Supporting Economic Vitality
I value a diverse population and I believe it is imperative we figure out ways that our residents can work within the county while living here too. Clearly, we can do better when it comes to creating affordable housing in our county. One thing we can do as elected officials is to be systematic in our approach, and look at real long term solutions. I will engage our community members to seek solutions that match the values of Capitola. My leading ideas include, seeking strategies to sustain our existing housing stock, increase the development of more affordable housing (such as, mixed use housing solutions in appropriate locations), all while maintaining Capitola’s small town charm.
We can review our Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) policies to incentivize the production of more ADU’s, work with local businesses to offer competitive wages, and work towards creating employer assisted housing. We can work with family daycares and school districts to help support students and their families by offering affordable child care and after school care. We also need to collaborate with our state and federal representatives to ensure our county has the resources available to support cost of living demands and affordable housing.
Measure J – Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)
I am in support of the Transient Occupancy Tax Measure. The increase of 10% to 12% on hotel rooms and other short term rentals, if approved by voters, would provide early childhood and youth programs and business groups a dedicated source of revenue that should grow over time. Studies show that investing in children directly impacts the health and well being for the entire community. An increase of two percent would allow the City of Capitola to be one of only a handful of Cities to have a dedicated children’s fund. This investment in children validates Capitola makes families its priority.
Enhance Public Safety
I will work with the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) so we can collaborate to find solutions to our traffic issues while creating safe bike and pedestrian paths.Our traffic issues are a regional conversation with a number of pending solutions being considered. Where our housing and jobs are located all impact traffic. Over the last few decades the majority of job growth has occurred in the northern section of the county while the majority of homes have been built in the southern portion of the county – this has increased commute times, put additional pressures on the environment and decreased quality of life. Many of these commuters pass through Capitola to avoid the clogged highway – this is why we need strong advocacy from Capitola on the Regional Transportation Commission and other regional commissions to speak to the impacts of all countywide decisions have on our community. I will work with my colleagues throughout the county to ensure a thoughtful future for transportation.
Capitola is notorious for its small town feeling and strong neighborhood identity with a beautiful ocean and many beaches. It is important that we maintain and improve our city infrastructures, such as our streets and sidewalks to preserve our city. I also support staffing a strong police department, creating a visible presence on our streets to keep Capitola residents and visitors safe.
Preserve Green Space
Keeping 41st Avenue viable as an economic resource is a high priority of mine. Building a hotel on the corridor will increase tax revenues helping support the city’s budget. I also support having a small hotel built in Capitola Village and will work with the community to come up with solutions to create circulation and parking for the Village.
Capitola is working hard to conserve water with the help of the outstanding water conservation programs held by the Soquel Water Creek District. Despite extensive conservation efforts by residents, the Soquel-Aptos Area groundwater basin is still in a state of overdraft because more water is being pumped out annually than is naturally recharged through rainfall. Our water supply concerns will require county collaboration. Water is one of the most pressing issues for all of California. Our coastal community must work together to seek solutions to ensure residents today and in the future have this fundamental resource. I recently signed up for the Soquel Creek Water Academy to learn more about the water district, salt water intrusion, grey water and desalination plants and to explore possible solutions our City can adopt.