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.