Al Dugan of Novato says the people of Marin deserve a better shake at the Marin County Civic Center.
That’s just what they’ll get, the 65-year-old Dugan said, if he’s elected to represent the 4th District on the county Board of Supervisors.
Dugan, a retired insurance executive who now provides risk management consulting services, is among eight candidates running for the seat of retiring Supervisor Steve Kinsey. The post at stake on the June 7 ballot covers West Marin and Corte Madera, as well as parts of San Rafael, Larkspur, Novato and Southern Marin.
Dugan, a prolific letter-to-the-editor writer with views on issues ranging from the problems with regional government to local housing policies, thinks the people who pay the bills don’t have enough say in what goes on or how their money is spent.
“Homeowners are under-represented in Marin County,” he said. “They don’t get the representation they need,” he added. “The taxpayers and property owners of Marin are our shareholders.”
Speaking of taxes, “I think the property tax has reached a point where it is significant, and I don’t believe we should be looking at add-on taxes or parcel taxes,” he said. “There’s enough revenue coming in ... more than enough,” according to Dugan.
The key problem with county decision-making is that residents have little say in what happens, he said. “My biggest complaint is the lack of transparency” with decisions “pre-determined before the meeting,” he said. “There’s an over-reliance on third-party consultants and special interests.”
The county has failed to engage with the wider community it is supposed to serve, he asserted, vowing to attend local homeowner and neighborhood association meetings, launch programs that promote participation in public affairs such as town halls, and beef up county communications including video media.
“We should use media to educate the people,” he said. “I plan to work with community leaders who are directly involved with the issues to come up with the best solutions.”
Dugan said he is running for election because officials have failed to tackle key issues “such as excessive development, making sure Marin got a proper housing allocation from Association of Bay Area Governments, fiscal sustainability and the need for real transparency and community engagement.” The key issue is “intolerable traffic and excess development, which are inextricably linked,” he said. “I want to maintain our small-town suburban rural character (and) will work for better planning and more realistic housing allocations with community engagement that are in sync with the general plans of the jurisdictions.”
Local control is critical and “ABAG got it wrong” although the regional agency is improving amid a welter of planning criticism, he said. “The danger we have ahead is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission taking over” planning for jobs and housing. “Job growth and housing should reflect the general plans of the jurisdiction,” he said. See the full Story in the Marin IJ HERE
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