I thank and support the hundreds of first responders and their support staff that keep our city and its residences safe. But we need to do more. I personally have experienced graffiti on my fences, illegal dumping and trespassing when a person jumped my fence and accessed my unlocked back door when my mother-in-law and young children where at home. Just recently, the cameras caught a man trying to get in my car that was parked on my driveway. We need to fight back against crime and support our police, and the programs to stop graffiti, dumping and homeless camps. Our police department needs the tools and resources to continue in the fight against crime. I will continue to support our public safety efforts to ensure its continued success.
Traffic is a main concern for the residents of Torrance. Speeding through neighborhoods and congestion of major thoroughfares is a safety issue and something we have to battle every single day we leave our homes. We need to increase education and enforcement of laws - especially working with schools to ensure our roads are safe. Certain areas such as the Del Amo Fashion Center, and Historic Torrance, have the largest impact. We are also a drive-through city because of our geographical position. I plan on seeking different methods of traffic control by working with the Police Department, the public, and the City’s Community Development Department.
This is a delicate balance as it brings revenues to our city but can bring overcrowding and place a city “out of balance” very quickly. Is it sustainable? How will it affect traffic, our schools, crime, and the ability for our first responders to keep up with the demand? I love our Single Family Neighborhoods. It is one of the main reasons we moved to Torrance. We have to be careful and not just place high density projects on every corner.
Cleanliness and Illegal Dumping:
A priority in our city is to keep it clean and free from dumping. Notifying the city right away, having cameras on the front and street sides of our homes, if applicable, can help stop and prevent this. I am very happy that we now have a toll free number residents can call to get illegally dumped items picked up. I plan on continuing to support programs such as this one.
We cannot allow homeless camps and street living within our city. There are public funds and programs available to those who want help. There are also community services within our own city to help individuals wanting to be successful. We need to create programs using available funding sources like Measure H to provide services. Once we have a plan, we need to establish the needed regulations to reduce the number of individuals living on our streets. We must provide our police and fire with the recourses to enforce appropriate ordinances.
Coyotes do not belong in the city. People and their beloved pets deserve to feel safe and not threatened. A lot of resources are available in the city to help live with them while the amendment to the city’s current Urban Coyote Management Plan evolves. Although it is difficult to think about the trapping and euthanizing, the fact that these mostly shy animals are coming into the city is due to overpopulation, hunger and disease. I support the current coyote plan but I also support the idea of taking all precautions necessary to keep our pets safe while we deal with adjusting the coyote population.
Preservation of Historical Torrance:
The history of Torrance is an amazing story. Its preservation is the key to Torrance’s uniqueness. We need to work together to preserve it while understanding the rights of home ownership to develop and remodel within the building codes of the city.
The proposed budget is a clear indicator that we as a city are facing some long term financial issues. Our General Budget is a little over $200 million a year and in this cycle we are looking at a shortfall of approximately $7 million. We can't continue down this path without taking a strong look at our spending. The unfunded pension liabilities are approaching the half-a-billion mark and could take more than a decade to level off. This worries me tremendously because our revenue stream is largely comprised of retail sales tax, and that is on a sharp decline.
I will actively seek ways to streamline overall operations and chip away at our spending.
We don't want to have to cut crucial programs in order to balance the budget.
We must identify what is truly needed versus what can wait.