Candidate Q&A: David V. Barbour

David V. Barbour

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Age: 62

Occupation: Retired Software Engineer

Political Experience: Helped on many campaigns; ran for school board in 2004 in California; served on many nonprofit boards including my housing coop, an $800,000 per year corporation

District: 9

1) What’s your plan of action for three major issues in your district?

A. Eastern Gateway Sector Plan should be intelligently, efficiently and promptly implemented. Don Harris’ building moratorium along Central has meant that Central is in worse shape than it was four years ago.

B. Public safety has gotten significantly worse in District 9. Crimes against property in particular are on the rise. We need better coordination and more police in this district.

C. Residents in District 9 want a councilor who will listen and pay attention to their needs. I will work full time to fulfill these needs.

2) What’s your take on three major citywide issues?

Public transportation: We need a system we can depend upon. This should be fully funded whether or not the quarter-cent transportation tax passes.

Water usage and purity: All models show an extended drought for the Southwest. We must conserve and institute strict standards for purity, and use gray water where we can. I would like to see a program which provides rainwater collectors to residents.

Transparency: We need better accounting for how city money is spent. The process should be transparent. In particular, money raised from publicly approved sales tax increases should be spent the way the measure was advertised.

3) How can we balance city growth with sustainability?

We need infill not sprawl. Growth must not outstrip water supplies, which are dwindling. Existing buildings should be retrofitted and new construction should conform to modern standards for building efficiency. We should work with our sister cities to develop comprehensive plans to restrict out-of-control sprawl.

4) What will you do to help residents in your district who are struggling with the economic downturn?

I support workforce development to provide long-term training for good jobs with a living wage. We must insure that most spending is kept local so all of our residents will benefit.

5) What’s your take on public transportation, and do you support modern rail?

My first issue has always been to improve public transportation. Resident must be able to depend on public transportation to get them where they need to go at all hours. There are some problems with management which must be fixed. Light rail is the most efficient way to move people by far, but is expensive. Trackless trolleys (electric buses utilizing overhead wires) may be a less expensive way to conserve fossil fuels. The needs of residents, not tourists, is the first concern.

6) What can be done to improve public safety?

A city our size should probably have about 1,500 police officers. We currently have 1,100. We should increase the size of our police force. We should also have programs for addiction treatment and mental health services as originally proposed for the quarter-cent public safety tax. These programs have proven effective in reducing crime.
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