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|Alameda County, CA||November 7, 2006 Election|
Alameda Journal Questionnaire Response
By Lena TamCandidate for Member, City Council; City of Alameda
This information is provided by the candidate
I appreciate the newspaper media's role in increasing public awareness and, in turn, increasing public participation at every level of government. This increases accountability and promotes citizen participation in decisions that affect our lives.1. Do you advocate or oppose making any changes or modifications to Measure A as it applies to the redevelopment of Alameda Point? (former NAS Alameda). Explain.
I strongly support Measure A and believe it has been effective in protecting our quality of life and the rich architectural history of Alameda. Alameda Point redevelopment presents an important challenge to our city. How do we make it a positive new part of Alameda? We seem to have agreement on what we don't want: traffic jams and sprawling development inconsistent with our existing small town community spirit. What we need is agreement on what we do want. As we converge on such a community vision, we will have an opportunity to evaluate alternatives on a mix of housing and commercial models. One thing is clear, we need to encourage neighborhoods that reduce traffic with local shops, parks, public transit and plenty of off-road walking and biking paths. We should also encourage local employment opportunities that minimize the need to drive out of Alameda to work. It is possible that in order to meet community goals such as minimizing traffic and maintaining the character of Alameda Point consistent with the rest of the island, modifications would have to be made to Measure A as it would apply to Alameda Point, which currently restricts all new housing to one type. According to the Preliminary Development Concept (PDC), the current proposals for Alameda Point comply with Measure A so it may not be an issue.
2. Do you support or oppose the development of a Target or other so-called 'big box' retail store at Alameda Towne Centre (South Shore Center)? Explain.
Alameda residents appreciate being able to have a full service community. Time and again, they have shown that they would like to do their shopping, dining, entertainment, and receive their medical care within our city as much as possible. Families should have options in Alameda, from small neighborhood stores to mid-sized stores that provide lower-priced, larger amounts of standard household goods and foods. There is no need to unnecessarily send retail dollars (and associated sales taxes) out of Alameda if we can provide those services and retail opportunities here. I would support a Target store placed among other existing shopping services at the Towne Centre. I do not support some big-box retail, particularly supersized Wal-Marts, in Alameda.
3. Did you support or oppose the Alameda Theater project (rehabilitation of the historic theater, construction of a modern cineplex and construction of a multi-story parking structure) as it is currently configured? Yes/No? -- Explain.
I believe Alameda will be able to provide a successful movie theater that offers patrons a special downtown experience in our historic Park Street District. Alameda residents prefer to have public amenities close to home. We would like to do our shopping, dining, entertainment, and receive our medical care within our island city. Fortunately we are able to provide most of these services, but other than Central Cinema, we have not had a movie theater for a decade. Alameda deserves to have a full-featured theater just as surrounding communities do. I support the Alameda Theater rehabilitation project and promise to do everything I can to ensure it is a financially sound project. Many other cities our size have successfully added new theatres to their downtown areas (San Mateo, Redwood City, Petaluma to name a few) and found them to be a boom for local business and for renewing the downtown area.
4. Describe the three (3) traits or attributes that would define you as a leader of people in your community.
Collaborator, Fair-minded and Honest
5. Describe your current top three (3) concerns about Alameda.
Yes. I have been a long-standing advocate of open government in my leadership role as president of the League of Women Voters (LWV), both at the city and county level. Decisions about the City's future, particularly on redevelopment issues, should be facilitated to maximize opportunities for community input. Through the LWV, I have advocated before the Alameda County Board of Education and other governmental bodies that the public be adequately noticed, and such notices use a number of outreach media: the press, the internet, and even through the cable T.V. channels. For large projects, perhaps civic organizations can be specifically contacted if they are likely to be interested "players." Adequate notice means enough time for people to make arrangements to attend a meeting that is set at a reasonable time for working people
7. Name the heroes in both your personal and professional life.
I have fulfilled a fiduciary promise to the residents of Alameda by insuring access to emergency health care close to home. I have demonstrated that I can successfully govern and manage the budget of a complex public agency. As a member and now President of the Alameda Health Care District, I worked with my colleagues on the Board and the Hospital administration to turn around the financial operations at Alameda Hospital so it has become a sustainable, viable and thriving hospital, moving from a nearly $14.7M deficit to a positive gain of $600,000 over the last 4-/12 years. As a member and Chair of the Alameda County Planning Commission (2000-2005) I have promoted open and transparent government as a decision maker, encouraging public participation at all stages of planning and development. By exercising good judgment in carrying out my fiduciary responsibilities as an elected official, I hoped to earn the community's and voters' trust.
9. In your mind, what's the best thing about living in Alameda?
Small-town community spirit.
10. How much money do you anticipate spending on your campaign and from where will you get these funds? (political action committees, political parties, local developers, employee unions, loans to self, private individuals?) Explain and define.
I expect to spend about $30,000 on my campaign for mailers and other fees associated with running for office. I expect my funding to come from private individuals and supporters.
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