[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]
Vote for Elizabeth Patterson for Benicia MayorBy Constance Beutel, Benicia
October 7, 2016
I look at three criteria for a candidate: qualifications, commitment and performance.
Which candidate has a track record demonstrating a depth and breadth of knowledge: in their profession and for the office they seek or hold? As I’m voting in Benicia, does the candidate really know our city . . . it’s history, demographics, economic base, and it’s anticipated future concerns and potential?
Which candidate ‘shows up?’ Are they committed? There are people who are physically present but who haven’t shown up to contribute and engage. In our city, Benicia, which candidate has put in the hours of community participation by attending a wide and diverse spectrum of events and training? Does the candidate hold open office hours and makes themselves available and reachable to the community?
Finally, what is the candidate’s track record for taking action and actually performing? Can a list of accomplishments and contributions be named? Can the candidate bring something to the office they are seeking? Can they facilitate meetings, assist the city staff in networking, inform the community of important issues and events and invite their participation?
In Benicia, Mayor Elizabeth Patterson meets each one of my criteria. I have watched her conduct and performance for over ten years. I met her first as a neighbor, then as a Councilwoman and later as Mayor. She has a depth of knowledge as a City Planner in the Bay Area and as an environmental scientist for California. Her knowledge of water issues is extensive along with knowing how government works. Her knowledge and support of Benicia’s faceted community is substantive. Under her leadership, two commissions were launched. The Community Sustainability Commission (CSC) and the Arts and Culture Commission. Each commission has contributed significantly to Benicia. The CSC initiated and oversaw the allocation of over $2million in grants to the community that supported residents, commercial and industrial efforts. During the drought, thanks to the CSC, Benicia was among the top California cities to conserve 50% of its typical water consumption. Further, it’s efforts, fully supported by Mayor Patterson, saw a return of nearly $5million in City of Benicia energy savings and rebates with a bonus check of $113,000 from our Marin Clean Energy provider for excess energy production from its solar installations. The other committee Mayor Paterson helped to launch was the Arts and Culture Commission which has continually provided significant contributions to our City. Elizabeth Patterson was there at the critical junctures to help each of the City’s commissions, boards and committees achieve their objectives. Beyond her own involvement, she tirelessly encouraged and recruited talented Benicians to serve the City on these Commissions, Boards and Committees.
Mayor Patterson is the only elected official who holds regular and publicized open office hours weekly! She is approachable, interested and listens! She keeps anyone who subscribes to her “E-alerts” updated on issues of concern and relevance to Benicia.
I fully support Mayor Elizabeth Patterson for re-election. She is the only one who meets and exceeds my criteria. Truly she has a proven record of “Experience you can trust.”Constance M. Beutel, EdD