Every election cycle, Bike Santa Cruz County endorses candidates that we believe will improve conditions for cyclists throughout our county. In the upcoming election, seats are open in City Council races for Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Capitola. Here are some important dates and links:
- Tuesday, November 8, 2016 is Election Day.
- The deadline to register to vote in this election is Monday, October 24.
- Mail-in voting starts on Monday, October 10, as does early in-person voting. (Go to http://tinyurl.com/jt6nbx3 to register for vote-by-mail or for instructions on voting in person before Election Day.)
- Additional voter information is at www.votescount.com, or call the Santa Cruz County Elections department at (831) 454-2060.
Our Endorsement Process
All candidates received surveys from Bike Santa Cruz County and were given a deadline for submitting their answers. Our endorsement committee reviewed the responses and, when applicable, the candidate’s past record. Below are brief comments about the candidates we endorsed and those we didn’t. Our endorsement is meant to guide voters in choosing candidates who will be leaders in our mission to improve cycling in Santa Cruz County. As always, we know that our members care about a range of issues. We recommend reading the full candidate surveys, and weigh these positions along with others that matter to you. Click on each candidates name to read their complete candidate survey. Please consider getting involved in a local campaign by donating time or money. It is easy to do: just go to the website of the candidate you are interested in and sign up.
Bike Santa Cruz County has also endorsed Measure D, a half-cent sales tax measure for local transportation projects. Read more about Measure D and our reasons for endorsing it here.
SANTA CRUZ–ENDORSED (4 seats / 5 endorsed)
A NOTE FROM THE ENDORSEMENT COMMITTEE: All of the surveys we received from Santa Cruz City Council candidates were thoughtful and expressed some commitment to improving cycling in the city. That is a huge step forward from where we were 20 years ago, when we first started doing candidate surveys. As cycling has gained support in our community, we have higher expectations for candidates. We believe that the following individuals will actively champion improved cycling in Santa Cruz.
J.M. Brown: J.M.’s survey showed an impressive mastery of local bike issues. We appreciated his understanding of the importance of the City’s Complete Streets Master Plan and his ideas for funding future rail trail segments. While he did not express clear commitments on contentious issues, he expressed strong understanding
of the importance of better bike facilities and the process for getting them built.
Drew Glover: Drew is a grassroots organizer who has been effective working on local campaigns. He seems willing to take a stand on bike issues—when asked about closing roads to increase bike and pedestrian access, Drew answered with a strong yes. Drew expressed good ideas about balancing the needs of neighbors who oppose parking removal with the need to build better bike facilities. Drew is recently car-free, and expresses a strong commitment to improving conditions for people on bikes in Santa Cruz.
Chris Krohn: During his last term on the City Council, from 1998 to 2002, the Council moved cycling forward significantly byinstalling bike lanes on Soquel Avenue and the protected bike lanes on Beach Street. In his survey, Chris had specific proposals for improving bicycle safety in our community, including bike safety education, helmet and light giveaways, and active City promotion of safe cycling. His long track record of supporting bikes issues make us confident that he will be a champion for cycling if elected. Chris primarily uses a bicycle for transportation.
Steve Schnaar: Steve has been deeply involved in the bicycling community in Santa Cruz for over a decade, including 14 years working as a mechanic at the Bike Church. Steve volunteers as a bike mechanic instructor for the Bike Tech program, leads trips for Green Ways to School, and helps to organize the monthly Bike Party. Steve is a former Bike Santa Cruz County board member and has been a long-time champion for biking.
Robert Singleton: Robert’s survey was thorough and well researched, and he expressed strong support for facilities like protected bike lanes. While all of the candidates are committed to the rail trail, Robert has a specific long term plan: try to pass Measure D and, if that doesn’t work, include the city’s portion of rail trail as the “number one priority” of a tax increase for infrastructure projects. Robert has not owned a car for most of his adult life, and instead has walked, biked, and used transit.
Santa Cruz—Not Endorsed
Sandy Brown: Sandy expressed commitment to better bike facilities, but her survey did not show a deep understanding of the particular questions asked. If elected, we will look forward to working with her to bring her up to speed.
Cynthia Mathews: Cynthia shows real concern and grasp of transportation issues and is a dedicated pedestrian. While she has supported some bike projects over the years, she has not been a consistent ally. During the last budget hearings, for example, she was willing to cut green lanes funding to free up money for the Art League. While she has been an important part of a generally pro-bike Council, she hasn’t consistently risen to our high bar for a bike champion. If Cynthia is elected, we will continue to work with her and urge her to take stronger leadership.
Steve Pleich: Many of Steve’s survey responses focused on passing Measure D, and did not express a comprehensive plan to improving cycling beyond that. While Measure D is an important possible funding source for bike infrastructure improvements, more is needed to improve our transportation system. Steve lives car-free and writes that he primarily uses the bus to get around.
Martine Watkins: Martine clearly cares about public health and getting kids to school safely, but her answers were not specific and did not demonstrate deep knowledge of bike issues. As with to Sandy, if Martine is elected we hope to work with her to increase her knowledge of bicycling in Santa Cruz.
SCOTTS VALLEY–ENDORSED (3 seats / 2 endorsed)
Jack Dilles: Jack is a dedicated cyclist and knowledgeable candidate with specific policy ideas. He wants to dedicate a portion of Scott’s Valley’s transportation impact fees to bike and pedestrian improvements, build protected bike lanes on arterial streets and install green lanes on other local streets. He has ridden his bicycle across the United States and in other countries and is a member of Bike Santa Cruz County.
Rosanna Herrera: Rosanna favors installing bike lanes on Scotts Valley Drive and Mount Hermon Road and generally seems open to learning about how Scott’s Valley can be more bike friendly. Her survey did not reflect a significant understanding of bike issues, but if elected, we would look forward to working with her on ideas for Scotts Valley.
Scotts Valley—Not Endorsed
Randy Johnson: Randy does understand biking in Scotts Valley. In his survey he listed specific accomplishments during his time on the Council. On the other hand, Johnson has mostly been an adversary on the County Transportation Commission, especially on issues surrounding the rail corridor. For this reason we are not endorsing him.
CAPITOLA–ENDORSED (2 seats / 1 endorsed)
Bob Edgren: Bob expressed his clear support for both a trail and rail service along the corridor and wants Capitola to take leadership in building trail segments. He also favors an important bike lane project on Monterey Avenue, which would expand bike access to New Brighton Middle School. Bob is a long-time member of Bike Santa Cruz County and is an avid cyclist.
Ed Bottorf: Ed expresses support for more bike lanes around Capitola, but he favors removing the train tracks, which Bike Santa Cruz believes will not only delay progress on building the rail trail, but also will eliminate an important transportation option for future generations. Ed has also not shown the strong support we hoped for on new bike lanes on Monterey Avenue.