FORA.  With the extension of FORA in 2012 the State Legislature required that FORA create a plan for its own sunset and submit it to the Local Area Formation Committee (LAFCO) by December this year. As is consistent with FORA, it has not met that goal. LAFCO has only received a "list of questions" from FORA- no plan. I have personally expressed to Senator Monning and Assemblymember Stone, both in person and via email to their district managers, my desire to see FORA sunset as legally mandated on June 30, 2020.
What is your position on the Eastside Parkway/Freeway/Road? First, prioritize traffic problems resulting from the closure and subsequent development of the former Fort Ord. Then determine if the Eastside Parkway (EP) is the best solution to a high priority problem.  The current "priorities" have not been properly vetted. If and when the EP rises to the top the list, then the most effective and least destructive route must be identified. The Eastside Parkway, as it stands today, is a disaster. Beyond the wholesale degradation of the oak woodlands east of General Jim Moore Boulevard, the same oak woodlands that were recently protected by the City of Seaside, CSUMB, MPC, the County of Monterey, and FORA, the currently proposed alignment would create severe traffic impacts in Seaside by making residential neighborhoods the terminus for a four-lane expressway seen as a connector between Salinas and the Peninsula. Furthermore, the currently proposed alignment is silent on FORA’s obligation to widen Gigling Road to four lanes. The Eastside Parkway is a bad deal for Seaside, and with the financial and environmental cost of building a new four-lane road through undisturbed habitats, it’s also a bad deal for everyone else. Beyond the astronomically high costs, traffic modeling from TAMC shows there would be a time savings of less than 10 minutes for everyone, whether commuters used the Eastside Parkway or the purportedly less busy highways. The Eastside Parkway helps no one but the developers who will build it and the follow-on sprawl it will create.

Leadership

Jason Campbell Jon Wizard
If you are elected, what will be your top three priorities? Secure a reliable and affordable water supply.
Help guide the orderly sunset of FORA.
Continue to increase and diversify Seaside's revenue stream.
My top three priorities are creating more affordable housing, improving the city’s infrastructure, and increasing our prosperity.
What land use policies are you willing to champion for the community? Affordable housing.
Open space conservation.
"Smart" development without new versions of redevelopment agencies.
The City of Seaside should be actively looking to create in-fill development; creating more affordable housing, however it works; remodeling and renovating the half-century-old buildings that line Fremont, Broadway, and Del Monte; and regaining local control via the sunsetting of FORA.
What accomplishments in your career or public service are you most proud of? Shepherding the demise of Monterey Downs.
Financially linking short term rentals to affordable housing.
Voting to make Seaside a "Sanctuary City"
Defending the 50 acre community park in the former Ft. Ord.
I am most proud of my work as a firefighter, 9-1-1 dispatcher, and police officer. I have had the incredible privilege of being trusted to help others when they were experiencing some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives, and I took on that responsibility with great deference. Being trusted to protect and defend others from disaster and those who would do them harm has shaped my understanding of the role of elected officials and what we should expect from our elected leaders. I see the role of a politician as representative, not trustee, i.e., as someone who is responsive to the wishes of their community, not someone who feels empowered to act unilaterally as a trustee. Additionally, working with MBEP, I have helped preserve tens of millions of dollars of affordable housing through advocacy and activism, which improves all our lives. Last, as a member of the Monterey County Planning Commission, I have had the privilege of standing up to Big Oil and denying requests for new wells in South County, as well as called for public information sessions on the topics of water and SGMA, short-term rentals, and affordable housing.

Background

Jason Campbell Jon Wizard
Occupation Landscape Contractor Commissioner, Monterey County Planning Commission
Years Lived in Area 25 20
Education some college MA, Humanities; BS, Public Relations w/ Anthropology Minor; AS Criminal Justice; AS, Fire Science; currently enrolled in MPA program
Experience One term as a Seaside Council Member, and appointments to various boards and committees . Ten years as an activist. Over 10 years as a public safety professional, MoCo Planning Commission since 12/2017, Seaside Environmental Committee since 12/2017, and housing advocacy and outreach since 02/2018.

Sam Gaskins, Regina Mason, and Dennis Volk 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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