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Monterey County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter

Candidate's Statement on Issues

By Dan Albert

Candidate for Mayor; City of Monterey

This information is provided by the candidate
"Over the sixteen years, being the Mayor of Monterey and eight years on the City Council I've seen many changes take place in the City of Monterey. I believe these changes have been positive for the City and its citizens. I would like to believe as a policy maker that I had some influence in these decisions and have made Monterey a better place to live, work, visit and play. Many of these accomplishments could only take place with the proper leadership, cooperation and assistance from many people in the public and private sector.

My philosophy has always been, and maybe it's because of my background as an educator and coach that the team method of partnerships, collaboration from many sectors of the community, is the best way to move the city forward in a more cohesive way. Much has been accomplished in using a method that uses cooperation between the mayor, city council, city staff, boards and commissions, the business community, neighborhood involvement and its citizens."

Because of the downturn in the economy and how it has effected tourism, our largest segment of our economic base, I believe that this philosophy is more important now than it has ever been.

Our waterfront improvements continue. While this is a long-term goal of the City we can't take for granted the effort, the time and the discipline to continue on with this worthwhile project. The Window to the Bay project has advanced on many fronts. Buildings continue to come down. Landscaping improvements to the Window on the Bay are most visible and new recreation opportunities have been expanded. This has created greater recreational opportunities. And after many years of talking, persuading, and negotiating we have been able to acquire the entire seven acres plus of the Catehlus site, east and west. These new parcels more than triple the area of open space available for Window on the Bay. Currently a master plan and EIR is being reviewed by the Planning
Commission. This property has now become part of our vision of Window to the Bay. It is obvious to me, as the window continues to open that there is more and more use of this park as it opens on to the beach. Also, we have spent millions of dollars to make Fisherman's Wharf # 2 safer for public use for our citizens to enjoy. What a grand entrance this will be to Monterey, with El Estero Park and Lake on one side, a beautiful boulevard divider in the center and approximately two miles of park like setting overlooking the Monterey Bay. It is a great vision and it will happen but it will take discipline and continuity at the policy making level. We are constantly reminded by the public to keep moving forward with this great vision.

The development of the Monterey Sports Center continues. Two years ago we were in the planning stages and now we see the reality of that hard work with the grand opening of this new addition to take place in January. We were successful in working with a citizens group to help raise money and partnered with the city's contribution to make this happen. Again, through partnerships and collaboration dream has become a reality.

In the past two years, the renovation and expansion of the Senior Center at Dickman and Lighthouse was completed. The grand opening was held in September 2001 and this remodeled interior and additional space has been utilized and enjoyed by our senior citizens. This has allowed for more activities and a much more attractive building.

I would like to emphasize the fact that because of the creative and innovative work the City has done, we received many visitors froni the Defense Department and are being recognized nationally as the model for reducing base operation costs. After 9/Il there is even more emphasis being placed on foreign language studies, not only for the military but for other branches of the government. A very important partnership has been developed with the City of Monterey and the Defense Language Institute (DLI) to help reduce base operation costs. We have been recognized as the leaders in the nation for this kind of relationship. The City has contracted with the Army to provide public works services at the Presidio of Monterey. It's important to remember that by reducing the base operation costs, it could help retain the DLI here in Monterey. We feel that the DLI helps maintain a strong economic base and also provides a unique cultural and social addition to our city. The Presidio of Monterey celebrates its birthday on the same day, June 3, 1770 as the City of Monterey. The military presence has been here since the very beginning of the city's existence. We believe that there is a historical and social value that goes beyond the economic benefits to the city. We cannot afford to loose the DLI or the Naval Post Graduate School and will need to provide constant vigilance to assure that this doesn't happen. In September 30th, 2000 a new Child Care Center at the Defense Language Institute opened. This was done through collaboration and partnership of the Defense Department, the local Defense Language leadership, Congressman Sam Farr's office and the City of Monterey. If we are going to retain our status as the Language Capital of the World, including the DLI, Monterey Institute of international Studies, the AT&T Language Line, Monterey Peninsula College, CSUMB we need to work hard to reduce those base operation costs without a cost to our citizen tax payers. This is to make sure that the DLI stays in place in Monterey. We are also working very closely and hard in trying to institute some of the same agreements with the Naval Post Graduate School to help them in any way that we can to make sure that NPGS stays in Monterey. We know that the citizens of Monterey have been inconvenienced by the restrictions of through traffic through the DLI and NPGS. We also know that this is a national emergency and may have to live with this until the situation changes. But we have been and are working on traffic solutions to ease problems created by this situation. Example: synchronized lights on Foam, no left turns on Lighthouse.

The revitalization of downtown Monterey continues. The very popular Tuesday night Marketplace continues to grow and the energy that comes from this has helped to revitalize Downtown Monterey. The success of the completion of the Osio Plaza gives the City, retail, 6 theaters and 30 occupied affordable housing rentals with a well-established waiting list. With it's many activities, Alvarado Street has become the leading Peninsula entertainment center. Again, because of the downturn of the economy we will have to work harder to fill those few empty store fronts. This Downtown revitalization has served as a model for New Monterey business district and it's revitalization. Fremont
Street business district is now looking at this model for the revitalization of that particular area of Monterey. This all came about with partnerships, retail merchants, property owners, State of California and the City of Monterey. Also, we are planning public review for the proposed Public Service Center. There is money that has been set aside for this development. Much consideration will have to be given depending on the future economy.

Because housing has become such a major issue in the region we have set a list of priorities that deal with housing. Monterey has been a longtime advocate of affordable housing and has approximately 450 units of rentals, ownership housing that will stay affordable because of programs instituted by the City of Monterey. Also, we have encouraged for property owners to infill with mixed uses in commercial areas as evident on Lighthouse Aye, Foam Street, Alvarado and Del Monte Ave. The city has also invested $60,000 to drill for water in their Ryan Ranch property for the possibility of work force housing. The City of Monterey was one of the leaders to implement rental guidelines, followed by the rest of the Peninsula cities. At the end of this report you will see some of our future priorities on housing.

Because we are one of the most historic cities in the Western United States, we believe again through collaborate efforts we will be able to maintain that designation. We have made great strides in the last decade to ensure that we continue to develop and sustain a strong, sound historic preservation program. We are working closely as partners with the Monterey History and Arts Association and State Parks to complete a "seamless" Historic Monterey Plan to include marketing, preservation, maintenance, programming and interpretation of Monterey's rich array of historic resources. Currently underway is a feasibility analysis of use of the State Theater as an addition to the Conference and also Performing Arts Center. As a result, a new Historic Master Plan, a revised Historic Preservation Ordinance and an historic survey for Cannery Row were approved. This was done only through partnerships with the State of California, property owners, public impute, private organizations and the City.

As I said before, the above-mentioned projects are just a few of the success stories we have completed and are working on. I could go on and write about many more but I
believe this will give you an understanding of what I believe is necessary, through a collaborative team effort and in a positive way, to keep Monterey a progressive, vibrant, livable city. What I would like to do now is list some of our future City Council priorities.

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