Our city is wonderfully diverse with an incredible location and so many advantages, but we continue to struggle. We lack strong leadership from all City Council members. That is why I am running for City Council.
Developing San Leandro's economy is my number one issue. Our city is struggling because our economy is stalled. Without a robust economy, we cannot support the services that our residents deserve and businesses require: safe streets, decent roads, thriving retail, and successful schools. Our city's economy is the single most important driver of what we all care about and are concerned about.
Fortunately, we have an opportunity before us to change the direction of San Leandro. LIT San Leandro, our new high speed fiber loop, thanks to local entrepreneur Patrick Kennedy. This gives us a fighting chance to dramatically change the course of our economy. I want to see a thriving San Leandro which benefits from the fiber loop, draws new businesses, enables great retail, and creates desperately needed jobs. I will actively pursue partnerships so that as these companies succeed, we all do.
Serving on the Redevelopment Oversight Board, I understand first-hand the impact our city faces with the end of the Redevelopment Agency. Our city must recommit to investing in our businesses by supporting revitalization, working closely with San Leandro businesses to help them grow with incentive programs, streamlining the permitting process, and aggressively marketing the advantages of San Leandro to attract new businesses.
But we can't ignore our budget problems either. Our city budget is balanced on the back of a temporary tax on the people of San Leandro. By taxing you with Measure Z, our city has increased revenue, but you don't see any of our services being restored because it is being absorbed by the ballooning pension liability, currently over 70 million dollars.
Unlike many surrounding cities like Hayward, Alameda and Oakland, the City of San Leandro pays 100% of both the employee AND the employer contributions to CalPers. This is simply unsustainable; we will face a $7 million dollar shortfall the first year that Measure Z expires. I understand the severity of the issue, that's why the Daily Review has strongly endorsed me for City Council <http://www.insidebayarea.com/daily-review/ci_21593528/oakland-tribune-editorial-mack-rose-almonte-crow-best>.
Insisting on fair, respectful negotiations, I will work with employee groups to address our structural budget problems and create a SUSTAINABLE budget that ensures our ability to pay the pensions they've earned and maintain the services our residents deserve.