Elizabeth Patterson In the News
Mayor Patterson's remarks, LWVB/AAUW Candidate's Forum
Saturday, October 1, 2011, 9am-Noon
Benicia City Hall
250 East L Street, Benicia, California
Good morning, I am Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and a proud member of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women and I thank Belinda and the organizers for this valuable full community forum.
And thanks to all of you for attending.
I look forward to answering your questions.
Three minutes is not very much time to tell you about me, how to grow jobs, reduce greenhouse gases, and maintain our quality of life in Benicia.
So I encourage you to visit my website elizabethformayor.com to watch the videos our State Parks, our economic security for our families, Benicia as a special community, effectively working together to maintain our quality of life in Benicia.I am running for re-election as Mayor to continue the work that I began in the mid 90s as chair of the General Plan Oversight Committee that created the vision for Benicia. Since 2003 when voters first elected me to the City Council and as your Mayor for 4 years, I have led and delivered with mostly unanimous decisions including:
- Opening the Benicia Community Center … for art, adult classes, and a home for the Scouts;
- Establishing the Benicia Arts & Culture Commission and the Community Sustainability Commission;
- Standing up to Seeno for an A+ mixed use business park;
- Protecting the historic districts downtown and in the Arsenal;
- Repeated efforts to save our state parks and to work with residents who are organizing to maintain them;
- Promoting open government and keeping weekly open office hours
- Helping pass our new ordinance for fair, local and clean elections;
- Appointing commissioners that represent all interests in Benicia and ensuring a range of diversity.
We have many challenges such as the need to have closure on clean up of the arsenal. Putting public health and safety first is our duty as a city and keeping our business activity from being interrupted by the regulatory agency is our commitment. Slowing down the Army is like waving a white flag of surrender because the Army wins and leaves the munitions of explosive concern on the ground for you to discover.
We are in tough times – individually for many, and for the City of Benicia. Other challenges will be the next year to 18 months. While Benicia has fared better than most cities in the Bay Area, we still have lost property tax and sales tax revenues as well as other sources of revenue. We have found ways to balance the budget through departmental efficiencies, reorganization as necessary, frozen staff positions and a fair and equitable resetting of salaries and benefits. Our goal is no further cuts in services and programs.
In that light, the most important imperative facing our community today is to create sustainable, well-paying jobs. Whether its new clean-tech jobs like those that arrived with our new CODA Automotive / Amports assembly plant, solar panel manufacturing and installation, or incubating and growing local green industries, … putting our community back in the black must be our top priority.By working together to achieve results, I look forward to moving forward together in the next four years.
A person’s character demeanor and decisions are the result of connecting the dots of the past – a varied past of a native Californian born in the state of a mere 10 million people of winding roads, undulating hills and orange groves as far as a little girl could see - from my first job of cleaning houses, being car hop, a dispatcher for a heavy hauler trucking firm, writing a QC manual for an electronic firm and JPL librarian, managing the Tietje cattle ranch in San Luis Obispo, co-teaching an environmental education class at UCLA, a geology text book reviewer, starting and running a wine bottling business and my chosen career – an urban and regional planner.
For those who don’t follow the planning discipline it requires knowledge about water, energy, geology, transportation, housing, architecture, fiscal and economic policies, budgeting, construction, commercial and industrial development and, of course land use.
As Mayor, I draw upon these dots of education and experience.
I love what I do as mayor for the people and businesses. My passion for sustainable development is the understanding and knowledge gained from a lifetime of experience, study and vision.
As a staff environmental scientist with the state Department of Water Resources, I know firsthand about limited water supply, volatile traditional energy sources and climate warming. That is why I focus on diversifying our businesses in Benicia. That is how we will remain competitive in Solano County, California and the world.
The recent draft Business Development Action Plan builds on the 1999 General Plan principles of sustainable development and recognizes that there are short term immediate needs to boost our economy and increase local jobs in the next 18 to 24 months. “It will take community collaboration, partnership on strategies and activities and prioritizing” to put economic development activities into place.
I have been invited to serve in October on the Bay Area Cleantech Open program panel titled "Creating Conditions to Support a Favorable Business Environment” moderated by Ross Devol, from the Milken Institute. The mayors of Livermore, San Ramon, & Richmond are on the panel. To quote the organizer, “I suggested Mayor Patterson would be a great addition to this panel, especially since, as a direct result of the Chevron Energy Solutions project, she represents "taking action".
I am a good mayor, a strong leader who gets things done and I care. I am proud of my accomplishments as mayor and look forward to four more years of leadership accomplishing projects and investing in the future.
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Under Benicias Campaign Finance ordinance, your contribution limit is $500 per donor. My campaign committee will accept contributions from individuals and Benicia based businesses only. Contributions should be made payable to Committee to Re-elect Mayor Elizabeth Patterson. Contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. The campaign is required by law to disclose the true source of all contributions. Contributors may incur reporting obligations under the state campaign reporting laws. Additional information may be obtained from the campaign or at www.fppc.ca.gov. 94510. FPPC #1289634, Mary Frances Kelly Poh, Treasurer. You may contact the campaign email@example.com.