Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 20, 2009

Dan Smith’s News and Commentary on Benicia Issues

Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 31, 2009

Dan answers questionnaire

Below you’ll find my answers to the Benicia Herald questionnaire.  Your comments and questions are welcome!  I’d really like to hear your ideas about these issues. 
Dan

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 30, 2009

Five questions for Dan Smith

Below you’ll find my answers to the Vallejo Times-Herald Questionnaire.   Your comments are welcome!  I’d like to respond to your questions and concerns on these or any other issues.
Dan Smith
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1. Why are you running for Benicia City Council?

My most important reason for serving on the City Council again is that I am committed to Benicia being the best that it can be.  That means working to achieve a safe, healthy Seeno project that won’t destroy our downtown; finding new ways to fill vacant storefronts downtown; protecting Benicia’s small town charm; preserving the historic Arsenal and protecting businesses there; and keeping my promise to youth and seniors for the Mills Community Center.    

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 27, 2009

Benicia sales tax revenue above other cities

Note from Dan:

Even during this economic downturn, Benicia industrial businesses and restaurants showed increased sales in 2nd quarter 2009 compared to last year!  Benicia is a good place to do business, and we must keep it that way by improving infrastructure in the industrial park, and by promoting tourism.
Dan
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Benicia’s sales tax revenue up

By Tony Burchyns/  Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 10/27/2009

BENICIA — Sales tax revenues here climbed from April through June while other Bay Area cities saw a double-digit decline from a year ago, a second-quarter fiscal report finds.   The report found second-quarter receipts were 5.7 percent higher — up about $81,000 — than one year ago.

New drug and chemical, light industrial and printer businesses bolstered Benicia’s healthy returns.  Restaurants selling beer and wine also reported higher sales figures.   Service stations, contractors, specialty stores and electrical equipment groups fell, as they did in most areas of the state. Gas stations statewide reported lower sales due to lower prices at the pump and people driving less.

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 27, 2009

Residents, owners, Commission debate Arsenal plan

Arsenal development plans divide Benicia

Author: Tony Burchyns
October 26, 2009

BENICIA — Whether to allow a developer to build a hip row of townhouses in the history-laden, arty and industrial lower Arsenal has been a local debate for years.  And from the looks of it, there’s still no clear consensus on the matter.

At a public hearing last week, residents, property owners and environmentalists rehashed their positions, arguing for and against a proposed 22-home “residential row” of townhouses at 1025 Grant St., and 185,000 square feet of mixed-use development off of Jefferson Court. 

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 23, 2009

Doubts about residential development in Arsenal district

Note from Dan:

The outcome of the joint meeting referred to in this article was to postpone any decision on the Lower Arsenal Specific Plan and Draft EIR.   Commission members felt more review is necessary, and many expressed doubts and concerns about the wisdom of putting mixed use housing in the lower Aresenal in such close proximity to existing industrial and commercial businesses. 
I share those doubts and concerns.
Dan
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City considers mixed uses for Arsenal district

By Tony Burchyns/ Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 10/22/2009

BENICIA — The fate of future development in the city’s historic, but crumbling lower Arsenal district will be discussed tonight at a special city meeting.

Issues entwined in the so-called Lower Arsenal Mixed Use Specific Plan center on what kind of development, residential or commercial-industrial, should be allowed on the former military grounds — and how much it.

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 22, 2009

Council approves carbon reduction programs

Note from Dan:

I look forward to keeping the city on track in the implementation of these programs!  Over the next serveral years, these programs will help us meet our green-house gas reduction goals as set out by our Climate Action Plan.
Dan
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Benicia OKs major push to reduce energy use

By Tony Burchyns, Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 10/22/2009

BENICIA — The City Council has unanimously OK’d green measures meant to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, develop a possible renewable-energy power plant and save hundreds of residents money on their energy bills. 

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 21, 2009

Scout quarters and tourism move forward

Note from Dan:

I’m glad to see that the city is finally taking concrete action to create replacement housing for the scout quarters.  It represents a promise made to the scouts several years ago by the Council, but neglected until recently.  If I’m elected, I’ll make sure our scouts get their restored meeting and storage space without any further delays.
Dan
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Scout quarters and tourism on Benicia agenda

By Tony Burchyns, Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 10/20/2009

BENICIA — A new home for Boy and Girl Scouts, and a tourism plan, will be considered tonight by the City Council.  

City staff is set to present architectural drawings for the first phase of the Mills Community Center project, which will allow local Scouts to use the building year-round and provide two rooms for the Kids Kaleidoscope after-school program. The facility also will house the city’s Summer Adventures Day Camp, city officials say. 

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | October 3, 2009

Tourism marketing firm selected

Note from Dan:

I’m very optimistic about our tourism marketing program. I believe it will generate significant new sales tax revenue for our city and boost our downtown economy and vibrancy.  Benicia has so many unique attractions for visitors – historic assets, the arts, our waterfront – the missing piece in the past has been the lack of a focused marketing plan, and leadership with the time and money to promote it.  

In particular, Benicia has unique heritage tourism opportunities that I would like to see developed.  We have the best Civil War history site on the west coast, and one of the best for transportation history, including the Pony Express and trains that crossed a river on the world’s largest ferry.  These are wonderful historical assets that need to be marketed and showcased. 
Dan
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Benicia to woo visitors

By Tony Burchyns/ Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 10/02/2009

BENICIA — Drive-time ads on major radio stations like KGO. Web videos. A Facebook page and Twitter account leading people to a tourism Web site.  These are some of the possibilities for a 20-month marketing plan meant to promote Benicia as a fun, interesting and relaxing place to empty your wallet. 

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Posted by: dansmithforbenicia | September 29, 2009

Ordinance to require binding development agreement

Note from Dan:

This proposed ordinance is a good step.  When the Seeno project becomes acitve again, we would have a legally binding mechanism in place to hold the developer to his promises.
Dan
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Benicia weighs tighter development controls

By Tony Burchyns/ Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 09/28/2009

BENICIA — In light of recent controversies surrounding the so-called Seeno project, Benicia may try to strengthen its zoning code to give big developers less wiggle room.  The city’s zoning code says a developer may seek a so-called development agreement, but the legal tool ensuring that long-range projects adhere to their original visions is not mandatory.

City officials have drafted provisions requiring the city and developers to negotiate conditions of approval for projects of 40 acres or more. Under such agreements, big developments may be required to include things like bike lanes, trails, open space, a fire station, landscaping and other features the community may want or need. 

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