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Marin County, CA November 3, 2009 Election
Smart Voter


By John Coleman

Candidate for Council Member; City of Novato

This information is provided by the candidate
For your info !!!! Questions and answers by JOHN COLEMAN 1) What are the main issues faced by the Novato City Council?

(A) Direction and common sense which this present council does not have. The city manager gives devastating news about our budget and cutting Five million ($5,000,000.00) each year for the next five years and the next item on the agenda is the city's 50th birthday party! They added Two days and muffins for the celebration! Novato needs to stop paying $67,500 a month for rent for our city offices on Rowland way The Novato Theatre needs to be open by someone who will show me a finical statement to start or this building needs to be sold to a theatre group who has the ability to fix and run it at once ! . The community house has been closed for five years (5) and our seniors and children do not need to be suffering from these present council actions. They voted to put over five million dollars into the church building and i personally have watched council members visit the site from a distance and wondered why are they talking to the job site boss. We have a realtor In town who says , list with me and start packing I say elect me and start packing as we are going in the wrong direction . 2) How would you solve the City's budget crisis? (A) We are the gateway between the Coast, Infineon raceway and the wine country. Obviously the redeveopment agency needs it stamped on their forehead. However, before we change their direction we need to start with an inner city overhaul .Have a meeting with every department and tell them (1) number one rule we need revenue and do not run them around If you do not know the answers to their questions go to your boss and get It so they are not wasting your time or theirs (Example) Indian restaurant on Grant Avenue. Went through hell to get open and got every permit required and no department told them what they needed to do. Manga beve deli. They had the same problem. I got a call and went to the city offices and met with an inspector who called the sanitary district's inspector, I talked to him and then we went to the deli to see the problem and we were able to open the next day. Why does the Novato public works department have 10 engineers, San Rafael has 7 and Petaluma has 5? Novato's engineers can't draw anything but a straight line. Look at your bulb outs on vallejo street and then come read the letter I got from the public works director and the explanation he delivered to me. This city needs to stop chasing potential businesses out of town. Why did we hire an assistant manager when we could have waited to help let this city get back on its feet? Change this council! 3) Is housing or retail development more important for the North Redwood Corridor? (A) I would say retail development but we could also gain housing. Look at Trish galleria and the four (4) units on top that you enter from Sweetser Ave. Many people in this town don't even know they are there. If the council gives good direction to the redevelopment agency and then we could build wine tasting warehouse, restaurants, bookstore, ect they would be all flat roofs and you could build units on top of them. If you put in an in and out burger or a Hotel I would say no. Walgreens wanted to go where the Mission Lodge is and this city let them go when they had monies to buy the land and build their building. This was the wrong spot for Walgreens but down in Ignacio they only have one small drugstore in the new Safeway i think the mission lodge would be a great place for our art studios that are now stuck on the second floor of a building in Hamilton. 4) What do you think the City should do about creating office space for its staff? Build a new building downtown and/or revamp an existing building? For Example: 999 Grant Avenue (A) I think this city could now get a real steal on that building at 999 Grant Avenue because of the present city council's stalling tactics, however you also need parking and I do not want another building that looks like the millworks eyesore building. When the millworks building is fully occupied (124) units and whole foods opens it doors in March 2110 the downtown area is going to be the new road rage capital of Novato and I am in a wait and see mood to see how the traffic flows downtown before i would add to the confusion. This city could build at Hamilton where they own the land along with many buildings or on the redwood corridor where you could build a building close to the railroad tracks with a sound wall behind it and have plenty of parking in front as they are very deep lots. And yes you only would be a few blocks from downtown. This way we would not need to spend monies we don't have on a parking lot and the merchants or homeowners who need permits ect would have a two lane road in and out of redwood blvd 5) Would you lay off police if that were a solution to solving the budget crisis? (A) If I am correct the Redevelopment agency owes this city a lot of money which it has in hand and we need to cut (5) five million dollars In next years budget I would say no to cutting the police department's budget. This would be the only exception to the rule as our police department does a great job and has not hired any new police officers that I personally think this city needs. Common sense tells me crime Is on the way up and as the city has built more houses and businesses and more police officers are needed. This city council got rid of our Emergency services coordinator and It now falls directly Into the lap of our police and fire departments. However I would need to know why we have so much brass in the office and very little police on the street. How many personal take city cars home? How many Captains, Leutainants or Sargants do we have and when they retire can they be replaced with a street patrol officer or two. 6) Should the City join Marin Clean Energy consortium? (A) In the debate I said yes and I will stick to my answer at this time. First of all every city in Marin except Larkspur and Corte Madera have joined the Consortium and when you have a growing community along with all the cities that have joined this group It speaks volume's to me. I did call larkspur to talk to someone before the debate to get an answer from them of why they did not join the other cities and never got a return call. Please keep In mind that there is not one or these plants built and we are not going to be the first county to build one 7) What should the public expect as a reasonable amount of time for completing the general plan? (A) First of all if this council does not have two new members it does not matter if they keep the same general plan or get a new one as they do not follow it anyway. Look at last weeks Twelve (12) home development agenda for 840 McClay road. The general plan clearly says a firth foot (50) setback from a creek. This council voted 5/0 to build all twelve homes and 2/3 of them only have a (35) foot setback. One council member brought up the setback so they all agreed no sheds or play structures next to the creek because of the thirty five (35) foot setback. Where is the water going to come from and did any council member get a campaign contribution from the builder to be re elected in this great city. Sorry but if pat is back in office with my self it will not be 5/0 it will be 4/1 the man who cares about Novato will vote no and learn and live by the rules. 8) How will the city fund all of the city maintenance/projects that have been unfunded for the last five years? (A) This city has no monies to fund maintenance/projects. However I do have a question for you the voters in Novato. Have you had your streets paved lately? Now watch between the blacktop and the gutter pan. (Asphalt to concrete) and the small crack dividing the two. The weeds will show up shortly as when the city does a project like this last one they call It a micro scrub ( grind It out about two Inches , dump oil, rocks and repave) the oil that they put down has a Furtizler in it. (I call this procedure to our streets a band aid.

Now we have a thing called community service from our courts In Marin County. Why not take advantage of It and fill the four (4) seated dump truck that the city wasted our money and bought and fill it with three ( 3) other community service volunteers to wack these weeds, clean our Median stripes ect 9) What is your vision of Novato five years from now? (A) Direction and common sense just like my flyer says. If we do not change the direction this great city is going, we are going to be just like Vallejo and many other cities that will go bankrupt. We must get Revenue along redwood and all the vacant stores that we have in this town. If we use common sense and the council thinks before we vote to chase the people who come to this town to open a business out of town and then they open a bookstore say in San Rafael where our citizens will follow them out of town buy a book, have lunch, shop ect we can never make it up 10) What should the city do with all of the properties that it owns that are either falling into or are in disrepair? (A) Most must be sold as they have been trashed and only worth the land value Look at yours and mine (yes we are the owners ) of the Hamilton officers club. I have been told during my door to door campaigning over twelve thousand (12,000) flyers by neighbors that every window has been broken and lots of damage done to this building. When I was Novato's little baseball eqement manager for twelve years (12) we had our meetings in there. Played bingo in there and the place was beautiful. I even remember having a crab feed in there. Now you still want me to cut the police department budget as they are the ones who are called when the kids are there and destroying our property

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