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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Council Member; City of Alameda

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Alameda and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Define Position, Priorities for Position, Government Accountability, Public Financing

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. How do you define the responsibilities of this position?

Answer from Frank Matarrese:

My job as a member of the City Council is to set policy that directs the City Manager in running the City (following the provisions of the City Charter of Alameda. To set the policy that does the most good for the most residents it is my responsibility to make every reasonable effort to engage residents to understand their needs and concerns, study the issues and make clear motions to meet the policy objectives.

? 2. Elaborate on your top three priorities; what problems do you foresee in implementing these?

Answer from Frank Matarrese:

Jobs have been created over the years at Alameda Point, but more are needed to replace those lost when the Naval Air Station closed. Many jobs can be created by cultivating business maritime, environmental cleanup, and specialty beverage sectors and supporting small businesses that are now mainstays at Alameda Point, while adding "green-tech" and other forward looking industry. I would propose reviving some form of the City's Economic Development Commission to update the Economic Development Strategic Plan objectives in order to grow these sectors into a diverse economic zone. Plans to attract new businesses and solidify current businesses could even include options for businesses to buy the property they occupy, expanding the tax base and providing funds for infrastructure.

I see expanding habitats and recreational open space as a realistic future for much of Alameda Point, especially given climate change. Hundreds of acres of the former Naval Air Station are already destined for habitat. We should take the opportunity to expand and restore wetlands in partnership with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and the federal agencies in charge of the wildlife habitat. More wetlands can provide a buffer against Bay tidal action, improve current habitat and will be a consumer of CO2. This is a reachable goal given that EBRPD has more than $6.5 million earmarked for park development at Alameda Point, thanks to Measure WW. The City must work immediately with EBRPD to put these funds to use, since each year that passes reduces the amount the $6.5 million buys.

Residential projects should match the scale fitting Alameda's constraints. Unlike suburban cities, Alameda is densely populated and with its island nature, restricted in ways to get in and out of the City. Alameda is also one of the most desirable urban communities in the Bay Area. Given Alameda's desirability, developers will have absolutely no trouble selling homes. With this significantly lower risk to their investors relative to other locations, developer's return to their investors should be significantly lower resulting a profit in line with lower risk. They should be able to the make a reasonable return on fewer units, with a larger percentage of affordable units than have been proposed.

I will propose to my City Council colleagues, motions to direct the city manager to prepare General Fund Budgets under the following policy:

  • Exclude advances, drawdowns from the reserves or other "one-time" revenues in order to establish a realistic budget
  • Set aside one-time revenues for deferred maintenance, debt service (if appropriate) or the other unfunded liabilities to be approved by the City Council.

? 3. What is your view of government accountability and transparency?

Answer from Frank Matarrese:

For voters to hold those of us elected accountable, transparency and open government is critical. I stand by open government laws and ordinance and will abide by them. I will also critically evaluate policy for closed sessions and challenge the system to make government even more transparent within the law.

? 4. Financing local campaigns is becoming more costly. What is your opinion regarding public financing of local election campaigns?

Answer from Frank Matarrese:

I am running a grass roots campaign, low budget, financed by contributions from friends, neighbors and supportive residents. I am not accepting contributions from those with City contracts or those in negotiations with the City to avoid any appearance of bias.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:55 PDT
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