Planning commissioner running for city council
Jason Turner, 31, was raised in west Sonoma County and moved to Cloverdale with his wife in 2012. This is Turner’s second time running for Cloverdale City Council; he was a candidate in the 2016 race.
“Cloverdale (has) it all right here, real small-town charm … I wanted to be a part of it,” Turner said. “When we were able to begin looking at buying (a house) I didn’t look anywhere else. We told our realtor ‘show me what you have in Cloverdale.’”
Turner has been on the planning commission since April 2016 and views his time as a commissioner as being impactful in his decision to run for council.
“It really created this spark that I get to be part of the dialogue that dictates the direction that we go in as a (city),” he said. I have a 20-month-old at home. He’s going to grow up here, he’s going to go to those schools, he’s going to live in this community and see it change … I wanted to make sure that, if I was going to be vocal, that I put my money where my mouth is and show my son and other people in my generation that if we want to influence change, the first thing we have to do is go try. That started with the planning commission … now I want to take the that next natural step and move up to the city council and continue that dialogue.”
Turner broke down some of what he anticipates being upcoming issues that Cloverdale will have to tackle in the coming years. Amongst those issues are growth, water, community health and public safety.
Turner wants to find a balance between the continued growth that Cloverdale has seen in the recent past and what citizens of Cloverdale want.
“In the little over two years that I’ve been on the planning commission, we’ve seen some unprecedented projects come through — a Dollar Store coming in, a Grocery Outlet, we’ve had two apartment complexes who’ve started breaking ground and building their projects,” he said.
“I want to continue the growth that we’re seeing and I want to continue to be passionate about finding solutions that give individuals who want access to certain services that access. But we have to make sure we don’t encroach or pressure those who don’t want to have certain services in their direct areas.”
When it comes to city growth, Turner enjoys “being able to problem-solve and be on the collaborative side of things with the city to keep stuff moving forward.”
He added that, if he were elected to the council he doesn’t “want to try and get in there and grind things to a halt. I think Cloverdale is in a nice forward direction and I want to embolden it.”
Turner noted that as the city grows, it needs to “be very responsible” when it comes to paying attention to other resources.
He cited a recent presentation by the county about water usage: “One of the things I’m very passionate about is to make sure that our water rights are always in the conversation … Cloverdale has water rights and I want to make sure that that’s always at the forefront of the conversation in regards to growth.”
“Water is always, I think, going to be a main issue for Cloverdale,” Turner said. “It’s on us as a city to be advocates for those water rights.”
“I want to see Cloverdale move forward with a state of the art health center for its community,” Turner said, adding that he wants to make sure that he’s not an opponent to “ideas like that.”
“I want to be a proponent to ideas and just ensure that the people who live here in Cloverdale can have the healthcare they need without having to drive an exorbitant amount.”
Passionate about community health resources, Turner has worked for a health care company in Marin and Sonoma counties for the past 12 years.
“If we can have state of the art healthcare here in Cloverdale, it’s just one more aspect of having it be the full package right up here,” he said.
When it comes to public safety, the candidate wants to make sure that there’s an open dialogue between members of public safety and the community, “that we make sure everyone is comfortable with how things are going down in Cloverdale, how things are enforced in Cloverdale.”
In regard to the Cloverdale Police Station, Turner said that he wants to continue to work on finding the money for an updated station, without solely relying on taxpayer funding.
“I want to continue to be creative about finding the budget we need to get our police station updated — looking for new ideas, looking for ways to make sure that we can fund those new ideas without entirely relying on the taxpayers to come up with that.”
When asked if he wanted to add anything, Turner hammered home his appreciation of the city.
“I love Cloverdale and I love its people,” he said. “The charm of Cloverdale is what made me fall in love with it in the first place, but that’s not to say that we can’t have charm while being creative and innovative to move forward as citizens will ask us for more ... I want to keep Cloverdale’s charm and I want to sustain our future.”