By Gregory Maier:
There have been incredible changes and massive growth in Concord since my childhood and young adulthood, but one constant seems to be the Concord City Council.
The politics and relationships between Council members, candidates, and powerful local interests, from the dynastic developers and leading business owners to the almost obligatory favor one must curry with law enforcement and other high-profile, well-funded backers who can make or break a candidate’s electability, is nothing new. But in this second decade of the 21st century the cronyism and practically pro forma campaigns managed and carried out by the entrenched powers have, in my opinion, reached a point where citizens must decide not only how to move forward but must also resolve to not look backward. That’s why I am voting for Terry Kremin for Concord City Council.
Terry Kremin is a political outsider in our town, a younger family man with new ideas who questions the Old Order and doesn’t pander to power figures or groups.
Two things that draw me to Terry Kremin are his vision for smart development where Concord’s growth is concerned, and championing our citizens. Concord will continue to grow: there are many fine neighborhoods in our city, but instead of preserving them, high-density development has sprung up in their midst –as has happened with the Monument Corridor — rather than along major arteries or near mass transit.
The high density development worked well for the developers who built it — and for the City Council members they backed.
How about the rush to exploit the erstwhile Concord Naval Weapons Station? I would rather see slow and natural development of that land, free from the overriding influence of a master developer dreaming of acres of identical houses and a “world class sports complex” — we have seen the folly of a sports complex idea up in Sacramento. Wouldn’t it make more sense to construct a “world class” shopping area along Highway 4 that people will go to for more than shopping instead of acres of pavement as now exists in Pinole along I-80?
Intelligently-planned development — smaller neighborhoods with character to match the rest of the city — would arguably encourage more than merely minimum wage jobs in strip malls and draw more families and businesses that pay living wages. But how can we accomplish this with a City Council paid for by special interests that make sweetheart deals with developers? Terry Kremin has come out against the rubberstamping of decisions for big donors and pet contacts from local clubs. I support Terry’s position on these issues, his independent thinking, and decisions made on behalf of what all of Concord’s families — present and future — need and will require.
Whether it’s painting crosswalks so that our children can safely walk to schools and parks or ensuring an effective, strong police force, I think Terry Kremin is the candidate who will work for the betterment of our city and its families, and bring new ideas to the table in 2012 and beyond. For me, Terry Kremin exemplifies the kind of forward-looking ideas Concord needs to become a model city.
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