In a recent BreaNet newsletter, Council member Moore posed a set of questions based on the issues he sees Brea facing today. He encouraged voters to ask candidates for their thoughts. Let me get a head start, by providing you with that information today… here… in simple terms and without politicizing the issues.
Balanced Budget – Provision of services should be based upon real revenue. First concern is always public safety. Tapping into reserves or other special funds, like in a family budget should be done in an emergency situation only.
Unfunded Pension Liabilities – Shifting to a more self sustaining pension plan will help thwart continued growth of the debt, but we also need to develop a plan to systematically retire the debt already accrued. One way is with real pension reform that makes an impact today not solely with future hires.
Traffic Congestion – We need a multi pronged approached, continuing participation in regional traffic planning, signal light sequencing to better manage traffic and include bike paths into the Trails of Brea Project.
Hillside Preservation – Brea’s hillsides are deeply appreciated, by me and most Breans. They provide a sense of tranquility and contribute positively to our property values. Our plans and regulations must reflect a proper balance between environment, esthetics, reasonable density and property rights. There is no one right answer. Every issue deserves individual consideration.
Public Safety – Our primary responsibility to the community is to maintain high performing police and fire protection. Shifts in the economy seem to be pointing toward shared services agreements that maximize available revenue while preserving quality services. All options should always be on the table.
Staff Salaries – Historically, Brea has used a 10 city formula to establish reasonable and competitive salaries for city staff. These formulas have outpaced private sector pay and benefit tables. In 2012, I supported the passage of Measure T which took away benefits for Council members and is keeping the $300,000 dollar club in Brea from growing.
Senior Services – The sort of passive services typical of most senior programs in the past fall short of meeting the emerging demands of a more active retirement community. Senior housing that addresses an age-in-place strategy is needed, this type of quality housing and more robust services will need to be delivered while facing a slowly recovering economy and declining State and Federal subsidies.
Affordable Housing – Though Brea has performed well to affordable housing mandates, our own children can’t afford to purchase in Brea. As major developments are replaced with infill projects, we must strive to maintain an equitable balance of housing stock and support initiatives that give Brean´s priority based on qualified purchase ability.
Government Transparency – Now, more than ever, a transparent and accountable government should be obligatory. The time for debate has passed, the era of lip service must come to an end. Whether self imposed or by public mandate, government can no longer be allowed to operate in secrecy.
Water – Prolonged drought will primarily be contended with at the State level; through replacing, protecting and developing new reserves. At the local level our tools include acquiring additional water resources (Cal Domestic Shares) as they become available and through conservation. I do not support the Tiered Rate Structure which tries to promote conservation through taxation.
Fracking – Hydraulic fracturing of oil wells in and around Brea has stimulated heavy public debate. The most commonly held position, by residents and scientists alike, is that we don’t have an adequate understanding of the potential liabilities. The decision to allow or ban fracking must be made with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits. No one is truly in a position to render a considered opinion with full confidence. We need to learn more… a lot more.
Brea Business – 40% of Brea’s General Fund is derived from sales tax revenue. It is in our best interests to maintain a business friendly environment where retail, commercial and industrial opportunities abound.