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You Tell Us: Questions for the Candidates

We'll ask the candidates for their stances on a range of local issues. But first we want to know what's most important to you.

We'll ask the candidates for their stances on a range of local issues. But first we want to know what's most important to you. 

Whether it's cell phone coverage, the so-called "Whole Foods" project, the future of the Gill Tract, waterfront development or something else altogether—let us know in the comments what you'd like us to ask the candidates for both City Council and the Board of Education.

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for future posts related to elections in Albany. See the Albany Patch 2012 Election Guide here.

Alan Eckert August 20, 2012 at 01:17 AM
How will the candidate go about meeting the needs of people who belong to minority groups, and how will the person work to find out what those needs are? (or how have they done it in the past if relevant?)
Emilie Raguso August 20, 2012 at 05:10 AM
All -- just getting back from a much-needed break last week. Thank you so much for your participation and questions. Please keep them coming. I will be putting together a questionnaire for the candidates this week.
Tatter Salad August 20, 2012 at 07:24 AM
For the past 20 years, waving a big 'GREEN' flag, and a 'PRO-SCHOOL' flag was crucial to getting elected. True, all the 'waving' was done via 'glittering generalities', but as every winning beauty contestant has said: "My wish is for world piece." And as Winston Churchill said: "Best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
lubov mazur August 20, 2012 at 03:01 PM
@ Michael, Not all the Sierra Club backed candidates leave paper. Remember the one who was caught picking up paper left by her opposition?
Michael Barnes August 20, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Lubov, Then there was the time Berkeley mayor Tom Bates was caught stealing bundles of Daily Cal newspapers and tossing them in the garbage. What's up with that?
Alan Eckert August 21, 2012 at 08:54 PM
I am really excited about many of the questions brought up here. I'm optimistic that some of the candidates will answer the actual questions.
birdie August 22, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I'm starting to see candidate statements about the "whole foods" project in which they are basically trying to say they would have done things better. This is an easy campaign dodge. I'd like to ask the non-incumbants a strict yes/no question: if you had been on the Council when the vote took place last month, would you have voted yes or no?
Peter Goodman August 22, 2012 at 03:09 PM
1. Do you think the council should create and vote on resolutions regarding national or international issues that don't directly pertain to Albany? 2. How would you as a councilmember immediately take steps to improve cell-reception in Albany? 3. Do you see the Voices to Vision summary statement as a mandate to take steps to "fix" the waterfront? If so, what can you as a councilperson do in that regard? If not, what do you think Albany can or should "do" with the waterfront? 4. Assume Albany has a chance to attract national big-box retailers, either down by Target or along San Pablo. There will be EIRs, protests, plus pleas by citizens and educators to improve the tax base. What general direction do you tend in, and how do you balance all the opposing positions? 5, The State is broke. We are on our own, as are our neighboring cities. There's not a lot of time. What do we do?
lubov mazur August 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM
The Association of Bay Area Governments is moving ahead with plans for Bay Area communities to increase density through zoning changes to allow second units on residential lots and also removing the two space off street parking requirements. Albany is already among the most densely populated communities around the bay, with more than its share of on street parking problems. What is your opinion about a more crowded Albany, the impact on schools and emergency services, and added costs to the city?
Jim Beller August 24, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Questions for the City Council Candidates: 1. Are you now, or have you ever been a member of any of the following: Communist Party, U.S.A. Communist Party, U.S.S.R. Occupy The Farm 2. Which best describes your relationship to Scientology (select one): a. flunky b. stooge c. minion d. Thetan 3. Which best describes your relationship to the University of California (select one): a. flunky b. stooge c. minion d. employee 4. Have you ever collected signatures on Solano Avenue with a photo of Obama with a Hitler moustache? 5. Will you submit to a urine test? 6. Can we check your children's DNA? 7. Please provide details on your plan to impose Sharia law on Albany. 8. Please provide details on your connection to the Muslim Brotherhood. 9. Have you ever been convicted of malapropism in office? 10. Do you regret running yet?
lubov mazur August 24, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I love it. Since commission and committee members have to re-up every election cycle, let's ask these questions of everyone in city government. I can hardly wait. I'm dreaming up answers right now.
Marsha Skinner August 24, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Questions for both Board of Education and City Council candidates: > What boards and committees have you served on ? > How many meetings of ( the City Council / the Board of Education) have you attended?
Robin Onaka August 24, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Please disclose any affiliations and/or endorsements by any group (i.e., Sierra Club, Keep Albany Local, Occupy the Farm, Strollers & Rollers, etc.), whether it they are local or national branches, and state whether you are a member of such group or in agreement to their beliefs/agendas .
Kirsten Schwartz August 24, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Ooh, that new bulb-out intersection at Santa Fe and Marin looks awful! That's what I think as I drive by. On the other hand, I'm not a crossing guard, nor a mom with kids, nor one of the kids. I assume the new bulb-outs will help humans cross what is a rather large, important intersection in Albany, so I'm for it, awkward as it may seem to me while I drive.
Kirsten Schwartz August 24, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Thank you, Lisa. Not to mention the waste of money for the referendums.
doris August 24, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Big question: If, during your tenure, a big project was underway, let's say a Bart retrofitting which also impacts the entire Ohlone Greenway: Would you make sure that the plans for such a project were sane and solid and deliverable within a reasonable amount of time? Would you make sure the residents most impacted by this project were bearing as little of the pain of the project as possible? Would you insure the proper materials and time line for said project were fully developed and thought out BEFORE the project gets underway? If you can say Yes to all of the above, you have my vote. All of you incumbents, mayor, council members, anyone in any way involved with this atrociously ill planned and ill executed project, please go away and let someone who can plan with the well being of the locals in mind take over.
tr August 24, 2012 at 06:50 PM
As a member of the City Council, will you represent the views of the majority, those who elect you, or will you make decisions based on what you feel is the best for Albany, in your personal opinion, when you disagree with the majority position? Please answer in relation to the recent council decisions regarding AT&T and UC's village development project.
tr August 24, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Any ideas on how the America's Cup races could benefit Albany?
Emilie Raguso August 29, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Me too, Alan! Last election all the candidates answered all 10-ish questions we posed to them. Hoping to see a similar response this time around.
Joan Roos August 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Are you sorry the BART is above ground in Albany? How will you make decisions that don't ruin the town even though they do save or make the city money?
Leslie J. Gold August 29, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Re: bulb-outs on Santa Fe & Marin -- I have recently used all four corners as a pedestrian. The south side bulbs (near the Marin & Bright Star schools) seem fine. The north side is a disaster -- the bulbs are too large, making for an extremely sharp right turn onto Santa Fe (towards Solano) for drivers heading west on Marin and extremely narrow lanes. Seems like a big accident waiting to happen.
Emilie Raguso September 24, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I've just sent the questions to the council candidates. Other than a few items posted above, I didn't see a lot of questions for the school board candidates. Anyone here curious about anything regarding AUSD?
Jon Meyers September 25, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Here are some school board questions for you, Emilie: 1) What do you believe is the toughest part of being on the school board? 2) To what degree do you feel the pool has been a success, and what, if any, changes would you propose for the facility or management? 3) What does "equity" mean to you? 4) What do you believe are the biggest issues facing AUSD, and how would you address them? 5) Do you believe there are adequate after school programs at the AUSD schools, and if not what would you propose to add? 6) What would be your approach if and when when AUSD teachers and parents have conflicting interests?
Emilie Raguso September 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM
Thanks, Jon! These are very helpful.
birdie September 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Question 1: Given that Superintendent Stephenson and Ass't Sup. Harden reported to the Board that the District has a "structural deficit", is "spending more than (it) is bringing in," and that "when you start talking about budget reductions you really do talk about people and programs (being reduced)" how do the two incumbent cadidates justify the significant raise ($30k I've heard) they gave to Sup. Stephenson this year? Asst. Sup Harden was also given a significant raise? Question 2: Does Sup. Stephenson have naked pictures of you? (rhetorical)
birdie September 25, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Question 3: If the state's economy does not improve, do you support a) extending current parcel taxes? b) increasing parcel taxes? Question 4: Specifically, how do you propose to resolve the District's structural deficit? Negotiating pay or benefit reductions by teachers or administrators? Reducing programs, which ones? Increasing parcel taxes? Other?
Emilie Raguso September 25, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I think I'll leave out question 2 but the others are great. :) Thank you!
Erika Lockhart September 25, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I went this morning to meet the candidates and it was great. Nothing like a face-to-face. Hope others will take advantage of other meetings. Was disappointed that few others stopped to have a chat. Was hoping to meet more community members. Oh, well. Met Nick Pilch, Pete Maas & Tod Abbott.
Linda Yoshikawa October 12, 2012 at 10:41 PM
I would like to know the candidates' positions on the issue of people with dogs in Memorial Field's Section B. There is a petition drive underway in Albany. The issue is very important to many Albany residents who enjoy responsible off-leash recreation.
Tatter Salad October 12, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Regarding BART running above ground; I (and the Key Route Irregulars) were active at that period of review; frankly we were MORE concerned as Solano and Key Route was in BART's original design for a station. Our fight against that left us empty regarding other issues. In hind sight, the extra sales tax on the City of Berkeley (for underground BART) helped WIPE OUT their retail businesses IMHO. Down town Berkeley lost it's larger retailers, realty offices and small doctor offices all MOVED to adjoining cities. BUT NOTE: In ALL other areas where BART has aerial tracks, the also have SOUND BARRIERS deflecting the noise of the wheels upward. When we held a City meeting to approach BART about it: they said it was 'too expensive'... and they had shills in the audience that said 'what a great job their doing...". It could have EASILY been done during the current retro-fit of the tracks sub-structure... but who am I? I'm not even running. [If you look at the tracks above Gilman and Santa Fe, you'll see the rail-noise sound barrier, which ends at the Albany border].

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