[Editor: Benicians are expressing themselves in letters to the editor of our local print newspaper, the Benicia Herald. But the Herald doesn't publish letters in its online editions - and many Benician's don't subscribe. We are posting certain letters here for wider distribution. - RS]
Steve Young - Successful In Leadership, Experience, and a Vision for the FutureBy David Schulter
October 21, 2016
At the Planning Commission meetings, I saw Steve put the health and living interests of city residents and homeowners above those of the Valero oil refinery. Steve transcended normal due diligence and questioned Valero’s attempts to bypass Benicia’s local land use authority for non-rail entities — i.e. Valero.
The Defeat of Crude by Rail: Steve Young was the key Leader in the successful effort to save our City and deny Valero the Crude by Rail Permit. This was a struggle with Valero that took 3 years of diligence to defeat, and happened despite the steadfast support of City Hall for the project. Steve was able to see the long term and unintended consequences of this project on the life, health, and welfare of citizens of our City – especially our children and elderly.
A People’s Candidate: Based on the campaign finance reports on file with the City Clerk’s office Steve Young has the widest base of support when compared to the other candidates running for Benicia City Council: http://www.ci.benicia.ca.us/index.asp?SEC=88C65819-EA7E-497E-8282-90BA17A52E9C&DE=1E8D0CBB-5286-4F0B-A8B8-6DAEC2567D88&Type=B_BASIC. This base of support includes proportionally more people who live in Benicia than his rivals. Steve, unlike some other candidates, is not supported by unions with members who do not live in Benicia. Indeed he has no special interest PAC’s and money from outside of Benicia.
To date, Steve has the largest total contributions and the largest number of contributors, nearly 90 percent of whom are Benicia residents. At the same time, he has the lowest average donation of $148, compared to $531 for Strawbridge and $327 for Largaspaeda.
Steve’s Vision For Creating a Better Future In Benicia: Valero uses about 50 percent of the water in Benicia. Valero and the city need to rethink how to prepare for the future, and perhaps provide a way of reprocessing water, which is becoming our most valuable commodity.
Mr. Young is also concerned with attracting more retail and commercial industries to Benicia. He supports maintaining and upgrading our city parks and waterfront for the benefit of residents and to continue to attract visitors to the many restaurants and shops on First Street.
Having a large developer build housing on the Seeno property in Benicia’s Industrial Park would mean the need for an additional school, additional water for the 900 new houses, and other infrastructure. Steve Young questions whether this project would be “smart growth.” See Steve’s Website for more information http://steveyoungforcitycouncil.org/.
Experience: Steve Young has over 35 years of experience in Planning, Economic & Community Development. In Sacramento he met the challenge to transform land use to people friendly and economically viable uses following the government shutdown of military facilities at Mather Air Force Base and McClellan Air Force Base.David Schulter