Johnny Rodriguez | City Council Candidate

1) What is your name?
Johnny Rodriguez

2) A council member needs support from a majority of the council to pass resolutions and ordinances. How do you see yourself working with other council members and City staff?
My experience as a member of the Brentwood Union School Board has helped me gain insights in town to work as a team on discussions of important issues. Skills required include being a good listener, respecting all opinions and carefully considering the input from the City’s professional and knowledgeable staff. I value being part of a larger team.

3) How do you prepare for meetings regarding controversial topics?
Living and working in the City allows me to be knowledgeable on issues, and to have time to visit and meet with concerned residents about their questions and concerns, while also studying the background materials on the topics to be considered. I will do my homework and be ready to share what I have learned from each issue.

4) How do you plan to involve residents in the decision making process in Brentwood?
I will set up an ongoing outreach program where I can meet and discuss concerns, I will use the full range of social media options to keep in touch, and of course, I will be accessible by phone. This role also involves working with active and involved residents. I need inputs and thoughts from citizens to be effective, and that means creating a strong team between our residents and their elected officials.

5) Did you provide input during the PA-1 process? How do you feel about the potential inclusion of eBart in the project?
I did not attend the input meeting with the Consultant on the PA-1 process. I have followed it in the local news and discussing with individuals who did attend. I am very pleased that the council in their General Plan has designated the importance of this Priority Area economic center in Brentwood’s future planning.

6) Do you believe the Urban Growth Boundaries in Brentwood should be expanded?
The Urban Limit Line was originated to keep sprawling growth from occurring throughout Contra Corta. I believe that growth control needed to be established, however; when the County moved Brentwood’s Urban Limit Line East on the West side of town they also created, the already purchased, Heritage/Adams school traffic and safety mess. Brentwood has, with public input created a General Plan that includes some areas of future planning. I believe these planned areas in Brentwood’s Sphere of influence need to be carefully followed to create Smart Growth limited to these areas. I believe we need to continue to protect our downtown, our current residents and our Ag Core areas outside this plan.

7) The current city council recently denied a project for a Goodwill facility. Do you agree with that decision and why?
Yes, but I share with many the understanding that on an appropriate site, Goodwill can be beneficial. I will be interested in working on this effort if I can be of help.

8) The City staff recently recommended denial of a project to develop part of Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge golf courses. Do you agree with that recommendation and why?
Yes, I support that decision. It is not the City Council’s job to bail out developers’ poor decisions. When residents buy a home they are also buying a trust that Brentwood’s current land use policies will remain in place. As an elected official it would be my job to protect our residents from changes that could put their financial dreams at risk.

9) ECCFPD is having troubles with response times and stations closing, potentially endangering the lives of Brentwood citizens needing emergency fire and medical assistance. Given that ECCFPD is a regional agency, what steps can the City of Brentwood take to resolve this situation, and what steps would you take as a member of the City Council?
A separate Special District, under an elected Board of five people, provides fire services for Brentwood. Some will suggest that Brentwood should look at bringing in some of their tax bases to support this special district. Brentwood has a well-defined financial plan and budget and to use it for non-city services could put at risk the services residents have come to depend upon. As Brentwood grew and planned for future growth, it developed a clear set of developer fees to help support the impact of the growth. As a separate governmental unit, the Fire District failed to do the similar planning and the results are the service shortages we see today. Today Brentwood suffers from this planning failure and I will work hard with the Fire District Board to help them lay out a plan to bring fire services levels up to those seen in systems provided by our City and School systems.

10) Do you have ideas for local improvements that you think have not been discussed or considered publicly?
Yes, One of my biggest hopes in running for the City Council is to develop a service center for the ever-increasing younger population. We have seen the wonderful success of our Senior Citizens Center and the programs they offer. A similar center focusing on youth would fill a real gap in our community. I would like to work to explore getting a YMCA facility or a Boys and Girls Club. I am sure there are lots of ideas and options in this area and with my twenty years of youth service work in Brentwood I would dedicate my time and energy to explore this.

11) Do you believe our city has firm financial footing? If so, what would you do to maintain that? If not, what would you do to improve the situation?
I am proud of the financial planning Brentwood has done over the past decades. With a General Fund budget of $59 million dollars, we are on firm ground. We have millions of dollars of infrastructure in place and that investment needs to be protected and maintained, I will watch it carefully.

12) What do you love about living in Brentwood?
I have been a lifelong resident of Brentwood. I attend the same schools many of our residents’ children attend. Like everyone else, I love the benefits Brentwood now provides and will work to make sure these will continue and grow. I also have the unique perspective of being a member of the Brentwood Union School District Board, and the honor of having been selected as Brentwood’s Citizen of the Year 2015. I will work hard to help shape our community with those who value safety and a choice of services. My wife is a local preschool Director, and with our two wonderful young boys, I want to make sure the wonderful community I grew up in. Is also a wonderful community for them and for all of our residents. That is why I have filed for this position and look forward to meeting and working with all of you.