Current Job: President of Rancho Cielo
Previously: retired Superior Court Judge
Family: Wife Patti Phillips, three children and two grandchildren
Top 3 Priorities if Elected:
1. Community Safety and Peace: As the Assistant District Attorney, Superior Court Judge and most recently as Founder and President of Rancho Cielo, I have been deeply committed to violence prevention in our community and have been working on these issues for years. We all deserve to live and work in a safe and peaceful community – violence is not just hurting our families, it is hurting our entire community, and our entire community needs to be a part of the solution.
2. Responsible Land Use, Jobs and Economic Opportunity: Monterey County has long been known for its incredible natural resources. Our largest economic engines are agriculture and tourism, and both are dependent upon the protection of the natural resources and beauty that make this area so special. But we are also struggling with a lack of jobs, and an economy that needs to be stimulated. I believe we can have both – we must be a county of environmentally friendly businesspeople, and a county of business friendly environmentalists.
We have an innovative agricultural community in areas such as the growing of organic crops, more strategic use of water like drip irrigation and soil moisture; working and partnering with our vital labor force. Let’s continue to develop in all those areas. This is not simply good business. It is right.
3. Transparency and Accountability: The business of the public must be conducted in full view of the public. That is what differentiates our nation from so many others.
As a Monterey County Superior Court judge for 20 years, I knew that the public, whether or not it had any personal involvement in the case, had virtually unfettered access to judicial proceedings, in open court, in both civil and criminal proceedings.
How do you plan to implement these priorities?
1. I will work to ensure that County resources are allocated in a meaningful way on programs that really make a difference – education, after school programs, job training, parenting programs, behavioral health, alcohol and drug programs and family counseling. And I will work to put more emphasis on pro-active involvement with police and sheriffs – encouraging community programs that help build relationships between law enforcement and the community.
To successfully offer our youth an alternative to violence and a chance at a future, we must focus on prevention, intervention, and reinvention that will safely reorient offenders into the community with life skills.
2. I will work to strengthen the relationships between the city and the county and foster better collaboration to develop a stronger partnership – especially in the Salinas revitalization. It makes economic sense.
I will work to find a healthy balance between responsible land use and economic revitalization that does not threaten or harm the natural beauty of this area – we need good jobs, forward thinking opportunities, and strong stewardship of our resources.
3. If I am elected to represent District 2 on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, I promise that the state statute that guarantees that the business of the public be conducted in public will be strictly observed, not only as is legally required by state law, but also in spirit. There is nothing more basic than the public’s right to know how government functions.