LETTER SERIES: Susan Street – Elizabeth Patterson’s strong record as Mayor

[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]

Pro-active accomplishments of Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson

By Susan Street
October 21, 2016
Susan Street
Susan Street

At swearing in, council members raise their right hand and affirm that they will uphold their duty to protect the health and welfare of their constituents. During her years as a council member and then as mayor, that has been the first endeavor of Elizabeth Patterson.

She is constantly presenting ideas, investigating possibilities, looking for more information of ways to protect the health and welfare of you and me.

  1. After reading transcripts of the EIR, taking hours of public testimony and reviewing the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny Valero’s Crude By Rail project, she voted against it.
  2. She has worked tirelessly for every sustainable action possible, including sponsoring the creation of the Community Sustainability Commission and retention of the Climate Action Coordinator.  When elected in 2003, she immediately got $250,000 for “traffic calming” to make our roads safer with bulb out curbs and planted medians. She got $10,000 from Kinder Morgan for our tree fund and  $285,000 for architectural drawings for our community center to be LEED certifiable (thanks to Valero/GNSC grant).  Elizabeth also pursued the $2.8 million for building our Community Center (Also from the Valero/GNSC grant). Sustainable living is core to the health and welfare of the public.
  3. Elizabeth was for protecting the citizens against the coke domes on the waterfront, chaired the General Plan Oversight Committee, fought for a significant Specific Plan that protected Benicians from tacky Seeno urban sprawl and has promoted more and safer bike lanes, traffic calming and infrastructure improvements like solar energy.

We have yet to hear from her opponent on how he will protect the health and safety of Benicians in terms of a cap on refinery emissions at Valero.  His vote on the Crude by Rail was too late in the game.  After hours of testimony, more than 700 pages of documentation, a 6-0 vote to deny by the Planning Commission, why did he need to wait for a ruling from the STB which had nothing to do with local control anyway?

He is a nice man.  He has been deliberate in his decisions as a two term council member.  That is not enough.   I believe he is not mayoral material.  What is his vision for Benicia?  I fear it is more urban sprawl and more free reign for Valero.

I want a mayor who is pro-active in protecting my health and welfare and who will stay ahead of threatening problems for Benicia.  That person is Elizabeth Patterson and I hope you will join me in keeping her as our Mayor for the next four years.

Susan Street