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Planning Commissioner Alicia Kae Herries Running for Council

Says she is eager to work on creative solutions to mitigate traffic, balance the city's budget and rein in public sector pensions. “The decisions being made now are not pro-Petaluma and are not being based locally and for our community," she says.

Planning Commissioner Alicia Kae Herries has announced her run for the Petaluma’s city council and says mitigating traffic, balancing the budget and reforming city pensions are on the top of her to-do list.

Herries, who grew up in Washington and has lived in Petaluma since 2005, got her first taste of local politics when she joined a neighborhood group opposing a medical building on El Rose Drive. In March 2010 she was appointed to the Commission on the Status of Women and that June to the Planning Commission.

Now, says Herries, she feels ready to join the council, especially as she prepares to graduate from Emerge California, a Democratic leadership training program for women, for which Herries was the sole appointee from Sonoma County.

“It was a huge honor,” says Herries, “and it’s given me all the tools I need to succeed.”

Herries, 42, is a senior executive coordinator at BioMarin Pharmaceutical and says she wants to run for council because she is disenchanted with the direction the city is moving in.

“We need to keep our government honest through transparency and accountability,” she says. “The decisions being made now are not pro-Petaluma and are not being based locally and for our community. I do my homework and I thoughtfully deliberate when it comes to making decisions about land use.”

Herries voted against the Deer Creek Shopping Center and worked against the Target Regency development before joining the Planning Commission. She is also a strong supporter for Friends of the Petaluma River, MentorMe Petaluma and Save Shollenberger Park.

Herries’ announcement earlier this week makes her the first candidate to declare candidacy in the November election, in which there are three open seats. Incumbents Mike Healy and Tiffany Renee have not yet made a decision about running while Gabe Kearney, appointed to council in January 2011 to fill a vacancy, has said that he intends to run.

Candidates have until August 10 to turn in their forms.

LongTimeLocal May 11, 2012 at 11:19 PM
What does a "senior executive coordinator" do? It would really nice to know more about Alicia. All I see here is opposition to everything and someone squarely in the liberal block. I have a feeling there is more to her than this quick article says. Can you do a profile Karina or is that not fair to others so you can't? - I, for one, would like to see what people would bring not shoot down. Just a suggestion as I think she might bring some fresh air, or might not. Thanks
LongTimeLocal May 11, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Ditto on Gabe and anyone else who declares. It would be a service for us all I think.
Karina Ioffee May 12, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I will try. What kind of information are you looking for?
Patrick M. May 12, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Let me see...only been in Petaluma for 7 years but doesn't like the direction the city is going. Really? Sued a dentist for trying to build a dentistry office next to the other dentist offices in a location that has had medical offices for like a hundred years. Placed on the planning commission to stack it with no votes. Campaigned against Target. Voted against Deer Creek. I would really like to see just exactly she thinks will pull this city out of its budget problems. Not talking points-reality-plans-substance. This is more of the same anti-approach that has this city so out of balance. Please, would someone else step forward.
LongTimeLocal May 12, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Agreed. That's why I'd like so ask about those 5 POSITIVE goals. It's easy to object, harder to build, but let's let Alicia speak, and to be fair, those others standing too. Let's face it, whichever side of the fence you're on, personally I wouldn't have the spine for the council, and we're lucky we have people who are willing to donate their time for so little reward. So let's find out if every candidate would be so kind as to give us their top 5 POSITIVE contributions. What do you think? Regardless of their leanings. all these folk get constantly criticized, for whatever they do, so you've gotta have a skin of steel for sure. All candidates, regardless of position, deserve our thanks for putting it out there IMHO.
LongTimeLocal May 12, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Bit more of a profile - what will they do that's positive for the city - say the top 5 things they'd like to achieve - not shooting down Regency, opposing everything already in place if you know what I mean. A platform built on constructive ideas really. Thanks Karina.
Paula Moors May 12, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I know Alicia and I know she cares a great deal about people.
Marjorie Helm May 12, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Hats off to Alica for her strong civic engagement and volunteer efforts. She also has my appreciation for having the courage it takes to work for all of us!
Max May 12, 2012 at 06:17 PM
FYI, Alicia has advocated for better planning and sustainable development. With the city finances crumbling, and more problems on the horizon - seems obvious that the status-quo cannot continue, a new direction needs to be taken. Alicia has proven herself to be responsible and to put the public's interests first, she'll make great councilwoman.
Mitch May 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Holly, the lawsuit against the dentist on El Rose cost him $650,000 out of pocket to fight it and guess what.....he won in the end. He has a nice new dental office on El Rose which we are all proud of. The neighbors just had to fight it, lose, appeal and lose again. Why? Because the $650,000 was not coming out of their pocket. I would like to know more about Alicia myself. I prefer to support someone who has lived in town longer than 7 years, you know, somehow who actually knows the town and the history.
LongTimeLocal May 13, 2012 at 07:19 AM
So, my idea would be that each candidate speak to their top 5 achievable goals, complete with realities and specifics. Saying I advocated for better planning and sustainable development has no more specifics than me saying I'm advocating for it. How would I do it, specifically, would carry more weight and mean more to people reading about the candidates. In other words, lets hear the actual, realistic, ideas for all, not just political fluff that has no real substance. Same applied to all IMHO, so if homework has been done, it should be a service to us all to know the specifics. Someone, in someone else's opinion being a nice person is reason enough? But that's not a reason to vote unless we're talking prom queen (or king). Personally the popular kids rather than the thoughtful ones would be a disaster for the city, so that's why I suggest top 5 goals with specifics. Same for all. Seem fair?
Petaluma Seer May 14, 2012 at 03:52 AM
I have watched Alicia Herries on the Planning Commission. She has been interested and open to the public input, then approaches the Commissions tasks in a athoughtfull, methodical way and appearsfair minded. Just imagine, someone who actually listens before she votes. Unlike Healey or Kearny who come with their votes already in stone before the people comment, and ellude to deals aready made behind closed doors with developers, prior to the meetings. Ms. Herries would be a breath of fresh air on the Council.
LongTimeLocal May 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM
A genuine question - please tell more but be specific. What was the result of this thoughtful approach and listening? Right row she gets the rap of being a naysaying leftie towing the party line. I have no idea if that is true or not and I genuinely don't know. I do agree with you that many of the votes, and you didn't mention the other end of the political spectrum oddly enough, are pre-destined by unwavering political views.
LongTimeLocal May 15, 2012 at 12:34 AM
And, by the way, so have I. For someone who says she's done her homework, looks to me like a barely passing grade, but consistent with her appointers politics, which suits the appointment of someone so recent to town. So, someone, educate me with some factual information please. What does she want to achieve, not vote as directed by David, Teresa, and Tiffy.
Craig Marston May 15, 2012 at 07:24 PM
How the dentist was treated by the city represents what is really wrong with Petaluma. A person wants to improve his service to the community, so he finds a property that historically allows his business to operate, and is zoned for expansion. All the city rules say his plan is acceptable. Then during the process his plan gets derailed because the council allows anyone with any complaint to stop most development. Sure the neighbors will have concerns and they should be met within reason. To always think that ALL DEVELOPMENT is bad, really hurts a community.
concerned citizen July 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I think she will be horrible for the city!

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