Editor’s note: One in a series.
Leading up to the Nov. 8 general election, the Appeal-Democrat will be running a series of candidate profiles that will allow each person running for a significant contested office in the Yuba-Sutter area the chance to either introduce themselves to the voting public or remind those who they are and where they stand.
The Appeal-Democrat sent five simple questions to candidates. Each candidate who is running has been given the opportunity to respond. Profiles will run in the Appeal in the order in which they are received.
The following are answers provided by Brendon Messina, who is running for the Yuba City City Council District 1 seat. Messina is facing off against Yuba City Mayor Dave Shaw.
Q: What is your vision for the future of Yuba City?
A: My vision for Yuba City is to capitalize on the existing vision of Yuba City. The current Yuba City vision encompasses the culture and dedication demonstrated by the employees of Yuba City. The current vision of Yuba City is, “As an organization of dynamic, innovative, creative and dedicated people. … We focus on continuously improving our ability to provide a variety of public services in a climate of increasing change.” After meeting with various department leaders, I had the opportunity to see the dedication, passion, and innovation demonstrated by these leaders. My vision for Yuba City is to grow and constantly improve as a city in all aspects. Pursuing this vision will consist of transparency, participation, and collaboration with our community as whole.
Q: How will you address the homelessness issue in Yuba City?
A: The homelessness issue in Yuba City has been an issue for a very long time and is a multifaceted issue. Staying within the confined rules of the Boise Statute and complex situations of private parking lots is an uphill battle. Addressing the homelessness issue is not a law-enforcement issue, mental health issues, or substance abuse issue alone but a community issue. To address the homelessness issue, I would first collaborate with established professionals in our community to create a stakeholder team that works together to uniformly address the homelessness issue. I would then develop systems for the community to provide input such as suggestions, concerns, and comments in a manner that is comfortable for all community members. I would work with professional agencies that are already working on the homelessness issue to develop approaches to assist and create emergency shelters to elevate the impacted amount of space being taken up at our current emergency shelters. I would also work within the limitations of my abilities to enforce ordinances and safety policies to take back public places that belong to the community. Parks being my top priority should consist of a family friendly environment that is safe for all the community and not a camp for vagrants. Lastly, I would work to establish pathways for homeless individuals that have jumped through the hoops necessary to obtain permanent housing to be a productive member of society. Solving homelessness will take transparent decision making that includes the community.
The last thing I would want is a last-minute decision to place the homeless in a parking lot that creates public disturbance and health concerns for business, community members, and the environment.
Q: What can the city do to spur more economic development?
A: The city can continue its work to increase infrastructure to the business district to start. Furthermore, the city can create engaging workshops to teach community members interested in starting a business the proper steps to do so. Creating policies that create accessibility to business development is also a way to increase economic development so that we do not lose business to surrounding communities.
Q: How will you address the lack of affordable housing and/or housing in general for Yuba City?
A: To address the lack of affordable housing I would work with community and city leaders to explore all options to address the issues. I would explore options such as state and federal grants to assist in the development of housing, and I would work with local nonprofit agencies to explore options to affordable housing through pre-existing funding streams and partnerships.
Q: Why should voters choose you for the city council?
A: Voters should choose me because I am a relatable community member. Being on city council does not provide me monetary gain, I am not looking for public fame, and I am not looking to make personal connections that benefit me individually. I am simply a passionate community member that wants nothing more than for my community to grow and to serve the residents of Yuba City.