Dec 19 2011

Talk Around Town: What Candidates Have to Say on the Issues

Candidate Statements on Issues Published Here – 

The Piedmont Civic Association is pleased to  publish policy statements and positions from the City Council and School Board candidates and encourages candidates to provide information to PCA that lets voters know where they stand on important issues facing our City and School District. Information should be sent to  We do not publish endorsements. Here’s what 5 candidates are saying on the issues in their campaign materials.


Jon Elliott

On program  “. . .  the Board must make careful trade-offs and find ways to adapt programs to changing conditions and expectations.”

On process “. . .  continue to work to enhance open processes . . . especially reach parents of younger children who are not yet engaged, and households without children in District Schools who may feel out of the loop and may want to contribute more than just their taxes.”

On budget “Ongoing analysis of budgets and programs . . . the District’s budget and program are constantly moving targets, which require frequent reassessment.”

Rick Raushenbush

On teacher evaluations “The District is piloting a new evaluation system to ensure identification and sharing of best teaching practices to promote student learning.  I want to ensure these efforts continue.”

On budget “[Provide] strong fiscal oversight . . . As state funding stabilizes, the Board’s goal is to set a sustainable budget model that controls costs without sacrificing quality.”

On costs “[Plan] ahead . . . prudent stewardship of our community assets requires looking ahead to meet future needs.  The School District is working with the City on ways to set aside funds to preserve the community’s athletic facilities, including but not limited to future replacement of the Witter Field artificial turf and track.”

On school construction “[Finish] the seismic retrofit program . .  provide a rigorous review of the many professional and construction contracts involved . . . .”

Sarah Pearson

On Priorities  “to promote academic excellence, fiscal responsibility, and community engagement.”

On community input  “I will bring a questioning attitude and analytical approach but keep an open mind and solicit differing viewpoints. I am a listener and a learner. I will engage the community so that I can best understand the various perspectives, and then I will make thoughtful decisions. I will work toward facilitating better communication and building consensus.”

Andrea Swenson

On the budget: “In these difficult budget times we have to work even harder to assure this educational experience. We need to think about new ways to deliver a quality education and be creative about doing more with less. We need to be strategic about positioning our Piedmont schools not just for the next few years,  but for the next 10-20 years. ”



Tim Rood

On budget  “[cap] fringe benefits costs, instituting multi-year financial planning, prioritizing essential public services and other much needed reforms to rebuild our reserves and restore fiscal discipline.”

On costs  “better oversight of public works to prevent cost overruns.”

On process “open and transparent government . . .  an inclusive respectful public process”

On environmental issues  ” . . . committed to furthering our General Plan’s Natural Resources and Sustainability elements’ many ambitious environmental goals and our Climate Action Plan’s goals for reducing our carbon footprint, all in practical and cost-effective ways.”

On costs “appropriate safeguards to protect the City from significant financial risk”

On Blair Park “. . .agree with the Municipal Tax Review Committee’s unanimous recommendation that the City obtain a professional evaluation of the full cost of [Blair Park] project before it starts. To be credible, that evaluation must be independent of the project sponsors and be detailed enough to allow peer review.  Given the project’s complexity, including rerouting an EBMUD water main and excavation and drainage work, there also should be an independent risk analysis of potential costs if construction problems arise . . . will insist on these safeguards, along with the resolution of environmental, traffic and pedestrian safety concerns.”

 Editors Note:  No stated positions were found in the campaign materials of City Council candidate Margaret Fujioka, and City Council candidate Bob McBain.  No campaign materials were found for School Board candidate Nancy “Sunny” Bostrom.  This post will be updated as information on positions becomes available.

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