Search The Tattler

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Election 2016 Candidates Questionnaire: Louise Engel

Louise Engel
On Livability

The Tattler presents the 2016 election candidates questionnaire.  Candidates for elected office will answer questions broken down into topical sections that effect Emeryville residents. Responses will be released section by section rotating through all the responding candidates representing the City Council and School Board hopefuls.  
The order of presentation was chosen randomly. Regular Tattler stories will be interspersed in the 2016 election questionnaire.  Readers wishing to peruse all the answers by an individual may use the search bar function by entering ”Election 2016 Candidates Questionnaire” with the name of the candidate and all of that candidate’s sections will be presented. Alternatively just typing in the name of the candidate will also work. 
There are six candidates running for three seats and all answered our questionnaire save candidate for City Council Brynnda Collins.  

Today, candidate for City Council Louise Engel answers questions on livability (please check the previously posted section 1 answers for this candidate's bio):

Section 4  Livability

Readers Note:  Louise Engel did not answer any questions on the livability section.  She did produce the following text as a response to all three questions:

The City staff present to the Council regular progress reports that look at City data that tracks business conditions in the broad sense, for example, through business openings and closures in Emeryville. Our economy, though, does not exist in a vacuum. Our businesses serve local and regional markets. Regional and national economic trends and conditions influence Emeryville’s businesses and economy. City staff join with our neighboring cities to share information to understand East Bay conditions.

A report that looks at regional indicators is one means to understand the economic health of our community. Recently the East Bay Economic Development Alliance released an economic study that includes Emeryville: “East Bay Outlook, 2016-2017.” The report concludes that East Bay cities will continue to experience positive circumstances in 2016. Workers within the high tech and similar categories choose to live here, attracted to Emeryville’s central location and more affordable housing (compared to other parts of the Bay area). This creates short term pressures on small business conditions, housing and quality of life. In the long term, this type of worker category has the potential to provide positive economic outcomes for Emeryville. That labor asset can be leveraged to attract businesses to our city and to foster further growth at firms already located here.

The following are excerpts from the report on pages 5 - 8:
Small Business:
The East Bay is particularly friendly to small businesses and has a higher concentration of small firms compared with San Francisco and San Jose. Small businesses account for 45.5% of employment in the area, compared with 43.0% in San Francisco and 35.1% in San Jose. These small businesses have been a huge asset to the region during the recovery and current expansion. The distribution of employment in the East Bay indicates that the region is well equipped to support small businesses. It has successfully grown large businesses as well, although it is home to fewer large businesses compared with its neighbors.”
Labor Market:
The East Bay labor market moved forward at a strong pace in 2015 [2.8%], matching statewide job growth rates and surpassing average national job growth rates. The region also boasted lower unemployment rates in 2015 [4.3%], compared to the state and nation.”
Business Sales:
As local incomes rise, the East Bay economy also benefits from incrementally higher spending. Taxable sales growth in the East Bay outpaced the South Bay and San Francisco, as well as California. Taxable sales growth in the East Bay also came in faster than nationwide retail sales.”
East Bay Residents as Commuters:
Outbound commuting among East Bay residents remains most common in high-skilled industries — which means that these workers are likely bringing home relatively higher wages. Many of these workers migrated to the East Bay in search of more affordable housing and improved quality of life while maintaining jobs in San Francisco or San Jose. They now represent a local asset that can be leveraged to attract businesses to the East Bay and to foster further growth at existing firms…. forecasts that payroll employment will continue to grow at roughly 2.0% during 2016.”
Housing pressures short term:
“….the East Bay benefits from these commuters over the short run through increased demand for housing and more spending in the local economy…..Over the longer term, these outbound commuters represent a significant local asset that can be leveraged for a variety of economic development efforts”

[for example] …. that can be leveraged to attract businesses to the East Bay and to foster further growth at existing firms.”

Tattler:  Other cities have implemented bans on ‘formula’ retail; that being national chains, franchises, fast food etc.  Emeryville already has a plethora of these kinds of businesses.  Do you see constituting a ban as something Emeryville should do moving forward?

Louise Engel:  Did not answer the question.

Tattler:  New construction is commonly too expensive for local retail to afford because of the high rents developers must charge to recoup their construction costs.  This is often cited as the reason Emeryville can’t seem to deliver the kind of locally serving retail Emeryville residents want.  The Tattler has proposed new development write off retail rents associated with their residential projects by forcing developers to put in writing their assurances to bring locally serving/non-formula retail.  Would you force this assurance guarantee from developers for new residential development?

Louise Engel:  Did not answer the question.

Tattler:  Emeryville has gotten worse over time in several key areas, specifically with regards to the things residents tell us they want to see in their town.  We have been told by a generation of City Council members by their voting records that we must accept that Emeryville must get worse over time. The Tattler has made a declaration that we should not permit new development to make our town worse insofar as can be measured.  So for instance in affordability, park acreage per resident, locally serving retail, ratio of home ownership to rentals; these hallmarks of livability (and more) are measurable and the effect new development has on our existing metrics can be measured.  We could have a blanket insistence that all new development not make the town get measurably worse in key areas or even an insistence that new development make our town get measurably better.  Would you support this?

Louise Engel:  Did not answer the question.

No comments:

Post a Comment