In this Weekly Dump, we cover an update on the Soberness fire, frustration with the status quo, the nasty riverwalk, West Cliff water rescues, One and Done Micah, Church Street Fair, Camouflage sold, Y&T, Coastal Commission appeal, “ernie and bert”, Where’s the public safety candidate?, City Council watch, DeCinzotized, Local food porn, weekly shoutouts, is that enough?

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Soberanes Fire Caused By Illegal Unattended Campfire


fire

Massive Soberanes Fire as seen from Space. Monterey Peninsula and Pacific Grove just to the North.

Authorities now believe that the massive Soberanes wild fire was caused by an unattended campfire. Just last week I discussed the tremendous fire hazards presented by non-mobile and abandoned RVs. And I previously covered a recent wild fire that burned 2 acres in Wilder Ranch in the middle of the night that was caused by a transient camp fire.

It could happen here if we aren’t careful and proactive about reducing fire hazards posed by transients parked in the middle of the redwoods and camped in our open spaces illegally. Encouraging people to live in broken down RVs, or live in the open spaces around Santa Cruz does nothing to solve homelessness. It doesn’t improve anyone’s life. It just encourages a free for all atmosphere of entitlement and disillusion.

Why the Status Quo is so Frustrating and Difficult to Change


bernieWatching the recent Democratic convention reinforced to me how difficult it is to beat back the status quo. That’s what Bernie Sanders tried to do. That’s what Donald Trump is trying to do (and will most likely fail in spectacular fashion). It’s what frustrates so many people, yet it’s so difficult to actually change. Change is scary for many people. They represent the status quo.

I see similar parallels locally to the frustration with the status quo of national politics. I see a divided Santa Cruz, but instead of Democrats and Republicans we have “Progressives” and “Moderates”. Like Voldemort’s name, anything more conservative than “moderate” doesn’t get mentioned. I see the ideological divide between the 2 groups. One side (Progressives) think we should have unlimited services for the homeless, dirt cheap housing for anyone that wants it, and while were at it, let’s open a safe injection site for junkies downtown somewhere. On the other side, you have public safety advocates who are mostly just struggling average citizens dealing with a daily shit show in their lives and in their yards and are fed up with a ridiculous level of tolerance. And there’s not much middle ground. There are a couple of success stories but they are few and far between.

lionkingWhether it’s the DNC calling the shots, or a well known family with a bookshop involved in local politics for over 25 years calling the shots on a local level, there is going to be behind the scenes wheeling and dealing going on that limits the public’s choices. It’s just part of politics, a part that isn’t going away. There will always be “power brokers”, and there will always be candidates willing to line up and be their puppet. Endorsements are gold in the political game. It’s not only who you know, it’s who is willing to say they know you. Endorsements bring donors. Donors bring donations. “Quid Pro Quo” endorsements. You back me and I’ll back you down the road. And for the “outliers”, those not willing to be someone else’s puppet, they are the one’s that face an uphill battle for support. They won’t have all the good endorsements. They won’t have lots of money from donors to spend on big flashy signs and ads. But they’ll probably work harder than anyone else. I’m not a big fan of the status quo. Or status quo candidates as a rule. When we have city leaders that make public safety their top priority, I’ll be happy with the status quo. Until then, I’ll look at them with a side eye and continue to question the status quo locally (and what keeps it status quo).

City of Santa Cruz Leaves the Really Nasty Cleanups to the Volunteers


stainIn yet another instance of seemingly willful ignorance by the city of Santa Cruz and it’s “leaders”, it’s come to our attention that the city has been notified multiple times of vagrants and bums using the Riverwalk retaining wall as a personal toilet and continues to ignore the issue (Note: Hugh has just enlightened me to the expression “bum spray” ). The Levelees, a great group of volunteers who donate their time regularly to clean up along the levee and the Riverwalk, have notified the city council multiple times recently about this disgusting issue. It’s not only fallen on deaf ears, it seems to be willfully ignored. How hard would it be to send an employee from Public Works out, or Parks & Recreation out, to ACTUALLY DO THEIR JOB HERE? It’s incredible the willful disregard the city has for cleaning up garbage, feces, needles, and other HAZMAT left in public open spaces. The city deflects the issue, it ignores the issue, and the most pathetic part is they leave it up to volunteers to actually deal with the issue and resolve it (someone other than the city finally cleans the mierda up). This is just a huge FAIL. The city manager is ultimately responsible for this. The department heads report to him. Blame Martin Bernal for all the shit the city isn’t cleaning up. He obviously has no idea what’s going on in the departments he’s being paid over $200K a year to “manage” as the “city manager”. How does he manage to keep his job? Does the city council really think he’s doing a good job here? Do they approve of this?

Hugh chimes in:
“Ladies and gentlemen, have you ever been walking down the street in Santa Cruz and have seen what looks like diarrhea sprayed on the lower portion of a wall? It looks like diarrhea because it is. I have recently found out that this is called “bum spray”. That there is an actual competition to see who can get it the highest on the wall. These lovely displays can be seen on the sides of buildings all along Pacific Avenue and Front Street. Malabar, New Leaf, I Love Sushi and Zoccollis just to name a few. Just what you want to see around mealtime. Invite your friends! On what planet does this make sense? What civilized human being would think this was entertainment? We need public bathrooms for sure. But are the people that are participating in this disgusting behavior just going to carry on? Is a toilet really the answer for someone like this? This isn’t about not having a place to go. This is about wanting to upset people. This is about abuse. This is a big fuck you to whoever sees it. I personally don’t want to help anyone like that. I wonder what happens if a police officer catches somebody in a bum spray competition? I do know this, our cops don’t make nearly enough money.”

Three People Rescued After Falling Into the Ocean Off West Cliff Drive


Three people from Los Banos had to be water rescued on Tuesday off of West Cliff Drive near Columbia Street. The first was standing on some rocks and was swept into the ocean by a wave. The 2nd and 3rd person went into the water as they attempted to rescue the first and needed to be rescued themselves. Witnesses described seeing all 3 being battered by the waves into the rocks, with at least one person losing consciousness. One person was taken to the hospital and another was flown to a trauma center. Both are expected to recover. The 3rd refused treatment at the scene. This is just a reminder to everyone that the cliffs along West CLIFF (Hello!) Drive are very unstable, and the drops are dangerous and sometimes lethal. It’s happened a few times this year, with someone falling into the toilet bowl earlier this year and needing a water rescue. These reckless actions also jeopardize the rescuers, who put their lives at risk. If the sign says stay back, it’s there for a reason. The Pacific Ocean is a very unforgiving place to make a dumb mistake.

Welcome to the “Toilet Bowl”. Stupid and lucky is all I can say. You slip you die.

One and Done Completes His “Tour of Duty” With Questionable Honor


Micah Posner announced he’s not running for the city council again. What a relief. He recently sent out an email letting people know about this. I almost spit out my morning coffee when I read this line:

“…I have worked very hard these last few years under very trying circumstances. I completed my tour of duty. With honor.”

His “tour if duty”? What a yutz. He’s been the Gomer Pyle of the City Council for the last 4 years.

pileWhy on earth would anyone want this guy for another 4 years? He violated the public trust the entire time he was a city council member by lying about his illegal ADU and just shrugged it off. He was a slumlord. He advocates for the poor and then he illegally rents them a shed without a bathroom. Never mind the hypocrisy of his constant lectures about the lack of affordable housing, he took advantage of his position in the city government and voted on policies that he should have recused himself from. Thank God he’s not running again. If he could get any actual real support to run again I’m sure he would. I’ve been told by multiple people that he had nobody with any “name value” willing to endorse him. I won’t miss the constant lectures and pontificating on the public’s dime at city council meetings. 4 years is more than enough Micah Posner.

The local Weekly did a feature on Micah this week. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

During meetings, his often long-winded comments about seemingly minute issues have at times been met with heavy sighs, or even eye rolls, from his colleagues

Church Street Fair This Weekend!


The 25th annual Church Street Fair takes place August 6th and August 7th along Church street in downtown Santa Cruz. The event is free. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Church Street Fair offers music, dance, art, food, and wine.  Select from a variety of local food purveyors, vintners and brewers, and explore the work of dozens of regional artists and craftspeople. Held in front of the Civic Auditorium in downtown Santa Cruz, the Church Street Fair is the quintessential summertime festival. Free activities for children and their families include the Creativity Tent for Kids and the Cabrillo Festival’s Free Family Concert with Tour of the Orchestra. More info here!

Camouflage Sold to Good Vibrations


w60wuscunbd9ln4eI heard recently that Ken Vinson has sold Camouflage to Good Vibrations, who I’m guessing will keep the store on Pacific Avenue open under a new name. Camouflage has been a retail fixture in downtown Santa Cruz for 36 years. Ken and his late wife Shannon Collins owned and operated Camouflage since 2006. “When Ken reached out to us, it seemed like a natural fit and we are happy to keep Camouflage thriving in such a wonderful community for years to come. While part of the Good Vibrations family, Camouflage will continue to run independently and retain its unique and playful spirit. Longtime staff are still at the helm to help provide a fun and sexy place along Pacific Ave. in downtown Santa Cruz, Ca.” stated Good Vibrations Executive Vice President Jackie Rednour-Bruckman. We wish the best of luck to Ken in the future. I know he recently spent some time touring Ireland and Europe with 3 lady companions so he seems to be doing ok!

Free Concert With Y & T at the Boardwalk!


Many of the biggest acts of the ’80s, including Metallica and Mötley Crüe became popular opening for Y&T. With a discography of 18 albums and three greatest hits collections, Y&T has sold over four million albums since their 1974 inception. The band received extensive airplay with hits such as “Forever,” “Rescue Me,” “Mean Streak,” and “Summertime Girls.” After five Top 100 albums and two Bammie Awards, Y&T’s hits are still played on VH1 Classic and classic rock radio stations everywhere. Shows at 6:30 and 8:30 as usual.

Coastal Commission to Hear Appeal of RV Ordinance


norseHuman barnacle Robert Norse is back to his usual drama and need for attention. I kind of thought he’d take some time off after his recent health issues. Not a chance. Instead, he’s back to being his usual, curmudgeon, pain in the ass self.  No heart surgery is going to keep Robert from marching around in a dirty bathrobe with a nasty old teddy bear hanging from his waist. He’s got peoples’ time he needs to waste! He’s brought forth an appeal of the city’s new ordinance prohibiting overnight RV parking in the city of Santa Cruz without a permit. Apparently anyone can appeal this if they’re willing to put up the fee to do so. The city’s version was already watered to placate the Coastal Commission’s concerns since we can’t count on the city attorney to actually fight for this. Robert’s turned it again into a homelessness issue. The homeless deserve better than this guy and his constant narcissistic need for attention. This is just another pointless and fruitless attempt by a marginalized old man looking for relevance.

Taking it to the Street!


vanSo sang local hometown favorites the Doobie Brothers. Two of Pacific Avenue’s favorite muppets have decided they’ve seemingly had enough cosplay and fighting with “the man” (the city of Santa Cruz). These two (I’ll just call them “Ernie” and “Bert”) and their plywood A frame display have been a regular staple along Pacific Avenue. You can see lead Ranger Jeremy Mathews hauling off their A frame when they refused to cooperate and asked to be arrested from last week’s Dump. It’s not enough to pay no rent, they insist they shouldn’t have to move along to a new spot (like everyone else) after a certain time period. Give some of these street artists an inch and they want a mile.

Well after numerous tickets, and numerous fines from the court, and mostly apathy from the local activist crowd (there’s just too much going on I guess for them to care about Ernie and Bert), they’ve moved off the sidewalk completely. Now they have a big yellow step van they park in front of the same spot they would normally park their plywood A frame at. Only now they have to pump quarters in the meter to stay there.

Seems like Ernie and Bert learned a tough, expensive lesson about sidewalk etiquette and local apathy. I wonder who bought them that van? Send me your tips or guesses!

We Have a Public Safety Candidate and his Name is….


Wait. We don’t have a Public Safety candidate?

None of the candidates have declared public safety to be any kind of priority. Most of them don’t even mention it. It’s an an after thought to them. I’ve heard lots of talk about homeless issues, affordable housing issues, lots and lots of broken record social service talking points from just about every candidate so far. Drew Glover never mentions “public safety” anywhere on the home page of his campaign website. He mentions “A CLIMATE OF COMPASSION”, “SUSTAINABILITY, HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION”, and “INCLUSIVE REPRESENTATION IN CITY POLITICS” as his “PLATFORM” (in ALL CAPS no less). No mention of “PUBLIC SAFETY”, or even “public safety”. J.M. Brown wants to support “a healthy environment and vibrant arts scene”.  “Vibrant” (perhaps the most tired cliche used in Santa Cruz). But still missing those 2 important words (“public safety”). Nowhere to be found on J.M. Brown’s page. Martine Watkins? I can’t find the words “public safety” anywhere on her website. Cynthia Mathews gives us lots of topics: “economic vitality and environmental protection; a vibrant (not again!) cultural life and essential infrastructure; safety for our neighborhoods and business districts, and safety net services for those in need; a promising community for our young people; jobs and housing for our workforce”. I noticed “safety” comes in 5th in terms of priority (after business taxes, environment, the arts, infrastructure, and oh yeah, “safety”). I could keep going but it’s kind of depressing the lack of focus by ALL of these candidates on the most essential role the local government can play in our lives. A “vibrant” arts scene is way more important in Santa Cruz. Who needs “public safety” anyways? Apparently it’s just lip service to the candidates, which doesn’t surprise me as it’s mostly lip service to the city council. We have a “vibrant” nuisance crime problem though!

City Council Election Watch


We’re into August now and the race is heating up. Soon the candidates running for the city council will be seen walking the hoods, knocking on doors wanting to chat. I’m sure they are all very nice folks. Chat them up! Ask them why public safety isn’t their top priority! Because really, what’s more important than being safe? Nothing. I think being alive and healthy tops my personal wish list.

You’ll start seeing their signs popping up everywhere all over town. You’ll see them at community forums debating local topics. I’ll share what I know. It’s mostly opinion. I’m also going to rate them on what I’m calling my “Progress-o-meter”. 1 being a Trump Republican. 10 being Don Lane. If I deem a candidate worthy, I might throw an early “official endorsement” (think of it like the golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent). And I’ll add casual observations overall every now and then.

UPCOMING CANDIDATES FORUMS:

  • August 11: Association of Faith Communities, 900 High St.
  • August 27: Democratic Women’s Club Candidate Forum, 155 Center St.
  • August 29: Candidate Forum, 301 Center St.
  • September 22: Downtown Association Candidate Forum, 307 Church St.

Declared Candidates:

  • J.M. Brown
  • Sandy Brown
  • Jim Davis
  • Dru Glover
  • Nate Kennedy
  • Cynthia Mathews
  • Steve Pleich
  • Steve Schnaar
  • Robert Singleton
  • Martine Watkins

Best Candidate Websites So Far*:

  1. Dru Glover – I’m obviously a fan of the Zerif Lite. Well done. This sets the bar.
  2. J.M. Brown – Clean design, simple and effective
  3. Martine Watkins – Subpages get lost in the collapsed menu
  4. Steve Schnaar – Simple but effective. Meh.
  5. Cynthia Mathews – Simple but effective. More meh.
  6. Robert Singleton – Simple but unfinished. More meh.
  7. Steve Pleich – Simple but not too effective. Mess.

*There’s no science to this. It’s just my humble opinion. Sandy Brown, Jim Davis, Nate Kennedy do not currently have a campaign website online.

J.M. Brown:
Brown is a former reporter for the Sentinel. He works in communications and brand management with a successful local firm, and has an impressive list of endorsements. He is currently serving as a City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Commission member and a member of the Santa Cruz County Housing Advisory Commission. I wouldn’t go so far as to proclaim him a “moderate” candidate, but he’s moderate compared to most of the others.

Do I know them personally? No
Progressometer Rating: 7

Sandy Brown:
Sandy Brown is an assistant professor at the University of San Francisco and University of the Pacific. She previously worked for the local Community Action Board, and was previously a sustainable agriculture consultant with Swanton Berry Farms. She has taken part in the city’s Living Wage Advisory Committee, the Citizens’ Police Advisory Board and Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission. She also previously worked on the campaigns of former city council members Tim Fitzmaurice and Mardi Wormhoudt. She’s progressive. Real progressive.

Do I know them personally? No
Progressometer Rating: 9

Jim Davis:
I still have no idea really who he is or what he stands for. No website. I’m wondering if he even makes it to the first forum. If he does, I should learn more then.

Do I know them personally? No
Progressometer Rating: 6 (tentative)

Dru Glover:
Founder of “Project Pollinate”, a community activism group that likes to throw parties 4 times a year in San Lorenzo Park. Not sure if he works or what his paying job is. Seems to be popular with the younger “progressive” crowd (UCSC students in particular). Has never held public office before. Seems like a smart guy. I still can’t really find out much about his past. And I’m told he lives with everyone’s favorite local anarchist (who doesn’t want to be called an anarchist anymore). WARNING: ENDORSED BY MICAH POSNER

Do I know them personally? No
Progressometer Rating: 8

Nate Kennedy:
Hard to take Nate seriously. No website. I hope he does make the first forum at least. I doubt he has any money or support. I think he’s mostly running so that his ideas get heard. In reality, he has little to no chance of winning a seat. But he brings color and flair to the summer debates!

Do I know them personally? No
Progressometer Rating: 9

Cynthia Mathews:
Current mayor. Long time city council member. Long time property owner and manager. Has been involved in Santa Cruz politics for at least 20 years. Has been Mayor previously. She has had a history of leaning progressive but has become more moderate in recent years. I can’t really say we’re friends but I know her and I have a lot of respect for her. She always seems to have the best interests of the entire community in mind, not just a favored group.

Do I know them personally? Yes
Progressometer Rating: 6

Steve Pleich:
I’ve known Steve for a few years. Not really well but we know each other. I actually like Steve personally, but I have my issues with him on the city council. He seems to try every 4 years and always comes up well short, so I don’t really expect this time to be much different. He loves attention. He loves the limelight. He loves to hear himself talk. He has run twice before, largely on repealing the sleeping ban and other homeless issues. WARNING: ENDORSED BY MICAH POSNER

Do I know them personally? Yes
Progressometer Rating: 9.9

Steve Schnaar:
Founder and director of the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree project, and a volunteer mechanic for the Bike Church. Long time social activist. Has had previous issues with SCPD and the city council. Married to Stacy Falls, longtime progressive advocate for homeless issues and co-founder with Brent Adams of the sanctuary camp project. WARNING: ENDORSED BY MICAH POSNER

Do I know them personally? No
Progressometer Rating: 9

Robert Singleton:
Robert Singleton is a co-founder of Civinomics. He serves as a policy analyst for the Santa Cruz County Business Council, and was recently appointed to the Santa Cruz Downtown Commission. I’ve met him a couple times and he’s a nice enough guy. He’s smart, ambitious, and idealistic. He organized a survey on local homelessness that contradicted the “county sanctioned” ASR survey and showed better data collection methods that resulted in better, validated data. So he’s not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects and try to identify better solutions. He seems both progressive and pragmatic.

Do I know them personally? YES! 
Progressometer Rating: 6

Martine Watkins:
A mother of two, Watkins works as the senior community organizer in the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. I know Hugh thinks highly of Watkins, and I think highly of Hugh’s opinion. She also has a strong, mixed bag list of endorsements from local politicians and leaders. I think she leans progressive but not when it gets in the way of public safety.

Do I know them personally? No. But Hugh does!
Progressometer Rating: 7

 

DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo


cops

Weekly Shoutouts!


Weekly shoutout to my favorite former mayor Lynn Robinson, who’s doing great work in the community now with Valley Churches United Missions!

Local Food Porn


mobo

Mobo Sushi, 105 S River St, Santa Cruz

City Council Returns From July Vacation


After taking the month of July off, the Santa Cruz City Council is back in action on August 9th. Hopefully Hugh Jorgan, our beat reporter for all things City Council meetings, will be back in action as well sharing his insight and snark. – BD

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Categories: The Weekly Dump

12 Comments

The Weekly Dump 8.5.16

  1. Cynthia Mathews seems like the best bet for public safety to me. You wrote:

    Cynthia Mathews gives us lots of topics: “economic vitality and environmental protection; a vibrant (not again!) cultural life and essential infrastructure; safety for our neighborhoods and business districts, and safety net services for those in need…”

    I humbly suggest that “Economic vitality and environmental protection” may be code words for, “Against bum spray, against illegal campsites burning down our forrests, and against RV dumping sewage on our streets, and/or bursting into flame, and/or stealing and dealing while parked directly in front of our homes.”

    You may say I’m crazy, but from a candidate trying to get votes in Santa Cruz I wouldn’t expect stronger statements than “There are worse things than public safety.” or, possibly, “I won’t let our cops kill people for no reason like some other cities do!” Hah! I am the first bold voter to endorse a candidate. (Hint: Think process of elimination). My endorsement could be likened to the kiss of death.

    1. I agree that Mathews is most likely the best public safety candidate (along with Singleton). But as neither have made it a focus, I’m still not impressed with either one as it relates to this subject. I’m still waiting for them to impress me here.

  2. Who self-proclaims that they have served with honor? Micah Posner does. His narcissism is only a few decibels quieter than Trump’s. Your 1 term as a bleeding heart earns you no purple heart Micah. Just slink away now and go elsewhere to accomplish nothing.

    1. We’ll probably be seeing more of him on his pedicab next year. It’s pretty funny how a guy who was so afraid of a big bad Bearcat is now getting all Semper Fi on us on his way out the door.

    2. L. Walker: My guess is that to save time, and in the event of some unfortunate future accident he is writing his memoirs and his communiques to his fans and whoever else is listening so that each document will serve both purposes. That way if he, say, gets hit by a train, we simply send the entire collection to the publisher and wah lah! Instant autobiography! In that light you can see how it just make sense to describe his recent exploits through the eyes of future readers who will expect phrases like “…and served with honor…” He is forced to take into account the fact that each passing day will surely find him more cherished than the day before. He can’t be expected to take the chance that he will be criticized in the future for not having said sufficiently numerous good things about himself! It could hurt sales. And who knows? He may rise two or three days later, and it would be better if he could count on royalty income.

  3. The levee bike path can a be a scary and disgusting place. Especially near the Kaiser arena and the Broadway bridge. It’s a shame. I just don’t understand why the city can’t or doesn’t do something to make it cleaner and safer. It’s a beautiful part of downtown and people treat it like it’s a toilet. And the city seems to have no problem with that.

  4. Let’s change that “Do I know them personally? No”. Also, in terms of public safety I have it listed as my number 3 issue behind housing and transportation (sorry these consistently poll as the most important issues to Santa Cruz voters, local businesses (I would know), and young professionals).

    1. The man has spoken! The change will be made. For what it’s worth, I do think you care about public safety. Do you care enough? I don’t think any of you care enough or it would be a bigger part of the overall discussion here, instead of just reading about outraged people on social media (and reporting a lot of it here). I realize you have to appeal to as many voters in the community as you can, that goes with winning an election. Personally, I had high hopes you’d be the “public safety” candidate (and get my first official “endorsement” here) but I just wasn’t seeing it as a priority for you or anyone yet (so it’s nothing personal) and you haven’t exactly made it an overarching theme of your campaign. It’s something that could differentiate you from every other candidate. Might even make you look less “status quo” (which seems to be a recurring theme right now in politics). Everyone wants more cheap housing, everyone wants better transportation, but how many want better public safety? How many want more in the budget for SCPD and less for social service programs which are a COUNTY responsibility and already have an army of non-profits supporting them (and who come looking for a city handout every year). I think you’re a smart guy and I think you have some great ideas. They just aren’t coming through amid a crowded group with similar “boilerplate” talking points on these issues. What I want to know is what would you do differently to break the cycle of this “status quo”, and the seeming inability to get things done in a timely fashion.

      And thanks for reading!

      1. All of that seems totally reasonable and I would be happy to talk with you more about specifics, shoot me an email at robert@singletonforsantacruz.com and we can talk more.

        What I do really appreciate about your assessment here is that you acknowledge my willingness to be pragmatic and data driven, which is definitely what I think differentiates me from many of the other candidates in the race. If I’m wrong, I’m happy to admit it, and I have no problem taking unpopular stances of I believe in them.

        1. Here is my unsolicited but useful advice, at least in my not-so-humble opinion.
          Singleton really needs to up his game. He needs to be walking precincts every day. Richelle Noroyan lost in her first bid because she didn’t hit the bricks. Get out lots of signs and develop a clear and concise message that distinguishes his candidacy. He needs more of a message that resonates with Santa Cruz’s normal, silent majority. Something like: Singleton – for Today and Tomorrow. The message would be that the old solutions aren’t working. Just throwing more money, more people and more services at problems has not succeeded. The old ways have created more homeless, more congested and failing roads, less and less affordable housing and a populace that grows ever more fearful from all the rising crime in our city. It’s time for a fresh face to plunge into the job of making Santa Cruz a leading city once again. One that takes care of its less fortunate with compassion coupled with accountability and common sense. One that streamlines, innovates and automates city government. One that makes sure that the money it spends results in measurable improvements and not in needless studies or wasteful and pointless efforts with unintended consequences. And a city that listens to and respects the needs of its residents more than the special interest groups on all sides of the spectrum.
          While affordable housing and the high cost of living in Santa Cruz might be the biggest concern of residents, it is foolish to think that emphasizing transportation will win more votes than taking a strong stand on public safety issues.
          So far as community public safety, Singleton should relate the personal costs to the victims of property crimes to making Santa Cruz a less affordable place to live. Shoplifting from stores raises prices. The cost of a broken car window, the loss of personal property from burglary and car theft hits everyone in their pocketbooks and causes ever increasing fear and anxiety. Singleton should talk about the real costs of crime to our community, when he talks about making Santa Cruz more affordable.
          If Singleton has ever gone to a Transportation and Public Works Commission meeting he would know that the only time anyone ever comes besides the woman who heads up Pedal Power is when there is something on the agenda directly impacting people on their own street. So unless he wants to promise repaved streets throughout the city or self driving electric cars to all residents then there is no way of separating himself from all the other candidates to gain any kind of wide voter advantage here. So for transportation he just needs to be pro bikes, pro better public transportation and pro smart road and highway improvements just like everyone else will say.
          Again, most importantly, Singleton needs to get out to all the neighborhoods every evening and weekend, knock on doors and pass along his message that it’s time for a change, keeping the status quo is failing. Santa Cruz is more expensive and less safe than it has ever been. It’s time for new ideas and new leadership for today and tomorrow. So it’s either do something like this or just resign ourselves to a city council that will always have some sort of Micah and Don Lane types lecturing us on how unenlightened we are.

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