It has been a privilege to serve the Carmel community for the past four years. As I write this, I can vividly recall the excitement of sitting on the dais for the first time back in late November of 2018, ready to get to work, but I can barely remember that last in-person council meeting back in early 2020 when we were wiping down the microphone and preparing to go into emergency shutdown. It would be two years before we gathered again in the chambers to make the decisions that guide our community.
The next two years were a blur – scaling down the size of the government to protect the fiscal health of the community, including two years of almost no capital projects, repeatedly discussing parklets, and (if I may say so) starting to come apart as a community.
In spite of the times, there are a few things worth remembering:
- The Carmel Climate Committee, which I co-chaired with council member Theis and which met almost exclusively remotely for more than two years, has produced a thorough report of the challenges that Carmel faces in the new climate era, and the changes that we can make as a community to do our part to slow the production of greenhouse gases.
- Carmel Neighbors, an organization that I founded with council member Reimers in April of 2020, provided help to many dozens of Carmel residents that needed assistance during the pandemic.
- And through it all, and in spite of our occasional differences, the Carmel city council managed to avoid the ill tempered squabbling that pervaded so many other local councils during that stressful period.
Here in 2022, the past months have seen a return of programs that serve the Carmel community. The city council, seeing projections of a good surplus from the recently ended fiscal year and healthy revenue projections for the current fiscal year, is moving forward with a number of projects that have been delayed for years:
- The much needed renovation of the police station;
- The reconstruction of Ocean Avenue between downtown and the beach (including some much needed bicycle and pedestrian safety measures);
- The mitigation of the old tank in Mission Trail Nature Preserve (finally!); and
- One of my favorite projects, the Design Traditions 1.5 effort, an update of the city’s zoning code and design guidelines that is sorely needed to protect the Carmel character of both the residential areas and the commercial center of town.
It is with all of this in mind that I begin my campaign for my re-election to the city council. There is much work to do as we move forward, and I would be honored to have your support in November.
With much thanks,