There’s been a lot of discussion on other social media sites about the issues of slowing traffic down in many side streets. A bunch of folks talked about W 5th Street. But it’s a city wide issue. I believe that there may be some tools that our community can use to control some of this.  Obviously this is a real problem and perhaps it moves from reactionary enforcement by the police to precautionary work with police, public works and city council. Use of speed bumps and other traffic calming tools could be a quick answer along with warning asphalt strips and more. Let’s start talking about this. It’s a problem now before someone dies. I’m going to bring this up to Steve Young maybe he knows if there are any city plans on traffic calming

Posted August 13 in Benicia Happenings, Facebook and other social media sites Hey Folks,

I proudly endorse Steve Young for Benicia Mayor

These are not normal times.  This new normal will challenge the City of Benicia like it has never been challenged before.  The very fabric of our community is in a state of seismic change.  The challenges we face are unapparelled.

We need to elect a Mayor who can face our complex future with strength of conviction, a willingness to inspire, a desire to look at new paths, to understand that the solutions to tomorrow and beyond will not be found looking back at yesterday.

 I endorse Steve Young because I know he will look through the lens of change and see how to bring to the City of Benicia the leadership for smart growth, the knowledge of how to create financial stability and the understanding of how to build consensus leadership.

Steve has proven that he will fight for what he believes is right.  He will fight for what he believes the community needs.  He will fight for you.

Vote for someone who looks to the future not the relies on past solutions to solve today’s very complex issues.

Terry Scott

BENICIA HAPPENINGS POST

August 10

TLDR. How do we create an effective local policy platform that makes Benicia a multi-generational, age friendly city? How do we challenge the status quo to bring about change, not only for our aging community but also for our thriving millennial families? What do you think could be done to utilize our city assets (waterfront, 1st street, parks, arsenal etc.) to create a thriving social and economic scene for ALL generations of Benicia?

Hey folks, Terry Scott here. Since this forum has been provided to candidates to actually encourage discussion and debate, I’d like for us, as a community, think a little outside the box.

We stand at a crossroads as a community. What is our future? I ask you to close your eyes and think… “What will Benicia look like in 2025 and beyond?” Do you see it returning to 2019? Do you see it reflecting 2010, with a downtown ravaged by The Great Recession? Do you see it as something entirely different?

I believe it is critical that a candidate bring to the table, identifiable solutions and expertise. Solutions that not only address the most current issues facing the community, but also the wisdom, experience and earned leadership to see beyond the surface.

Clearly the impact of COVID-19 will be felt in our community for years to come. There is a tremendous amount of upheaval and unknown due to the stunning financial, social, political and medical implications that we have yet to truly quantify. I acknowledge these challenges completely. However, at the exact same time, we are dealing with a cultural shift within our community that we need to enter into the public debate. It will have profound impact on the core of Benicia for years to come.

Benicia is aging. Our population is getting more gray. The need to create an age friendly city is upon us. BUT, age friendly, is not limited to addressing only the needs of the elderly. It MUST also address the needs of Millennials! In order to keep our community vibrant, evolving and desirable for new residents and businesses alike, we have no choice but to balance the needs of two very different life stages.

Did you know that the median age in the US is: 38.2 up from 35.3 in 2000?

Did you know that the median age in California is: 36.7?

Did you know that the median age in Benicia today is: 45.7 up from 38.9 in 2000?

Did you know that almost a third of Benicia Residents are over 55?

The three complex questions I ask are:

1.What are our senior wants and needs as our population ages?

2.What do Millennials want as they are entering into the family cycle of life?

3. Is there a comprehensive local plan developed for Benicia that can accommodate both generations?

Here are my thoughts regarding seniors:

Most of our seniors desperately want to “Age in Place”. They love Benicia, but building structures have created a housing problem. A significant number of our over 55 population lives within the downtown core; consisting of multi-level condos, turn of the century multi-story homes and very few single-floor homes. Additionally, many of, our parks are not passive and handicapped accessible, and parking remains limited. Transportation access is few and far between, and in some cases nearly impossible for seniors to take advantage of.

So, what can be done from a city perspective over the next 5-10 years:

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1. Identify and collaborate with existing organizations like Carquinez Village and Aging Grant Foundations for planning, assessment and strategy tools to help fund projects

2. Create an office on aging with a supervisory body funded through grants

3. Encourage Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) construction which brings in good paying union trades  jobs by providing tax breaks and reducing fees/permitting costs. Basic education regarding state rules on building ADUs can pave the way for multi-generational living.

4. We can encourage developers to create in-fill housing that is single story living and perhaps two or three stories in height that can be affordable to seniors. While there is not a significant number of residential sites available, the ones that are could be configured to meet neighborhood standards and provide age friendly living space

5. Review all city parks under the Parks and Rec master plan and determine how to make them accessible and age friendly.

6. Encourage more expansive SolTrans coverage for our community; including daily or on-demand transportation adjacent to medical facilities

7. Benicia should be a more walkable town. Enhanced First St. crosswalk markings, speed bumps to calm traffic, and improved walking paths along our shoreline could vastly improve walkability for seniors.

Here are my thoughts regarding millennials:

Attracting millennials means families. It means more people. It means more business. Facebook, Apple and Google have announced that within 5 years, almost 50% of their staff will consist of remote workers. We are the perfect location with freeway access, ferry service to San Francisco and a landscape that is almost impossible to be beat.

Distance will no longer matter, while the internet makes the village global. Millennials will have greater access to quality work/life balance, while Benicia will provide access to great schools, beautiful parks, safety for their children, and a top-notch police department.

However, this next generation requires more. They require the 18-hour day. They want entertainment. They want vibrant restaurants. They want the benefits of the big city but the values of a small-town. BENICIA HAS THIS!

So, what can be done from a city perspective over the next 5-10 years:

1. We can attract millennials through the city utilizing some of its structures to build remote working hubs that are safe and efficient.

2. We can encourage more retail space, rather than commercial space.

3. We can support and develop a performing art center.

4. We take our best attribute; our magnificent waterfront and improve the marina. Let’s encourage the use of small watercraft rental and more.

5. Our music and nightlife scene should be evaluated by integrating areas like The Spit/Pier for weekend music and cultural events.

6. Theatre in the Park could be integrated into the Library natural downstairs outdoor amphitheater

7. Shopping hours should be modified to meet the needs of these new residents

8. Be Bold. Think of the possibilities of the ideas that support a more millennial friendly downtown scene.

There is zero reason, we, as a city can’t market ourselves as the perfect location for millennial living, while meeting the infrastructural needs of our senior community. We can be both. But to do so, let’s engage and listen. Let’s re-evaluate. Let’s respond to priorities. What will YOUR Benicia look like in 2025 and beyond?

As you start making your voting decision for the upcoming Benicia City Council race, I would ask that you consider the depth and proven qualifications that I bring to Benicia. Visit Terryscottforbeniciacitycouncil.org for an expansive understanding of my platform

Facebook Posting

My son Jason and I are trying do our part to fight hunger in Benicia.

We believe no one should go to bed hungry here. Both of us believe it’ls more about doing than just a sympathetic statement.

We thought we would tell you what we are doing. So for more than 5 weeks we have supplied local food and faith-based organizations with more than 1500 top grade sandwiches to help feed those who are in need.

Jason works for Natural Choice Distribution in Emeryville. He works with local artesian bakers, and area food purveyors to supply colleges, local schools, Whole Foods and more with prepared foods.

With the shutdown of most of Natural Choice’s customers, Jason and other local food purveyors banded together to make and distribute their food products to those in need.

After working through a number of organizations, we found the best way to distribute the sandwiches was to work with Northgate Christian Fellowship in Benicia as our local coordination drop off point.

It’s a blast working with your son to pay it forward. Each week Jason brings up between 250-300 pre-made and individual packaged sandwiches for distribution.
Here are two pix of me and and Jason Scott and Megan Freeman from Northgate Christian Fellowship unloading the car.

FaceBook Posting

July 25, 2020

In case you missed the recent City news release, Public Art is alive and growing in Benicia.
I’m happy to say the student art mural installation on Military West near Mary Farmar Drive is up and it’s looking great. This is the third year of the collaboration between the Arts and Culture Commission and the Benicia Unified School System.
Thanks to Mrs. Leslie Beatson, BUSD Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services and Alfredo Romero, head of maintenance and his team for the installation.
I’d also like to thank Jan Radesky from the Public Art Committee for coordinating the project with the student artists, the School District, the Arts and Culture Commission and the Public Art Committee.
Funding for this Public Art installation comes from a donation by Valero Benicia Refinery to the Arts and Culture Commission and support from the BUSD staff.

 

FaceBook Posting: Filing for office

July 26, 2020

Well it can’t be more official than this. I filed my candidacy and nomination papers Thursday with City Clerk Lisa Wolfe.

After completing the papers, Ms. Wolfe administered the candidate’s oath of office to me at the City Clerk’s office.

I do want the people of Benicia to know I’m not just the “art guy” that some people have labeled me. While I love that title, I know business. I know adversity. I know prosperity. I know how to manage through the good times and the bad. At Hasbro, where I was SVP, Global Head of Creative Services, I managed an international team of more than 700 highly dedicated people with an annual budget of $1.7 billion. I managed through the ravages of the great recession. I learned that one of the most important aspects of managing through a financial crisis was listening. Listening to what your team needs. Listening to what your customers want. Listening to what the company could do.

I believe those same skills and strengths, honed over my career, are the same skills and qualities which will be required of an effective council member as we recover from COVID-19

Letter to the Benicia Herald concerning our downtown actions:

July 18, 2020

Open letter to Benicia City Manager, City Staff, and City Council:

More than eight weeks ago I brought up the subject of helping to serve our many restaurants and shops by  looking creatively at what can be done on First Street to provide more outdoor seating and shopping area.

Eight weeks ago I provided examples of what other cities are doing to act proactively to create parklets, change the traffic pattern on First Street, to do something that would show the business community that in a crisis,  like we’ve never experienced before , that the city can be responsive.

I understand that government takes time to move.  But it’s Mid-July and there has been no visible action that has been communicated to us. . 

In less than eight weeks the folks from Pacifica Pizza have constructed an outdoor dining pavilion designed to support the overall needs of the community on First Street.

In less than eight weeks the folks from Sailor Jacks have modified their parking lot and added wind breaking panels for outdoor seating.

In less than eight weeks, Dennis Cullen’s pub has expanded his outdoor patio seating to survive.

As  businesses struggle to find ways to survive, the city is still discussing how to complete the granting process of the $200,000 set aside for them.

In less than eight weeks, Ponder and Valero have teamed up to provide more than $240,000 in immediate aid to our struggling community.

While this cash infusion was lifesaving, I believe that we should create a Restore Benicia program.  This program is targeted to Help small businesses thrive after they survive Covid-19.  This program would be a public-private partnership organized to insure Benicia’s long-term growth.

I’m sure the city staff is diligently working on the First Street project.  I’m confident that what they develop will be appropriate for our City.  I would hope that they would be able to communicate their actions to all of us so we can understand the processes. I know the City Council supports moving forward.  I know staff does. 

But in times of crisis I believe the City could  should have found ways simply help our downtown by moving with swift visible action.

To me, leadership is defined by how we manage under crisis. 

Yes, I am a candidate for City Council.  But I am more importantly a concerned resident.  

Respectfully,

Terry Scott

LOOKING AT OUR FUTURE–EXCERPTS FROM POSTS

If you all would indulge me, for the moment its unclear what will the short and long term impact of COVID-19 be on our small town.  

Given that uncertainty, I would like to take a philosophical approach to our future. I don’t believe any of the candidates can know what the financial or cultural implications of COVID-19 will have on our community. It’s a wild card like nothing before. Clearly, we are facing a Huge wall of debt and significant CalPers obligations.

However, the crisis in front of us demands immediate attention. Business closings. Shelter in place looming. Fear prevalent from both shoppers to owners. I’m not suggesting the city or those running for office obfuscate our long term fiscal responsibility. I’m suggesting we ask ourselves and our government, what will Benicia look like in four years in a post Covid-19 world? I believe we have to approach the implications and impact of COVID-19 in four phases. Here’s the beginning of a vision/plan.

Phase 1. Understanding. Where are we in understanding the impact today and tomorrow in being able to effectively deliver the quality of life standards our community expects. Fire. Police. Water and essential services

Phase 2. Understanding what opportunities and solutions can be addressed in what we should call the new normal period which will likely be in 2021. Can private-public partnerships work? Can fear be addressed in a manner that will instill confidence in our community to begin restoring our cultural and sociatial infrastructures. Can our community feel we’ve moved forward past a triage state. How to we provide a framework of help for our residents and businesses? This Phase 2 understanding  establishes the vision for what Benicia can be.  Do we all agree we are in the same boat? Do we all agree that we must help the residents of our community weather this storm?  Do we all agree that no one in Benicia should go to bed hungry?  Do we all agree that downtown must thrive? Do we all agree that business is a powerhouse engine that must be continually nurtured and supported? 

Phase 3. The recovery period. 2021-25. Federal, state and local revenue stabilize.  Trust and faith In our institutions return. A sense of normalcy returns. But normalcy as what? A thriving , lively downtown ? A overly commercialize downtown.? Will we have the vision and the boldness to fashion and mold Benicia to address the needs of the future. Without fiscal responsibility we can not build our future. But without vision we continue to stumble without purpose.

Phase 4. The new Benicia. Certainly things will be different. Did we as citizens and government work together towards building measureable goals? Will the next council have the ability and will to face our many underlying problems ? I hope so. This 4 phase guideline is just an organic way to look at insights, P&L sheets, community standards of quality of life and embark together with purpose.

 

LETTER TO CITY COUNCIL 7/7/2020

Mayor Patterson, Council and staff:

I am asking you to approve the proposed Lake Herman road solar farm project.  
Approval of the  Solar Farm is an opportunity for the city council to deliver a tangible statement in its commitment to sustainability.
Approval of this project establishes a proactive bold statement of long term vision.
Approval of this project recognizes the need to support opportunities to support green, clean, renewable energy.

Sometimes we need to take bold actions to meet the challenge of change   


Respectfully, terry scott

 

Subject: Modification of traffic flow on First Street

Mayor, council members, staff:


What Is the City staff’s progress of working on plans to develop parklets on First street which may allow restaurants to expand there social distanced  serving space?

Is the City staff looking at a change in the traffic pattern on first street to allow for specific blocks to be either made one way or closed on the weekends?

If the city is looking at any of these opportunities is the staff looking at increasing handicapped access and parking during these potential changes?

Finally,  if staff is looking at any project like this will installation or initiation  be this summer?

Respectfully.

Terry Scott Post 7/13.  Benicia Happenings/ Next Door Benicia

SUBJECT:Downtown Development:  

Hey All. I posted this up this morning on Benicia Happenings:
Thanks Benicia Happenings for providing a format that will stimulate a series of thoughtful candidate single topic issue posts. It’s my hope that Benicia Happenings readers will be encouraged to discuss this subject in an open dialogue.
So, I’ve chosen for my first campaign platform discussion to focus on our Downtown First Street —the heart and soul of our small-town. Not only is Downtown the heart and soul of Benicia, it’s a very good indicator of the economic and social health of our city
About six weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the city council, as well as posted it up to a few social media sites, asking could the city modify the traffic pattern on First Street to accommodate more restaurant and local business needs. Could the additional street space afforded businesses on First Street help generate business?
The letter was read into the record and not discussed. I believe that we must now take action. We can no longer wait to talk about change. Yes, we are very thankful to the Ponder/Valero generous gift of grants to many downtown businesses. A truly wonderful expression of Benicians helping Benicians..
The city has also set aside money to help our business community. But I think we simply can’t wait for the execution of city grant programs which take lengthy processing time and, in the end, a modest amount of money to help our individual businesses who want to help themselves
It’s time to get serious. It’s time to be bold and look at how we can help our downtown businesses today.
Yes. Benicia’s First Street is special. It’s different and more unique than most cities since we have limited east-west through streets. But let’s try something!!!
I suggest that we need to look at closing sections of First Street that will allow for social distance dining and shopping. We need to create parklets on First Street near these restaurants to allow for adjacent space dining.
We only need to look around us to see other communities taking this action as a way to stimulate business—not only through private and public grants, but by allowing businesses to conduct their businesses in a semi-normal” way.
I’m not suggesting that we close First Street (all or part) or make it one-way forever. It’s a limited project for summer-time enjoyment. It’s perhaps just for the weekends only into the Fall.
This is a critical period for our businesses downtown. Especially our restaurants who add such color and energy to our city’s quality of life.
907. Gone. First Street Café. Gone. Camellia Tea
Room. Closing. Plus, there is a wide assortment of businesses that have closed already. How much time and how many businesses must close before we understand that we need to think and act differently. Now
We have great police and fire department leadership. Tell me if we can conduct a farmer’s market once a week that we can’t figure out how to install parklets using barriers and close sections of First Street NOW!
An added plus, if the city decides to move forward with parklets barriers, we can use the barriers as mural art platforms for local expression and design. We can create a much livelier and more beautiful place for our residents, businesses and visitors who come to enjoy Benicia.
Yes, the there are parking issues. Yes, there will be resident access issues but let’s talk about being serious now and taking a big step forward.
In addition, as noted, unfortunately there will be vacant retail and restaurant space on First Street. We must ensure that this space remains retail and restaurant.
I propose that the city work with the various landlords of these buildings and creates a fund that provides new businesses, that want to come into these vacant spaces, a 3-month free rent period. This would allow the businesses to get up and running quickly.
The Economic Development Department would be responsible for the management of this project. This could simply be managed by working with the landlords to expand out lease payments over a longer lease time period.
Yes, it may require using public dollars to subsidize businesses.
But, in the end, is it not worth an investment to continue to help keep our city vibrant and exciting.
Let’s find a way to work together now to help downtown today. The longer we wait the more we could lose our small town feel. Vacant store fronts benefit no one.
I’m sure each business wants to help themselves. They don’t want to be asking for public money. They want to do business. Can we find a way within the realm of social distancing, masks and sanitizers, to give them opportunity.
I’m sure the city is working on this project. My intent is to say. Get going now. We’re losing businesses today

Published by Terry Scott-Torchlight Parade July 4

It may not be the Torchlight parade , but a few of my neighbors fired up their classics and we drove down first street. Parked at the spit and talked car talk. Not the same. But it was something.

Image may contain: one or more people, ocean, sky, car and outdoor
 
Mask Resolution: NextDoor Benicia

19 states are spiking. Record hospital admissions. Clearly we have not learned our lesson that our rugged individualism will cost lives. I thought I understood the debate. But I don’t. I don’t know at what point wearing a mask became a symbol. I thought however with all information about masking that people would at have at least dropped their tribal objections when in public. But no. Sadly I watched a large number of folks shopping at Raley’s last night without masks on. In particular I saw a couple with a very young baby. Maybe the baby was 2 weeks old. As we approached the fruit section we reached for some fruit and I exaggerated my mask and he said I won’t wear a mask. A few minutes later he followed me and said he was not going to wear a mask. So I am not very confrontational these day because it only causes problems But I finally responded to the taunt. I asked how young the baby was. He said two weeks. I asked was he there for the birth. He proudly said he was. I asked if he wore a surgical gown , booties and mask in the delivery room he said yes. I asked him why it’s ok to wear a mask to protect his son and wife in delivery but it wasn’t ok to protect me as I go shopping. He got classically angry. He just didn’t understand the need to be a good citizen. Welcome to selfish, tribal America

Just a quick note to the many Benicians interested in my position on the Solar Farm Project:
I support the use of city property outside of the Open Space Boundary Line since it provides green, renewable energy; the project will not require any city investment such as sewer, water and other services ; it will create jobs which the city obviously needs; and will provide city revenues. Plus, if you had the opportunity to look at the developers proposal, you would see how well the project is designed with appropriate landscaping and visual line of sight blocks. The Solar Farm is an opportunity for the city council to deliver a tangible statement in its commitment to sustainability.

Sometimes we need to take bold actions to meet the challenge of change ahead of us.