Here’s a quick look at some of the issues, large and small, affecting the City of Lakeport.
Protecting the public health, safety and welfare is one of the core functions of local government. I’m very proud that the City of Lakeport has taking meaningful steps to enforce state and local public health orders when education alone is insufficient. Our Covid-19 response will stretch well into 2021, despite claims it would “just go away.” As your elected City Council member, I will seek ways to support Lakeport businesses and residents without sacrificing public safety.
A series of disastrous wildfires has decimated more than half the land mass of Lake County in recent years, and the 2018 Ranch Fire burned uncomfortably close to the City of Lakeport. Unfortunately, climate change continues to spawn a new breed of megafire throughout the state. That increasingly severe fire risk makes it unacceptable to allow fireworks to be sold within the city limits, even though it was perfectly acceptable in years past. I’ll work with my fellow City Council members to place a fireworks ordinance on the 2022 ballot featuring:
- A two-year sunset clause allowing community groups to continue sales in 2022 and 2023.
- Establishment of year-round concession franchises at city-owned parks and properties for nonprofit and not-for-profit organizations, overseen by the Parks and Recreation Commission.
The main goal is to be consistent with fireworks bans in surrounding counties and communities, something our fire-weary neighbors and firefighters have long supported. To that end, I’ll work hard to repeal and replace Measure C with a new plan to reduce Lakeport’s extreme fire risks.
South Main Street
After years of political gridlock, the City of Lakeport is moving ahead with its application to annex a portion of South Main Street. This is a revenue-neutral process, overseen by the Lake County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). (Learn more here.) In December 2019, the City Council agreed to participate in a good-faith process aimed at reaching a new tax-sharing agreement. Extending water and other city services to industrial areas within the city’s sphere of influence makes sense, and it’s important to give property owners all the information they need.
Streets, sidewalks and underground pipes are costly to install and maintain. They also drive a lot of complaints to cities, counties and special districts. As a planning commissioner since 2017, I’ve had my fair share of concerns (and complaints) about the city’s aging infrastructure, but I’ve also learned a lot about the financial constraints facing homeowners, businesses and the city itself.
In 2016, I was a strong supporter of Measure Z, the successful ballot measure to increase funding for street improvements and repair. As your City Council member, I’ll support funding for capital construction costs and ongoing maintenance of our city’s vital infrastructure, listening closely to the recommendations of the Measure Z Advisory Committee.
Safe Access to Medicinal Cannabis
In 2016-17, I gave frequent input on the city’s draft ordinances addressing cannabis cultivation on residential properties for personal use and commercial cannabis activities. Both of those ordinances have been working well, but there still are no legal cannabis retailers in the City of Lakeport. This creates a hardship on medical cannabis patients, and other state-legal adult users, who must drive out of town to Clearlake, Hopland or Ukiah to gain safe access to cannabis dispensaries.
I’m committed to finishing the job we started four years ago by bringing state-licensed cannabis retail to Lakeport. We can’t afford to bleed jobs and sales tax revenue to nearby cities and unincorporated Lake County. Providing Lakeport’s residents and visitors with safe and convenient access to cannabis dispensaries and delivery services is good for people and good for business.