by Jackie Martenson for City Council
Do I think City Council is doing a poor job? No. But we can do better, and this year I felt a call to help do so.
I am running particularly on a ‘green’ agenda. This platform will serve not only to move Ventura into a more self-suﬃcient city but also create job growth and a stronger infrastructure without raising taxes.
Which is why I oppose Measure O. Of course the city needs more revenue, but we’re already pricing average middle class households out of Ventura. Additional sales tax would further hurt the families I’d like to be a voice for. The median household income for Ventura is $66,485/year. Measure O would increase what the average Ventura citizen already pays in taxes by $170/year. Furthermore, the accountability of where this money will be spent is unanswered. It’s a blank check to the Council with an oversight committee appointed by the Council.
Next, the drought. This is a complicated issue; however, the answer is not the state. We cannot become reliant on sources that at any time can cut us oﬀ; leaving us worse oﬀ than before given the false reality additional water can give at the time in terms of growth for Ventura. Ventura is unique in that all of our water comes from local grounds. It is something to be proud of and why Ventura should be at the forefront of creating a sustainable, local solution.
The city has already enacted the successful “Green Street Project”. Additional resources should be provided to water conservation and reuse such as capturing and recycling yard water run-oﬀ.
Self-suﬃciency is not possible without local food. We need to work with farmers and their land to utilize our precious water in the most eﬃcient and eﬀective means. Using permaculture design, we can restructure the lay-out of our farmlands to create a more sustainable and permanent agriculture.
To increase infrastructure, revenue and job growth, I propose ‘solarizing’ Ventura. At least three farms closed last year. If the land cannot, at this time, be reconstructed into farmable land, then there is a space where a solar farm could be applied. Other cities from here east are contracting with solar energy companies to put solar panels on all homes in their city; thus, not only creating revenue for the city, but dropping the average household energy bill by 75%.
Additionally, Ventura should invest in wind energy. We have the wind and need the power. Echoes throughout the City call for more tech companies. What better way to bring that type of job growth than to be at the forefront of sustainable energy.
There are seven seats on the Council. Ventura would like to see a more diverse representation of the people and their voice. Businessmen, lawyers and the blue collar worker. We may not have all the answers yet, but at least now we’re discussing new and innovative ideas. Let’s work together to find the solutions for us, our kids, and generations to come. Thank you for your vote. I look forward to serving you and preserving our home, San Buenaventura.