Saturday, August 21, 2010

City Council Candidate Statements


Occupation: Public Relations Consultant

Education and Qualifications:

Pacifica is at a serious economic crossroads. We need leaders, who have passion, regional connections, broad-based experience and ability to rebuild Pacifica. We must protect our environment, preserve viable economic engines and maintain recreation. We need better public transportation, highway improvements that are acceptable to all, a sustainable revenue generation plan, revitalization of our business disticts and appropriate public safety staffing. For years, I have been working with many groups in Pacifica. I sit on the Boards of the Pacifica Historical Society and the Pacifica Library Foundation, and also serve as the Chair of Pacifica's Green Building Task Force and the Pacifica Community Coalition to Save Sharp Park Golf Course.

As a club president, I help produce monthly events and forums, featuring national, state, county and local leaders. My county involvements include; Vice Chair of the San Mateo County Transportation Authority's CAC and member of the 2008-2009 San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury. My educational and career pursuits have been in the fields of: Broadcasting (ABC, NBC, and PBS), Public Relations (corporate and political); Financial Services (insurance, real estate and investments) and Tourism (corporate travel, events and hotel management). I respectfully ask for your support.




Occupation : Businessman/Planning Commissioner

We are facing difficult times. The long and deep recession has decimated our tax base, the state has hijacked city revenues, and other funding sources have dried up. Key city services are at risk. We need to create a new tax base, one based on an improved business climate. We must refocus city government to help businesses new and old thrive in our community. We must form a partnership between the City of Pacifica and its businesses. As both a longtime local businessman and a City of Pacifica Planning Commissioner, I believe I am the best candidate to make this happen. I know what it takes to make a business work, and I also know how city government works.

I want to be clear that I believe we can accomplish these goals without sacrificing the environment. I served for five years on the Open Space Committee and five years on the Planning Commission, and I know that we can protect our hillsides and beaches and still have vital commercial areas. In fact, our pier, hillsides and beaches are our biggest attractions. Please join me, and together we can ensure that Pacifica not only thrives, but prospers.

/s/ Thomas H. Clifford



Occupation: Network Engineer/Businessman

Originally I moved to Pacifica when I was three years old. I then spent the majority of my childhood and subsequent adolescence enjoying the beaches, the numerous hiking trails, and fishing off of our fabulous pier.

I completed college and got married in the east bay, but I knew that Pacifica was the only place I wanted to raise my two young daughters. I love the fact that the city has maintained so much of what I enjoyed while growing up here. The limited development has kept the hills as pristine as I remember.

As a member of the city council I will work my hardest to fight for what I cherish about my hometown, and ensure that our children receive the best education possible.

There are many areas that I see needed improvement, including initiatives to help reduce the recent increase in burglaries, providing incentives to spur the growth of our local small businesses, and finally helping to begin the construction of our local dog park.

I humbly request your support, and your vote for my position on the Pacifica City Council.



Occupation: Parca Advocacy Director

Education: B.A. Biology; NDNU, Belmont. California Life Credential

I am a successful Teacher. Grades 2 -Adult.

My Parca responsibility is to advocate for quality health, education, recreation, employment and housing for those who have a developmental disability.

Erick and I met on horseback in the Quarry. We raised four children. An ER Nurse, Special Forces Medic, Blackhawk Rescue pilot, successful Hope Services participant.

As an incumbent I have been faithful to a pledge to question everyone and everything and to enable the public to craft Pacifica's Destiny.

Pacifica is a coastal enclave, a dynamic community, not a mere breeze through bedroom community.

Our environment is that majestic ocean and rolling hills, our fantastic history, culture and social commitment.

I was influential in getting Pacifica into the San Mateo County Visitor's National Marketing Program.

I have been relentless in enabling o-ur history to be an enviable economic force. I meet with merchants to ensure their endeavors can flourish. I advocate for the right of the public to be informed and to craft Pacifica's Destiny. Together we can continue to enhance and promote Pacifica into the future.

Thank you.
Sue Digre



Occupation: Retired Postmaster/Manager, Planning Commissioner   Age: 62

I believe in Pacifica and in the future of our community.

These are tough financial times, tough for families and tough for cities and counties all over California. It's going to take creative problem solving and belt tightening to meet the challenges facing us. Environmental conservation, community needs and business interests can and must find common ground. I firmly believe that by working together we can find the solutions.

My wife and I are grandparents. We have lived in Pacifica since the 1980's. My community involvement started with environmental issues.

Working with my neighbors we fought large development projects on Milagra Ridge, ultimately resulting in a small, high quality residential and commercial project which saved the hillside in Open Space. Our open hillsides and beaches are City treasures.

I have served on the Planning Commission, The Open Space Committee, the City's Golden Gate National Recreation Area Committee, and the Mega-Home Ordinance Sub-Committee.

I understand the needs of small businesses having owned three successful businesses in the past. My skills include problem solving, communications and team building. I have extensive experience developing and managing large budgets for government and my businesses.

I respectfully ask for your support on November 2.

/s/ William R. "Leo" Leon Jr.


LEN STONE   Age: 29

Occupation: Businessman

Pacifica is home to both my family and business. As a City Council person my decisions will be driven by this vested interest to represent you - Pacifica residents and business owners who want our city to flourish. My priorities include:

Maintaining a fiscally responsible city council.

Filling our commercial vacancies to produce a viable and vibrant local economy to generate sufficient tax dollars to pay our own bills.

Provide residents of Pacifica with the police, fire, schools, city works, and infrastructure they deserve with policies that respect and cherish Pacifica's most valuable resource, our unique environment.

I have owned and operated an insurance agency here in Pacifica for 8 years, am president-elect of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, donated time to local school programs, and organized local teen driver safety seminars.  I will bring the same thoughtful decision making process and excellent listening skills to the council that have been instrumental in my business success. My livelihood and family are invested in Pacifica, and I hope you will support me to build our local economy while preserving the small town living which we all enjoy.

I respectfully ask for your vote to City Council.

/s/ Len Stone



Occupation: Attorney

I have been a resident of Pacifica since 2006. I am raising two children and volunteer in the community. Over the past year, Pacifica has seen an increase in the number of lay-offs; I am among them.

I would like to bring in funds from federal grant programs to create employment incentive packages.

I would also like to increase support services for those most adversely affected by the current economic crisis and those who are traditionally at-risk. I propose doing so with minimal impact on Pacificans who are already struggling and have been asked for a lot of sacrifices.

I would also like to make Pacifica more attractive to outside funds such as those brought in by Fog Fest and Mavericks. I would like to work directly with local businesses to create programs which would highlight our businesses and drive traffic to them from outside Pacifica. The better our businesses do, the better Pacifica does.

I am so grateful to Pacifica for all it has done for my family. I ask only an opportunity to give back by service to Pacifica. It would be my great honor.

Heather Tanner



Occupation: Businesswoman

As a resident and business owners for 30 years, I presently serve my community as President of the Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Liaison to the GGNRA, Director on the Board of Pacifican's Care and President-Elect of Rotary.

I believe City Council should be a balanced representation of our community. With leadership and determination, the improvement of our city's economy is needed to maintain our vital emergency services and our Public Works for our weakened infrastructure. Change can be made through visibility and appeal to the Tourism Industry and new businesses.

The focus in leadership should be marketing our City's potential as a destination for outstanding businesses opportunities, recreational use, improving our greatly needed sales tax revenue and assuring an optimum quality of life for our community.

/s/ Susan Vellone



Occupation: Husband and father of two
Former Mayor and current City Councilmember

Education/Qualification : Masters in Public Administration and Natural Resources Management Pacifica City Council (1998-present); Planning Commission (Chair 1996); San Mateo City/County Association of Governments (Chair 2005-07); County Library Joint Powers Authority (Chair 2003-04); Pacifica Land Trust (past board-member); County Transportation Authority; Pacifica School Volunteer

Professional Experience:
US Environmental Protection Agency (1988-current)

Since being elected, I have worked hard to ensure that our City has a strong voice on the County's regional boards. We've been able to obtain additional monies for libraries, millions to create new trails and restore wetlands, and obtain additional parklands.

I believe that by working together with positive leadership and common purpose, we can continue to create community centered solutions to protect our City's tremendous natural beauty, as well as, the development of appropriate, consensus-based, revenue generating alternatives to help support our social, public safety and govern mental services.

I hope you will allow me to continue to serve you as your City Councilperson. I want to continue to work for you in developing the future of our wonderful community.

On November 2, I hope you Vote Vreeland for City Council.

/s/ Jim Vreeland

Submitted by Mark Smoliarz


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this.

We need forums, or public questionnaires, or public debates as to what specifically are the ideas of the candidates to deal with our city's sinking finances.
Everyone agrees on the beauty of our land and sea. That's fine, but the problem is a basic one: Expenditures are outstripping income at an increasingly rapid pace.

Tax increases seem to be the only idea that our elected officials have come up with, and I predict they are DOA with a public that is under increasing financial pressure.

Anonymous said...

I am not quite sure about Mr. Vreland occupation.
I don't care for him either. Twelve years of him plentyyyyyyyyyy. Give the seat to Susan Vellone.

Mr. Sir said...

I agree with Anonymous #1. A thank you for posting the statements, Mark, but I think we know that all candidats want to "fix Pacifica" -- how is the great unknown.

It would be extemely beneficial if at some point The Tribune would post the candidates' answers to 10 questions submitted by the public.

* Where do you stand on the golf course?
* What do you want done with the Water Treatment Plant site?

etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Vreeland not only backed the bio-diesel plant but he snuck it thru without city planning commission getting a look at it.

He is very devious and sneaky.

Do not vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Before you vote . Do we need to do our homework? Yes
Do we need to think for how long Digree and Vreeland are messing up with us and not doing something for the City? Yes.
Re-elect new people NO on Digree. No on Vreeland.
I know their campaign already started. you could statements on the Trib and pictures of them every week. Of course free advertisement paid by Pacificans.

Anonypuss said...

Personally, I am tired of the candidates telling us what we want to hear. Speaking in non sequiturs, PC blabber and universal truths has become an art form for the modern politician. Who isn't "pro-environment" or "pro-economy"? Please! It's all a matter of degrees - not Digre's.

I do believe in contracts, however. That's a good start.

Kathy Meeh said...

Anonymous people above, reconfirming what you say: a contract sounds good, and a statement on specific issues sounds good.

Remember Vreeland never talked about a "vision" or promised Pacifica a future, and he delivered. Digre coined "our environment is our economy" and she delivered.

What questions should we be asking? Mr. Sir has two good questions, got more?

Mr. Sir said...

* How do you plan on dealing with city obligations to its employee wrt wages/pensions/benefits?

* How do you propose that future sewer upkeep and maintenance be paid for?

* What did you think of Proposition L at the time?

* What is your position on the proposed Calera Creek Highway improvements?

* Can you identify what has gone wrong that Pacifica finds itself in such financial straits?

just sayin' said...

Vreeland said:
"...and govern mental services"

This may be the only thing he is capable of governing...

Anonymous said...

* What would you do to market Pacifica businesses to Pacificans?

* Should the city council cut its own compensation to show shared sacrifice, when they're asking the employees to cough up $8.5 million over five years?

Anonymous said...

* How are we going to spend that $3,000 we're saving from the City Manager?

Anonymous said...

• What is your position on the Financing City Services Task Force recommendations?

• What is your position on the Economic Development Committee's work plan to develop Pacifica's economy?

Anonymous said...

The following should be the theme song for anybody that has been following this council.

Anonymous said...

Todd Bray tried to file false charges against Don Peebles. This is fact.

Heather Tanner said...

Hello, all: I am not a politician, but am a candidate. Pacifica has been great to me over the past year and I want to give back with my service. What *would* you like to see your city council do? I have some ideas for revenue for the city - and I believe we need to revitalize our economy to increase our tax base, not increase our taxes. I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts. So happy to find this website - - I've got a twitter account (@mykidzluvme) and you can email me any questions you have ( Thanks, all! Heather Tanner

Steve Sinai said...

Welcome to the blog, Heather.

Heather Tanner said...

Thanks, Steve! What a wonderful consortium of ideas you have here. If I am elected, I intend to be approachable. I'm always going to use my best judgment and insight when deciding how to vote, but I think hearing others viewpoints can help you see something from angles you hadn't considered. As an attorney, I got used to being surprised when what seemed clear suddenly changed once presented with opposing facts. I'd like to use those skills and thoughtfully approach the problems facing Pacifica.

Thomas Clifford for City Council said...

Welcome Heather
It's good to have another Canididate join the conversation. If you are interested in some of what has gone before in terms of ideas and questions check out the blog titled end of

Heather Tanner said...

Thanks, Thomas - or do you prefer Tom? I will check that out. I really don't like the trend of San Carlos, Vallejo, and now it seems HMB to go drastic in terms of fixing deficits. We need a police force, bankruptcy has lasting connotations for a city government, and ceasing existence is a solution, but is it really the only solution? Decisions like those should come only if there is nothing else you can do. In speaking with other Pacificans, I've heard a lot of great ideas for bringing money into our economy - ideas I haven't heard before. Maybe they will turn out to be impractical in the long run, but I would explore every one of those avenues before I ever voted for dismantling Pacifica, the police force, or anything else that drastic! Just like a family forced into financial crisis, we need to take a long hard look at Pacifica and say - what MUST we have, what can we do without? I am by no means hoping to create a hardship on anyone else. I simply hope to bring my survivalist attitude and fresh perspective to the party.

Nice to (blog) meet you, Tom. Will you be at any of the upcoming events? Perhaps we can meet face to face then.

Happy Labor Day, all!