Candidate for Benicia Mayor Steve Young took out a half-page ad in Sunday’s print edition of the Benicia Herald, laying out steps Valero could take to be a “better neighbor to Benicia.”
The ad headline asks, WHY DO VALERO & THEIR FRIENDS WANT ME TO LOSE SO BADLY?
Candidate Young continues,
I appreciate the value Valero brings to Benicia and their generosity to assist the community. But appreciating the good they do and being critical of their negative politics are not mutually exclusive. It’s not either or. We can and should do both.
The strain between Valero and the City is often attributed to their contentions relationships with specific candidates and elected officials. I just don’t see it that way. I think the blame rests on their response (or lack thereof) to a concerned community and the lengths they have gone to disrupt elections that have historically been fair & friendly. We need a Mayor with the necessary experience to find a common ground that will enable Valero to become a “”Better Neighbor” to Benicia. Where do we start?
Young then lays out 3 bullet points for a better relationship with Valero:
PROTECTING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF BENICIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES MUST COME FIRST.
- Increase transparency & improve communication including immediate community alerts for any incident impacting resident health, safety or environment, followed by regular updates and instructions on how to respond.
- Air quality monitoring systems that work in conjunction with public alerts in accordance with official City policy & procedure.
- Cease all negative campaigning practices and allow Benicia voters to elect candidates in accordance with City’s Election Code. Keep elections fair and stop the spread of false or misleading attack ads.
Young then addresses outside election influence and Benicia’s future if Valero continues its negative campaign tactics:
IF WE ALLOW VALERO’S PAC TO WIN A MAYOR’S SEAT, A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT WILL BE SET AS A RESULT.
If Valero’s PAC succeeds, we can expect these same destructive tactics in every Benicia election going forward. It’s time we take a stand and let them know, “Enough is enough!” You can start by electing me as your next Mayor. I have the right qualifications and the temperament to repair the discord between the City and Valero, and help heal the divide felt within our community. I’m ready to get to work!
Young concludes with a statement about big outside money and an invitation for Valero to choose a better course:
MONEY DOESN’T VOTE, YOU AND I DO. BENICIA ELECTIONS SHOULD BE DECIDED BY BENICIA VOTERS.
I encourage Valero to seize this opportunity and choose to be better. Restore the peace in our politics, reset your relationship with the community, and work with the City as equal parties, both deserving mutual trust, respect and transparency. Vote for me, STEVE YOUNG, either on, or before November 3rd. If elected Mayor of Benicia, I pledge to do whatever it takes to achieve these common goals.