Monday, October 5, 2009

Why I’m Asking You To Vote for Ed Summers

For the past four years, it has been my privilege to serve on the Ventura City Council with Ed Summers. During that time, I’ve seen Ed work tirelessly to help make our community better; and he and I have worked together on a variety of important issues. Ed’s up for re-election this year and I am asking all of you to vote for him again on November 3

Serving on the City Council is a constant quest for two goals that are intertwined with each other: Creating enduring prosperity for our community and improving the quality of life for our residents.

Over the last four years, Ed has focused his efforts on these issues over and over again. As a banker, Ed understands how the economic engine works and he has has taken the leading in making it work for us. As a longtime advocate for public safety, arts and culture, and supporter of preserving our hillsides and neighborhoods, Ed understands why quality of life is important and he has taken the lead on quality of life issues as well.

Whether it’s saving our libraries, increasing our police force, or attracting high-quality businesses to our community, Ed is usually taking the lead on the most critical issues facing our community. And he does his work with a combination of heart and brain. Ed’s heart is clearly in Ventura; he cares deeply about our community and the people who live here. Yet Ed’s brain – his analytical approach and his no-nonsense business background – helps all of us on the council to think through the different options and come up with common-sense solutions.

Serving on the City Council also requires knowing how to work with a very broad range of constituencies, people, and organizations. No one I know does this better than Ed. To see how effective he is at consensus-building, all you have to do is look at the list of people endorsing him this year. Here’s just one example: To my knowledge, Councilmember Jim Monahan – a business advocate and former owner of a welding company – has never agreed on anything with former Councilmember Gary Tuttle, an athlete and longtime environmental activist. Yet they both support Ed Summers.

Just to give you a taste of Ed’s leadership skills, here are a few things he’s accomplished in his first term:

-- Ed was our City Council leader on the Ventura Economic Summit last May. Thanks to his leadership, the city and the business community are now moving forward in an unprecedented partnership on a wide range of actions to improve the business climate in Ventura.

-- Ed has also chaired our City Council Economic Development Committee since his election in 2005. He has led the way in forging partnerships with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in making Ventura one of the emerging high-tech centers of Southern California. As a member of the Economic Development Committee, I have learned a lot from Ed about how to attract business to our community.

-- Ed has been equally strong is protecting our neighborhoods from overdevelopment. Ed and I worked together to create the city’s View Task Force, whose stellar work has led to strong new protections to protect our community’s precious views and ensure that homeowners continue to have sunlight in their yards.

-- Ed has continually supported our community’s efforts to protect the hillsides. He has been a key player in implementing our General Plan provisions that prevent hillside development and has once again been endorsed by the Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation.

-- Ed is a big library advocate as well – and he’s gone far beyond the call of duty in helping to save his own neighborhood library, Wright Library. Last spring, Ed raised more than $6,000 for the Wright Library by dancing in the Salsa Festival over in Oxnard.

In short, Ed is that rare public official who can build bridges with practically everybody, who knows how to lead, and and – most important to me – who understands how prosperity and quality of life must work together for Ventura to be a great place.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Ed on November 3, so that we can take advantage of his rare leadership skills for another four years.