Founder and CEO of Eleven Dimensions Media, a media technology company and former vice president of business development of BIAS, a Petaluma audio software company. Member of Technology Advisory Committee since 2010.
Why I’m Running:
“I’m at the point in my life where I want to give back to the community. I have a real stake in the community, with two kids in elementary school. I bring a unique skill set from nearly two decades of international experience in business development in the technology sector and bring a more international perspective having lived in Holland for two years.”
Top Three Issues:
- Drawing more businesses to Petaluma, especially high-tech companies, which are clean and green. Also focusing on other sectors identified in the Economic Development Plan, such as health care and food and beverage processing.
- Retaining the historic feel of our town
- Enhancing our access to the river
On New Development:
“There are certain types of developments that can undermine the very attractive force of our town: the clean air, the parks, the historic downtown. These are things that aren’t incompatible with business, in fact, they foster it...My tendency is to advocate the reuse of existing structures as best as we can and promote a proper mix of retail that doesn’t undermine what we have.
“We need to find ways to draw businesses here, either by offering them goal-based tax incentives (reducing taxes if they commit to hiring a certain number of people) or if they grow by a certain amount...But really there are already a ton of incentives and we just need to market them better. Sometimes the message about Petaluma is tainted and we need to take a positive approach to attract the right kind of business and let people know that we are open for business.”
On Being More Business-Friendly:
“We need to be competitive with other cities. We’ve already made efforts to lower our impact fees and implemented streamlined permit processes. Now we have to let people know about them...But I also have lots of ideas like developing an smartphone app people could use to find which local stores carry what they are looking for.”
On Raising Revenues:
“If we are trying to prioritize revenues for the city, while retail is an important component, high-paying jobs is even more important. So it’s not that I oppose big box stores, but they are typically offering very low wages that don’t allow people to live in this area, which means there is more commuting...
I think the model for retail is changing and I don’t know if the larger format stores are working for everybody anymore...People are shopping differently (including online) and I think the days of the huge inventory are over...so as we develop these retail spaces, we need to make sure they are consistent with modern trends.”
“You need to have a long-term, mid-term and immediate trajectories to bringing money in besides raising taxes...I think we will need to make more cuts moving forward and I’m not sure every stone has been turned over. I want to see if there are ways we can be more fiscally responsible, while at the same time developing a stronger marketing platform to bring more business. If your efforts start now, the impact can be felt as soon as in a couple of months.”
On Smart Growth:
“I want to make sure that as we grow, we do it sensibly and responsibly. I want to make sure the things that make Petaluma different are retained because that’s key to us being a tourist destination.”