Council Candidates Answer Questions – James Ward

James Ward
1. What specific issue persuaded you to run for City Council this year?
We need more Transparency and Accountability.
2. What are the three most important issues facing Dixon.
Attracting and keeping Businesses
Economically spending
Infrastructure
3. How you would do long term planning for Dixon.
Sit down with our Planning Committee and citizens within our community. I’m not privy to our Strategic plan.
4. Briefly describe five of your important accomplishments for the Dixon community – in city government or in the private sector.
Never been in city politics, however have been a Tax paying concerned Citizen For the past 18 years. Worked 28 years for the Citizens of California in Safety, Services. Worked 6 years in the U.S. Army serving my country prior to that.
5. Would you support the City of Dixon recognizing an LGBT Pride Month, Week or Day and/or a Straight Pride Month?
I support what we have on the Calendar as far as celebrations/holidays.
I do not have a problem of recognizing other cultures or sexualities!
6. During this last council term, sewer rates and waste water treatment were major issues:
a. Did you support the almost triple hike in the sewer rates?
It’s never popular to raise rates or taxes. More research is needed.
b. Did you support the citizens’ petition to put the rate increase on the ballot?
If a petition was circulated, knowing we can’t kick the can down the road, I would support it with giving the citizens the complete Info of the Pro’s/Con’s.
c. Did you vote for or support spending over $200,000 in legal fees to prevent putting the sewer rate increase on the ballot.
No.
d. Did you research and propose any alternatives to the waste water treatment system?
No.
7. The Pardi Market site has been an eyesore for 25 years – four citizens’ advisory committee have proposed virtually the same concept over those years – a well landscaped parking lot with some pedestrian amenities.
a. What do you think should be done with the site?
Current City council already approved $1.1 Million Dollar Parking Lot/Park
Could be as high as $3. Million Dollars. Not economically sound!
b. Did you support spending about $150,000 for consultants who came back with the same plan the citizens’ committees did?
Wasn’t on the city council.
c. Do you support spending up to $3 million to implement that plan?
No.
d. Do you support any alternative to the plan itself and for financing?
Pave the lot for parking and Landscaping. Use the money to attract other businesses to the downtown area.
8. Expenditures for legal fees has increased from a high of $400,000 for the previous City Attorney to nearly $1 million last fiscal year and a budgeted $1 million for this fiscal year.
a. Did you support that increase? NO – Transparency/Accountability!
b. What did or would you do to reduce it?
Stop having all things go through the City Attorney!
City Clerk is very capable of doing her job and efficiently!
c. What do you believe caused the increase?
Not privy to the economics of it?
But should be more Transparent!
9. The town’s General Plan is being updated. Zoning needs to be updated. What are your suggestions?
Need to have access to the General Plan and Zoning?
10. What are your thoughts related to a jobs/housing balance in Dixon?
Our growth will continue. We must think Live, Work, Eat and Shop in Dixon! We must work with our Local County and State governments for Traffic and Infrastructure.
11. Should the Northeast Quadrant be rezoned from industrial/commercial?
Possibility? Lots to consider.
12. Should city parks and recreation department provide only services that most residents use and not offered by the private sector?
No
13. Are adequate public transit options available? Do you have suggestions?
There are alternatives like “Lyft” and/or Uber.
I have informed and provided services to Citizens of Dixon.
14. For years requests have been repeatedly made for accounting of the Parkway Blvd overpass funds. The response has been the city does not do project accounting. What have or will you do to get the city’s accounting up to date and ensure the public can get such details of city finances?
Transparency/Accountability is exactly what I’ve been saying while running.
15. “Bullying” and a business friendly environment have been recent concerns for Dixon. A concerted effort has recently been made to harass Dixon businesses to pressure them not to advertise in Dixon’s Independent Voice – with the explicitly stated goal to put the IV out of business. What is your opinion of such tactics, and what have you specifically done regarding them?
I believe in freedom of speech which also includes freedom of the press. Every legal business has a right to exist without political, economical or Pressure from outside sources. However, Editors must be always held accountable for their rhetoric.

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