I am running for Mayor because I think our current leadership is too focused on developing Poway Road and not focused enough on maintaining and improving our parks, fields, and open spaces.
What am I talking about?
Well, I am talking about the fact that the city council is encouraging the construction of 1148 condos or apartments on Poway Road. They are encouraging this by reducing parking requirements, raising building heights, and increasing the allowable density in this part of the city via the the Poway Road Specific Plan (PRSP). Additionally, the city has given one developer exclusive negotiation rights to city owned land near Poway Community Park.
Why would the city council unleash this level of development in Poway? Because they have run our great city into a fiscal crisis and now they want the expected tax revenue from this development to bail them out.
Preventing this bail out from fundamentally altering our city is one reason I am running for Mayor.
The fiscal crisis I am referring to is the exploding pension costs that Poway faces over the next two decades. According to city documents, the city’s general unfunded pension liability is more than $31 million and the city’s safety pension unfunded liability is $15 million. These numbers are huge when you consider the yearly budget for the city is only $42 million.
The city council knew this crisis was coming, but continued to keep staffing levels high and pay increases generous. For example, according to transparentcalifornia.com, our city manger’s pay increased from $200,000 in 2016 ($322,000 with benefits) to $239,743 in 2017 ($379,129 with benefits). While I don’t want to pick on anyone, these types of pay increases, combined with high staffing level, were simply reckless for a city facing a huge pension crisis.
Now they want all us to pay for this recklessness by allowing overdevelopment along Poway Road.
I am committed to righting our city’s fiscal ship while also protecting our city’s character and making money available for the badly needed improvements our city requires. These improvements including upgrades to our aging parks and fields as well as protecting our open spaces. I plan to do this through stronger fiscal oversight and giving higher priority to the things that make Poway special.
I have little confidence that the folks that got us into this mess will be able to do the same.
If you care about Poway, and don’t want to see it fundamentally changed, I urge you to learn more about me and my campaign at http://www.edmonston2018.com. If we fail to do something now, I think Poway will be changed irreversibly in four years given the expected pace of development that would take place under this current city council.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have about the city of Poway. I hope I can convince you to support me in the upcoming election this November.