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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 3, 2009 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Councilmember; City of Newark

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Fremont/Newark/Union City and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Budget cuts, Measure L

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. If Newark has to make cuts to its budget, where would you make the cuts?

Answer from Ana M. Apodaca:

If Measure L fails, the Newark City Council will have to make $3.5 million in cuts in early 2010. The city would have to look at every department to reduce or eliminate services.

Answer from Nadja Adolf:

I would eliminate the hiring of expensive consultants and make use of the many retired professionals in the city who are eager to volunteer to perform studies, reviews, and other projects that the city currently contracts out.

The different agencies within the city need a detailed examination of their budgets and operations. For example, the City of Newark street tree program does not consider actual site conditions when planting trees and repeatedly places tall tree species under power lines instead of appropriate smaller trees; this means that the city pays thousands of dollars trimming trees that never should have been planted in the first place. Small mistakes can add up to big expenditures.

There are many areas where a careful examination of budgets and operations would increase efficiency and also reduce job tedium. Management needs to listen to the employees who actually perform the job; and retired volunteer professionals should be used for advice and assistance.

I would abandon the current plans to replace existing city facilities with new buildings at undetermined sites.

I would reduce the pass prices at Silliman Center to make them more affordable; lower prices mean more participation and more revenue. Currently the city has high prices for the facility and is waiting for a few people to pay large sums to participate; by lowering the fees more people would participate and more money would roll into the coffers. The city can either wait for slow dimes from consumers or it can obtain fast nickels.

I would also encourage the city to explore both private and public grants for funding purposes.

? 2. What is your position on Measure L?

Answer from Nadja Adolf:

I am opposed since the revenue is not earmarked for essential services and instead goes into the general fund where the council may spend it for any purpose. It is a regressive tax that hits the poor the hardest; it has no exemptions for those who have lost their jobs; and it will severely hamper small businesses.

Answer from Ana M. Apodaca:

I support Measure L because over the past three years the City has reduced its budget to reflect the loss of revenues, including eliminating over 50 staff positions. Since the state has taken another $1.2 million away from Newark coffers we must go to the voters to ask for revenue needed to support our essential services. Funds generated from Measure L will stay in Newark.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates’ answers are presented as submitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: December 29, 2009 12:03 PST
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