In order to better get to know the candidates for San Leandro offices, I sent out a questionnaire with questions provided by San Leandro residents and relevant to San Leandro. These are Victor Aguilar’s answers.
1- Do you have a website, Facebook Smart Voter page with more information about you and your platform?
My Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/victoraguilarforsanleandrocitycouncil
2- What is your political philosophy?
My political philosophy is to protect our environment, provide quality public safety, support a strong positive relationship between the City, and schools, place San Leandro on a substantial foundation for fiscal responsibility, promote economic development, create jobs and housing opportunities, and transform San Leandro into a center for innovation.
3- How do you evaluate when to stick by your principles and when to compromise?
There’s a saying, “that’s not the point, it’s the principle”, I stand by principle. I do what’s right. I compromise when principle is questionable and not concrete.
4- How often have you attended City Council meetings in the last year and what, if any, issues have you spoken out about in such meetings?
I have attended many City council meeting. I’ve checked out the Rent Review meeting and met Mia Ousley. I have not spoken out at any City Council meetings.
5- The San Leandro City Council is no longer producing full minutes of its meetings, and instead produces an audio/video recording and a record of its votes (but not comments/discussions). Would you restore full minutes?
I am a firm believer that all meetings should be recorded. Just like a deposition, the City Council needs to be documents. I would restore full minutes.
6- Do you support a sunshine ordinance in San Leandro? Be specific as to terms.
I support a sunshine ordinance. I believe that the city needs to be informed as to the decisions that are being made by our city manager and officials.
7- Do you believe the City Council should censure Vice-Mayor Benny Lee for lobbying the Oakland City Council against renewing its $1Billion garbage contract with Waste Management? San Leandro collects $500K in taxes annually from WM’s transfer station.
Members of the city council need to remember what the principle is and when to compromise. I believe that the Vice-Mayor Benny Lee should be reprimanded.
8- What’s your position on measure HH?
I support Measure HH. I think the 30 year life is steep. This measure will help the aid public programs and revitalize San Leandro.
9- Do you support continuing or making permanent the business license fee holiday for new businesses? Why or why not?
In order to attract business in San Leandro I support the business license fee holiday for new business. This is attractive to bring business to our vibrant city. We need to make sure that we are attracting the right businesses for our community.
10- Do you support pension reform in San Leandro? Be specific.
I support pension reform. We as taxpayers should not have to pay.
11- What are your plans for increasing revenue and/or cutting costs in San Leandro? Be specific.
My plan to increase revenue is the bring in the Tech Campus and revitalize the Marina. As for cutting costs, we need to address the police armored vehicle. This is going to be expensive to maintain.
12- San Leandro is about to lose millions of dollars in taxes and development fees, due to Waste Management losing its garbage contract with the City of Oakland. What would you have done to prevent that situation from occurring and what will you do in the future to support San Leandro businesses?
I want to make the right choice for our community and support any local business. I would have made sure that the decision that we are making as a city is approved by our council before speaking on behalf of San Leandro. I fully support San Leandro businesses, especially Waste Management.
13- San Leandro has invested on creating a fiber loop and is trying to market itself to high tech manufacturing. What would you do to promote these efforts?
I support LIT San Leandro http://litsanleandro.com/ We need to attract a new generation of business. This is the age we live in and what better place that to promote San Leandro to house these tech companies within our fiber optic loop. I would work with our Chief Innovator to help promote these efforts.
14- What are your thoughts on redevelopment in general? What should the City do to spruce up downtown and the South part of town?
I support redevelopment. We need to make sure that San Leandro is pedestrian, bicycle and commuter friendly. The City is on the right track towards sprucing up downtown, we need to do a better job on attracting quality businesses and limit monopolization. The South part of town needs a facelift. We need to bring back life into our industrial are and fix our streets.
15- What are your plans for the development of the Marina? If they include dredging, who should pay for it? Be specific as to what you will work to see happen.
Since the Federal funding has ended and San Leandro has vied to get funds, out dredging option seems bleak. I will work to revitalize the Marina to make it a vibrant attractive and money generating spot. We also need to make sure that we are considerate of our environment.
16- What type of affordable housing requirements do you support for new developments?
We need to make sure that local housing authorities offer rents affordable to low-income households. I support various types of new housing developments.
17- How should the City and the School District collaborate regarding any new housing developments?
The city and the school district need to work closely to mitigate the future of school enrollment. We need to make sure that we closely look at how new developments will impact our schools for San Leandro and San Lorenzo Unified.
18- What is your specific plan for repairing streets and sidewalks in San Leandro?
We need to address the street and sidewalk situation, specifically the streets. San Leandro has the worst streets in the county. I will ensure that partial funds from Measure HH (if passed) will be used to fix our streets in conjunction with Measure BB.
19- Global warming threatens to raise sea levels. What should the City be doing to help prevent rising bay waters from damaging property?
We need to education our community about global warming. This is a national issue and needs to be addressed at a local level.
20- What’s your position on a “tree preservation ordinance”? Please be specific as to any ordinance that you would support.
Our environment is not getting any better. We need all the trees that we can get in San Leandro. Trees produce oxygen and we need that to sustain us. I think the city need to plant more trees. I think that the tree preservation ordinance is valid and I support it, specifically Section 5-2-200 of the San Leandro Municipal Code states that it is unlawful for any person other than the City or its contractors to remove, prune, injure or destroy a City street tree.
21- Should the City offer incentives to encourage property owners to install solar systems or other alternative energy sources? Be specific.
We need a GREEN San Leandro. The city needs to encourage property owners to install solar systems and/or other alternative energy sources. I would love to install solar panels on my house, but the reality is they’re too expensive and quite frankly I can’t afford to install without some sort of incentive.
22- What will you do to make San Leandro friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists?
I support measure BB. If this measure passes it will make San Leandro a friendlier place for pedestrians and cyclist. http://www.yesonbb.org/
SURVEILLANCE & LAW ENFORCEMENT
23- What’s your position on red light cameras and why?
I oppose red light cameras. I am also opposed to the non San Leandro business that runs these cameras.
24- What is your position on public/police operated public surveillance cameras?
This is a violation of our 4th amendment right. I oppose public surveillance and police cameras.
I support private surveillance that monitor private property.
25- SLPD operates several mobile and static license place readers which photograph millions of license plates and cars. Do you support an ordinance that will restrict how long these records are kept and who they are shared with? Be specific as to terms.
I will support an ordinance that will restrict the time that this information is withheld and archived. Again, this is a violation of our fourth amendment right. Not only do the readers capture license plate info, but it records the public.
26- How would you tackle the increasing militarization of the SLPD? Do you believe that the SLPD should continue to operate its SWAT team?
I oppose the militarization of police, but I do believe in a SWAT team. This team is specialized in confronting heavily armed criminals; performing hostage rescue and counter-terrorism operations; high risk arrests; and entering armored or barricaded buildings.
27- What are your public safety priorities?
My public safety priorities are to keep San Leandro safe. I believe that a neighborhood watch is a great and free way to monitor our communities. I also believe in adding a few more police officers to our force if our budget allows.
28- When the City Council passed an ordinance allowing citizens to keep bees with a permit, it provided that in order to get that permit citizens had to agree to waive their 4th amendment right to warrantless searches of their properties. What’s your position on this type of requirements? What will you do specifically with the requirement in the “chicken & bee” ordinance?
The chicken and bee ordinance is set in place to monitor those that want to turn their backyard into an urban barnyard. We need to make sure that our neighbors are not being disturbed. I believe that we have to plan for the worst and have a plan in place that will prevent an abundance of animals residing in one space. I belive there needs to be a warrant for a search. I don’t believe in warrant less searches. All searches have to be valid with probable cause.
29- What do you think are the City’s responsibilities vis a vis ensuring that everyone in San Leandro has access to food, housing, health care and other necessities of life? How will you meet such responsibilities?
San Leandro needs to be a proponent in taking care of our community. We need to make sure that we have programs to help aid our community and the local, state and federal level. I belive that we need to make information about such programs are availiable to the community as a source. I will make sure that this information is available and accessible for our constituents.
30- How should the Council promote community health in San Leandro?
San Leandro needs to work with health care organization to promote health screenings and/or free examinations at little or no cost to our community. The welfare of community is my concern. We need a happy and healthy San Leandro.
31- Will you support an ordinance to increase the minimum wage in San Leandro? If so, to what amount.
I would support an ordinance for a living wage.
32- Do you support reducing development fees, zoning entitlements and construction permits in order to make housing more affordable?
I believe we need to make an exception in the aspect and reduce permits, zoning entitlements and construction permits. We need more affordable housing in San Leandro. We need to give businesses like this a break.
33- What should San Leandro do to aid its homeless population?
Homelessness is an issue with every city. San Leandro needs to provide aid to those that need assistance. We need to provide a program that helps those get back on their feet.
34- Do you support an ordinance that would stabilize rents and impose just cause requirement for evictions? Be specific as to what proposals you would support/oppose.
I would impose an ordinance to stabilize rents. I will not impose a just cause requirement for eviction.
35- What’s your position on having medical marijuana dispensaries in San Leandro?
I am PRO medical marijuana and support the dispensary. Just like prescription drugs, I am a firm believer that our constituents should have easy access to their medication.
If you are elected, will you vote to stop the SLPD from obtaining an armored vehicle?
I do not support militarization of police and do not support a military type armored vehicle. If this vehicle’s purpose is going to be use as a military type vehicle, I will oppose this. I believe in protecting our city, but not with a military tank style vehicle. We also need to understand the operating costs.