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Our Community Focus

City Council Candidate Platform 2016

Oct 06, 2016 01:09PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Courtney Masella -O'Brien, for Martinez City Council 

Dear Neighbor,

     I’m running for city council to bring a new, fresh voice to our city council and shape the future of our community for my daughter and all our families.

    Martinez is a special place to live, work, and raise a family. I have the experience, problem-solving skills, and vision to give our city a bright future.

   As a volunteer and activist for our schools and community, I’ve brought people together to find solutions and get things done. On city council, I will be an advocate for our entire city, demanding transparency and results.

   Public safety must be our top priority. I’ll use my experience working in the district attorney’s office to strengthen relationships with law enforcement and ensure they have the resources necessary to prevent crime. I’ll work to re-open Fire Station 12 and for a comprehensive solution to chronic homelessness.

    I’ll support parks and protect our open space.

    And I’ll be a trustworthy steward of public funds, improving programs while respecting budget limitations. I’ll protect infrastructure investments by planning ahead for future maintenance of the pool, train station, and streets, preventing costly early replacement and saving taxpayer dollars.

    As an attorney and advocate for small businesses, I understand what it takes to create jobs and grow our economy. I’ll bring ideas for creative economic development, lead efforts for a solid master plan for the marina, and attract investments to make downtown a greater destination.

    I’m proud to have the endorsement of Contra Costa County Firefighters, Central Labor Council, Democratic Party of Contra Costa County, and respected local leaders, including County Assessor Gus Kramer, Supervisors Candace Anderson and Mary Piepho, Martinez Vice-Mayor Anamarie Avila Farias, and Councilmember Debbie McKillop.

    Please visit We can make Martinez even better. I'd be honored to earn your vote.

 Sincerely, Courtney Masella-O’Brien

John Stevens, for Martinez City Council 

 Background and Education:

    My name is John Stevens. I am a resident of Martinez, and I moved here because of this city’s friendly people, beauty, and rich history. Martinez embraces diversity and has great potential for a prosperous future.

    Several attributes are necessary for being a good councilmember and an effective leader. I believe education is invaluable. I have a Bachelor’s in English, Certification in Legislative Studies, and a Master’s in Public Administration.

 Strong Experience

    Experience is another necessary attribute. As the CEO of the Martinez Chamber of Commerce, economic development, supporting small business and strengthening Martinez were the cornerstones of my service. I created Studios on the Streets, a family-oriented educational arts event, and advocated for more local transit, including service for seniors and disabled people.

    My leadership experience includes being on the board of three nonprofits. I am a former board member of the Human Rights Campaign and have advocated for healthcare education and research in the areas of breast cancer and HIV/AIDS as well as equal rights for the less fortunate.

     As a former small business owner, I understand the importance of creating jobs for our labor force and having policies that attract businesses and help them succeed. Currently, I serve as COO of a medical research policy institute, promoting best practices in emergency room services. 

 Focus of Service

If elected, I will advocate for:

  • an infrastructure master plan for the waterfront
  • sound budgeting
  • strong public safety
  • increased code enforcement of commercial and residential properties
  • affordable residential development
  • revitalization of downtown Martinez

    I am supported by educators, families and small business owners alike. My support includes endorsements by the United Professional Firefighters of Contra costa County and the Victory Fund.

    I would be honored to serve you on the city council.

Mark Ross,  for Martinez City Council 

    Martinez is experiencing a renaissance downtown. It’s financially stable, culturally vibrant and adding open space. I ask for your vote to continue our community’s progress.

     On our town’s behalf I have demanded the enforcement of seismic retrofitting, which has produced a safer downtown featuring new dining, arts and retail - giving new life to the downtown.

    To fix our roads, I fought to have Measure D on the ballot to get the repair funds we need.

     As a budget hawk, I have ensured we have a financial reserve of over 20%, and an innovative policy requiring a savings account for infrastructure and pension reforms. Additionally I have made sure the taxpayer funds have been efficiently spent on our park renewal projects. And when it mattered most, I fought for transparency in city hall governance.

    I support not just our first dog park at the waterfront within the next few months, but a series of smaller parks throughout our town.

    We have acquired ownership of the Marina, better enabling us to fund improvements and begin private ferry service as a first step towards a vibrant waterfront.

    I have an unsurpassed record of successfully proposing, designating and acquiring over 800 hundred acres within Martinez, and more in Alhambra Valley. I voted against the most recent Alhambra Hills development proposal, and believe my experience can help preserve this natural ridgeline so integral to our community.

   My support has not wavered for increasing our police force, and keeping our great senior center fully funded.

   As Martinez’ Air District representative, I have successfully fought for cleaner air regulations on industry and been a leader in sustainable climate change efforts, including electric charging stations.

   At my insistence, I required accountability of our water quality and safety through testing.

   With your vote I will continue to be your effective and independent voice for our town.


Noralea Gipner, for Martinez City Council

    My name is Noralea Gipner and I’m asking for your vote to be our community’s representative on the Martinez City Council. Martinez is changing, and as a community we need to make many different decisions about our future. Everyone needs a real chance to get involved in projects such as bringing more business to our downtown, fixing our roads, and finding opportunities for our marina.

    We need our council to work together with the public, openly and enthusiastically. As a 3rd generation Martinez resident, graduate of Alhambra High School, small business owner, and longtime advocate, I have the relationships and history of working with the community to make this happen. My experience includes: Founder and owner of three Martinez small businesses (Noralea’s Studio, Yankee Clipper, and former owner of Main Street Sweets); Chamber of Commerce, 2008 Woman of the Year; Martinez Exchange Club, first female member; former Martinez Parking Commissioner; Early Childhood Center, Board of Directors; Saint Catherine's School, School Auction Chair and part of the Martinez Junior High and Principal Selection Committee.

   Many people from our community have endorsed me including Councilmember Lara DeLaney, Commissioner Dylan Radke, former Mayor Jim Thelen, former Councilmembers Harriett Burt and Albert Turnbaugh, Cassie Campbell, and Phil Raines.

   Community involvement starts with listening. I’ll always be accessible to you, and I encourage you to contact me and talk about your ideas: (925) 324-3393 or [email protected]. Thank you, and I hope by Election Day I will have earned not just your vote, but also your trust and support.

 Matt Rinn, for Pleasant Hill City Council 

   As a father of two young children, I am invested in the future success of Pleasant Hill.  I not only own a business here, but I am also involved in many organizations focused on the betterment of our community. I was honored earlier this year to receive Pleasant Hill’s Citizen of the Year award.

   Some organizations I have been involved in the last 5 years:

Pleasant Hill Education Commission

Former Chairman of the Pleasant Hill Chamber of Commerce

Advisory Board member of the Pleasant Hill IDF YMCA

2011 Pleasant Hill Business Person of the Year

Past Trustee Governing Board Contra Costa Community College District

Pleasant Hill/Martinez Soccer Association (PHMSA) Coach and Referee

Pleasant Hill Baseball Association Coach

College Park High School Athletics Sponsor

Previous President, Pleasant Hill Rotary Club

   As your councilmember, I will continue to be a dedicated advocate for this community, focusing on making Pleasant Hill a great place to live and helping our business community thrive. We need to improve our streets and sidewalks, retain and recruit quality police officers, and work towards a new library, all while being fiscally responsible with our resources.

   Thank you for your vote and the opportunity to serve as your Pleasant Hill City Councilmember.

Ken Carlson, for Pleasant Hill City Council  

    Serving as your representative on the Pleasant Hill City Council is a great honor. Pleasant Hill is a great city, and protecting our quality of life is my top goal. I am especially proud of our balancing Pleasant Hill’s budget with an $8.9 million reserve for emergencies – focusing on the efficient use of tax dollars.

    As a police sergeant, my top priority will always be the continued safety of our residents. Together, we have:

·      Hired 17 new police officers

·      Created an “anti-theft” team to combat car and home burglaries

·      Implemented a new 911 call handling system to improve response times

·      Administered 51 Neighborhood Watch programs

    Improving Pleasant Hill’s roads is also of great importance to me. While staying within budget, we have allocated $52 million to repave and restripe, fix potholes, and repair sidewalks on local roads, including Contra Costa Blvd., Chilpancingo Parkway, Geary Road, Buskirk Avenue, Gregory Lane, Crescent Drive, and Golf Club Road.

    Other accomplishments that make me proud:

       Increased accessibility and transparency at City Hall by enhancing website access to public records and launching Pleasant Hill’s first mobile app “AskPHill”

·      With your help, met and exceeded the 25% required reduction in water use

·      Implemented a citywide ban on single use plastic bags, issued 350 solar permits, and replaced city streetlights with energy efficient LED lighting

     As your representative, I will continue to make sound decisions to protect our quality of life and ensure effective use of tax dollars. I would be honored to earn your support for my re-election.

Ken Carlson   [email protected]


Tim Flaherty, for Pleasant Hill City Council 

    The past four years, I have worked together with my colleagues on the Pleasant Hill City Council to meet the challenges of the day and make smart decisions for our city. The result of our hard work is evident in the desirable quality of life in Pleasant Hill, which continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. A 2016 survey of Pleasant Hill residents demonstrated they are highly satisfied with our city and happy to be here.

   During my tenure on the council, our city has enjoyed notable economic growth and development of new and local businesses while preserving its small town character. I have served on city council for the past three years, twice as chair of the City Council Budget Committee, overseeing all aspects of the city’s finances. Under my leadership, the city adopted, for the first time ever, a long-term financial plan that will guide the city’s financial decision making and budgeting for the next five years. The plan maintains healthy reserves, invests in our roads and infrastructure, and ensures the city remains fiscally responsible.

   Just as I promised I would, I have listened to your concerns and worked hard for you to preserve the small town feel of Pleasant Hill and its neighborhoods, protect our city finances and, above all, keep Pleasant Hill a safe place to live. I am proud to represent you on the City Council, and I want to continue to work for you. For more information or to reach out to me and continue the conversation, please contact me at any of the following:   [email protected]






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