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I WILL Safeguard 

 

OUR HEALTH

I will support our citizens to ensure our city has access to resources and infrastructure with clear, reasonable oversight.  So we all can enjoy our home and beautiful city of Simi Valley.

  • Drought – the city needs to quickly produce a plan to stop wasting the excess ground water (which IS NOT for drinking) that is pumping into the Arroyo Simi and better utilize this water to irrigate the city’s landscaping, parks, and schools. Use some water trucks and drive around watering the landscaping. Allow citizens to use this water as well, to water plants around their yards.
  • SSFL (Santa Susana Field Lab) – We must continue to be on high alert over this issue and the approved law by the State of California (SB990) passed in 2007. The responsible parties consisting of Boeing, DOE, and NASA have continued to slow down in their clean up efforts. We need to carefully monitor the air and water quality that comes from the SSFL especially during fire season.
  • Landfill – Closely monitor the Air Quality coming from the landfill which residents have been known to smell when the wind is blowing through Simi Valley.
  • COVID – Social and emotional well being of Simi Valley residents recovering from the COVID-19 Lockdown should be a high priority for the city. We need to help those residents reassimilate back into the community.
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OUR SAFETY

I will work diligently to strengthen our police department, improve our streets and bring better awareness to natural disaster preparedness.

  • SVPD – Traffic enforcement needs to be increased. Less speeding and accidents. The way to do this is we need to work hard to fully staff the police department. We are more than 15% understaffed. We are losing officers (both experienced and recent academy graduates) to other agencies because our officer compensation is near the bottom compared to other agencies. This needs to change!
  • Crosswalk Safety – Every day children are walking to/from school on our incredibly busy streets. We need to increase the awareness of the drivers traveling in front of the schools by adding yellow blinking lights above the crosswalks and in the ground during school hours. In addition, we need to add awareness by scoring the concrete roadway starting one hundred yards from the crosswalk to help get drivers’ attention of what is coming up. Not only will this keep the pedestrians safer but the crosswalk guards more protected. Here is an example of what we could use. https://lanelight.com/products/pedestrian-crosswalk-lights/
  • Traffic Signals – All traffic signals throughout Simi Valley need to have the yellow backplate or even reflective tape installed around the traffic signals. This will help improve the visibility of the signals as drivers make their way around town. You can see this in place already on all freeway on and off ramp signals installed by Cal Trans. https://dot.ca.gov/news-releases/news-release-2020-040
  • Street Improvements – Roadway improvements are a major undertaking for the city, and a major investment needs to be made. They are currently using funds from the Federal Government Covid Recovery money, but we need to have a better year to year plan going forward. A master schedule for these improvements needs to be available on-line to the citizens of Simi Valley, so they can anticipate when their neighborhood streets will be repaired or completely resurfaced. Using the Hotline for Pothole Repair is useful but creating a City of Simi Valley app to report this and other types of concerns could be even more useful and convenient.
  • SV Disaster Recovery Plans – We need to make sure citizens are aware of our recovery plans in case of a natural disaster. We should also help train school and park district employees in the CERT disaster training program.

 

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OUR ECONOMY

I believe we need to support all Simi businesses.  We also need to attract new businesses that generate community-wide interest.  Doing so will increase our city's revenue through local sales tax income.

  • Fiscal Budgeting – A fiscal analysis with both a Bottoms-Up and a Top-Down approach to the Simi Valley City Budget needs to have a careful review for areas of inefficiencies. Removal of these items from the city’s operational efforts will help so then the funds can be reallocated to areas that need strengthening.
  • Deferred Maintenance – Throughout the city’s infrastructure, we have deferred maintenance issues that need to be addressed. Buildings, water lines, sewer lines, and road repairs are all going to need major repairs sooner than later. We must start the difficult discussion of raising the local sales tax to help us reinvest back into our town instead of relying on our stagnant business growth. People may not be aware, but the 7.25% sales tax does not go directly back to the City of Simi Valley. We must wait for the state and county to allocate funds back to us when they see fit. The current breakdown for the 7.25% Sales Tax is 6.00% State, 0.25% County, 0.00% City, 1.00% Special. Please look on-line at other cities within Ventura County and others throughout the State of California to see the sales tax in their cities. Please have a look at the other cities within Ventura County. https://www.salestaxhandbook.com/california/rates/simi-valley
  • CalPERS Pension Obligation– We have a responsibility to maintain the CalPERS system. Unfortunately, our employees’ pension investments have been poorly invested and instead of the State stepping in to use the general funds to offset these differences with the surplus of funds, they require the individual cities to produce the extra funds. They just want to keep on spending money on lots of new programs instead of fixing the old programs. Our city council took their staff’s recommendation about creating a Pension Obligation Bond without ever asking the citizens to put this decision to a Vote! These long-term commitments should always be brought to the voters. Along with this issue of the pension system, we must look to the future of the City of Simi Valley. We must envision what we want our responsibilities to be for maintaining future pensions. We need to start moving all our new city employees into a 401K plan with a matching program that will be comparable to the idea of a solvent pension. This will allow the City of Simi Valley to not have to ever worry about these Unfunded pension obligations once the employee leaves or retires.
  • Business Development – We need to produce a city-wide vision of how we market ourselves to businesses and potentially bring an “Industry” of businesses that would like to call Simi Valley their home. These large companies will help us attract the smaller sub-contractors to also be closer to this business. This will have a multiplier effect on the community. We also need to make it easier for small businesses to establish themselves here in Simi Valley. Let us do everything we can to streamline the business permitting process and not make it arduous and costly.
  • Housing ShortageWe have historically allowed developers to reduce the affordable housing component within their development plans after construction had started. This has further kicked the can down the road in terms of meeting our State of California mandate to meet the affordable housing %’s indicated in the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). RHNA - Southern California Association of Governments We need to hold developers accountable during the approval/permitting process to ensure we are meeting the state’s requirements. When we get further behind the, the unfortunate outcome is large new apartment buildings, which do not fit into the aesthetics in neighborhoods. Our city was pressured most recently with legal action by the State of California if we did not side with the developers’ final plans. This project is located at Tapo St. and Alamo St. https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/2020/11/11/california-housing-state-law-simi-valley-tapo-alamo-apartments/6194633002/
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Eric Lundstrom for Simi Valley City Council District 04 - 2022
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