Monday, October 26, 2009

Why "Dan's the One"

by Jon Van Landschoot

Dan Smith is a true Public Servant. His efforts on behalf of our community and youth reach back nearly 20 years.

In 1992, Dan was the leader of the volunteers that built the wonderful Play Ground of Dreams. This park continues to be used, daily, by scores of our families.

Dan , as a past member for several years of the Youth Action Task Force, has long been a strong advocate for the Scouts and youth activities in our town. He was, and remains, a champion for helping our schools maintain and improve their sport fields.

Dan has chaired the Tri-City Open Space Citizens' Committee. This group actively seeks to promote a county-wide Regional Park System . Also, he was a driving force behind saving Sky Valley from being developed ( Measure " K " in 2003.) Dan is a big supporter of the efforts to make our First Street Green into a truly spectacular and inspiring waterfront venue. To Dan, Open Space is a cause, not a convenient campaign slogan.

Open Government is the essence of our Democracy. Dan pushed for, and voted into existence, our " Open Government " Commission in 2005. Not all members of the present Council supported such a commission. Nor, did the same council members support and sign the recent "Clean Elections " petition this past Summer. This effort was greatly aided by Dan's vigorous efforts to collect signatures to limit the money spent to influence our local elections. The current election limits are a direct result of the efforts of Tom Campbell , Dan and other concerned citizens .

The State Parks were "saved" recently , but still remain underfunded and in danger of cuts in the future. Dan was with the group who campaigned last year and this to "Save Our Parks ". He will not relent until the State parks are fully funded .

While on the City Council, Dan voted to create the Historic Preservation Review Commission , and helped Benica seek Certified Local Gov't status. Long a supporter of Historic Preservation in our quaint town, Dan continues seeking protection for our many assests that will enhance our draw as a tourism haven.

The City's budget is currently being hit by Sacramento's grabbing a lot of our share of local property taxes. Dan has long stressed the importance of a sustainable budget process and voted to require a 20 % General Fund Reserve. This is still the standard to which Dan holds firm. Past salary contracts passed during the reign of the former mayor have made the city's legacy cost rise dramatically . According to a Contra Costa Times article in September, we rank in the top ten of regional cities whose employees make over $100,000 annually. Dan is convinced that this path is not sustainable.

And finally, the Seeno Project ! Dan remains a tireless crusader for an environmentally sentive 21st Century project with an enforcible Development Agreement. None of the other candidates is so committed to " Getting it right " . Just remember who on the Council voted for the flawed Environmental Impact Report & Project each and every time . Dan opposes the removing of the hills and the massive traffic and pollution problems this unrefined project could bring to our town.
Dan stands with the community !

Dan is the " One " candidate who acts on his commitments all the time, not just around election time ! You often see Dan at civic events around town seeking to maintain and improve our life style.

In the Benicia City Council race, Dan is truly the " One ".

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