It has been quite an honor over the last few years serving the citizens of Petaluma.
Together we have accomplished a lot over the past few years.
We have seen a Renaissance in our downtown and I am especially proud of the fact that we were able to bring a theater back to town. I was proud to be a leader in this effort and led the way for the original push for the leakage study that allowed us to have the economic analysis needed in order to have a game-plan for our downtown and city wide revitalization. I was also pleased to be part of the adoption of the Central Petaluma Specific Plan that enabled us to shepherd the downtown revitalization quickly without unnecessary bureaucratic red tape.
We have recently adopted a new General Plan which is our guiding blueprint of growth over the next 2 decades. Now it is imperative to implement the General Plan so we can bring our city back to an economically healthly position. By implementing our General Plan and encouraging (and specifically not discouraging) businesses to come to town, we can expand our tax base and create the jobs that we need in our town.
Once our tax base expands, coupled with the multiplier effect of the tax dollars coming to our town, we will be able to program incremental resources toward chronic problems in our community that have plagued us for awhile. One of my main goals will be to push for additional investments towards our city's infrastructure needs and general road repair requirements.
I am especially pleased that we were able to add an extra layer of protection for the Mobile Home Park residents with the appropriate rezoning. I was proud to lead this effort to protect some of the most vulnerable in our community. As we move forward we need to continue to protect this segment of our community and we can do this by continuing to uphold our mobile home park rent control ordinance. As a Councilman I have done this and I will continue to do this in the future.
I was also pleased to have been part of the hangar project at our municipal airport which will help continue to make the our airport be economically self sustaining.
Over the years, other areas of success have been, the Homeless Shelter, where we were able to cobble together numerous funding sources in order to make it a viable project, the opening of Leghorn Park, which allowed the East Side residents to have another parkl and the Railroad Depot Revitalization, where we were able to cure more blight in our town.
My service on the Airport Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Planning Commission, the Animal Services Committee and currently the Transit Advisory Committee and the Technology and Telecommunications Committee, coupled with my 1 year service as Vice Mayor, will help add to the breadth of my decision making process. I will continue to make it a practice of working with anybody, talking to citizen groups, answering every e-mail, phone call or letter, and meet with the proponents and opponents of each item that comes before the Council.
As an Executive of a local Financial Services company employing over 220 people locally, I have a business background that allows me to look at problems that come before the City Council in a business prism. This is necessary as we continue to revitalize Petaluma and continue to make it a destination place for visitors.
If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected by the people of Petaluma, I will continue to encourage the appropriate economic revitalization via the expansion of our tax base and will continue to push for incremental dollars to be dedicated to our roads and infrastructure. We also need to have the additional funds dedicated for parks and park maintenance. With additional funds we can also beef up gang enforcement units and crack down on graffiti that is plaguing many areas of our community.
I also hope to continue to focus on our transportation needs inside Petaluma and regionally. We should continue to shepherd interchange projects and continue to work with the appropriate entities such as Caltrans and the state's Traffic Congestion Relief Program in order to help our key transportation projects such as Old Redwood Highway, Rainier, the East Washington Street Interchange Improvements and a Southern Crossing. Traffic and traffic circulation is a bread and butter issue and we should continue to focus on these needs.
I look forward to implementing the new General Plan as well and encourage the appropriate infill projects and respect our Urban Growth Boundary.
In another term, I look forward to bureaucratic red tape being streamlined with the Home Occupation Permit and Business Licenses in order to encourage more home based businesses. More home based businesses will allow more people to be around town, this encourages more monies to be spent locally and less people are on the road which would in turn help the environment and traffic circulation patterns.
Please feel free to call me at home anytime at 773-3196 or e-mail me at email@example.com
- Mike Harris