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League of Women Voters of California
Political Philosophy for John McLemore
Affordable housing. This will continue to be a tough issue in the City of Santa Clara as most of our urban reserves have either been built or are planned. In the short term we will need to address the recently excessed BAREC property by considering the competing proposed interests of seniors, daycare for nearby workers, requests for neighborhood parks and community gardens and a desire by neighbors to infill with single family homes. In the long term we will be looking at opportunities along the El Camino Real, across from Central Park and east of the railroad and Santa Clara University. As an MTC Commissioner I championed a landuse study of the area east of the railroad station that is available in video format at the Santa Clara City library. Please take a look at these innovative ideas. As a board member of the Housing Trust for Santa Clara County I hope to encourage the employers and developers based in Santa Clara to continue to find new ways to address affordable housing solutions in our Valley.
We are not the only community with affordable housing issues and by challenging ourselves to look outward we can bring the best solutions to our city and our neighboring communities.
Transportation. Santa Clara will become the intermodal site for BART,CalTrain, ACE, Capital Corridor, VTA busses and a people mover to the San Jose Airport. I have spent most of the last four years driving the electrification of CalTrain and the creation of a peoplemover (similar to solutions used already in Las Vegas and Chicago) to proactively reduce dependency on automobiles and to connect environmentally sound transportation solutions in this County. As the Vice Chair of CalTrain, an ex-officio director of the VTA and a Metropolitan Transportation Commissioner I am already active and will continue to be active to influence policy to benefit and include Santa Clara citizens.
Ongoing Land Use Decisions. While not as glamourous as the first two issues, I believe this is the routine activity that will shape how Santa Clara will evolve in the 21st Century. It will touch many businesses and citizens. By using "smart permitting" many projects have been fast-tracked in our City and our businesses and the economy have benefited. Sometimes it is the role of government to modify the pace of change and invent new ways to communicate to assist its citizens to comprehend and have a voice in the change process. I believe we need to continually monitor our citizen's acceptance of change by using polling and citizen satisfaction measurement tools. We will have unusual parcel sizes, requests for lot splits, building up, not out, requests for non-standard zoning changes (churches, for example), small business needs, historical renovation and "monster home" petitions. Without space to grow we will have to use our existing space differently. This is change and it needs to be managed.
Assuring that we have a diverse and competent Planning Commission will be crucial. As Mayor I expect that the Planning Commission and City Staff will have a consistent approach. A carefully thought-out and very well-executed communication plan to manage citizen and business input as well as the Planning Commission and Council's responses to these changes is critical.
I will work hard to assure that the City Council expands citizen participation, promotes a common vision by 1) using annual planning activities 2) communicating results and 3) setting expectations, and works harmoniously to oversee the City staff's execution. Many of these organizational management tools utilize my thirty years of active business experience.
Citizen-Readiness Plan. As Chair of the County's Emergency Preparedness Council and a former military officer I know it is important that our citizens have both the confidence in our emergency plan and a clear understanding of their own role and responsibilities. I will work with our City Library, Community Policing programs and our Fire Safety Divisions to reinforce individual, business and neighborhood awareness of the resources, behaviors and preparedness to be ready for an earthquake, fire, flooding or terrorist event in our community. I think it is prudent in these times to revisit , test and reinforce training and awareness and to use our Mission City TV station to communicate the plan and tangible actions citizens can take to be prepared.
I have spent my six years on City Council building positive relationships with Santa Clara citizens, with my fellow Council Members and City Manager, with other area elected representatives and with the staff of jurisdictions which share our problems as well as ideas for solutions. Seeking funding sources, knowledge sharing, and influencing and making policy are key roles of an elected Mayor. I am already active in these roles and I have steadfastly worked to create a diverse personal communication network.
I have chaired the Recycling and Waste Reduction (Solid Waste) Commission, am chair of the County-wide Emergency Preparedness Council, and am one of the Council Member liaisons to Mission College. I represent the Santa Clara County Cities on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. I have already actively stepped up to leadership roles.
I have brought the MTC to Santa Clara's Council Chambers to explain the regional transportation visions in the form of both public hearings and Council presentations. Public participation is good.
I continue to seek out best practices, take leadership roles on committees and demand creative solutions from staff to address the enormous challenges as globalization impacts our local economy and our local workforce and as diverse health and human services needs rise.
I have a dozen years of proven involvement in community issues while working full time in the local high tech industry. The issues I've chosen to tackle as a public representative are now the same ones that impact people's lives daily; i.e., affordable housing, transportation improvements and economic sustainability.
There is a lot of work to be done. I have the high tech business experience. I have the education in public policy. I am an active City Council member and have developed a strong network throughout the City and the County. And, I care about what happens to ALL of Santa Clara.
I am prepared for the job of being Santa Clara's Mayor.
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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 25, 2002 15:43
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