There are three seats open for the Healdsburg City Council in the upcoming Nov. 3 General Election and there are six candidates vying for a seat, Charlie Duffy, incumbent David Hagele, Doralice Handal, David Jones, Ariel Kelley and Skylaer Palacios.
As part of our local election coverage, The Tribune will be publishing a series of candidate Q&A’s where we will ask each candidate the same five questions. Alphabetically, David Jones is the next candidate in the Q&A series.
About David Jones
Jones, a 45-year-old resident, has called Healdsburg his home for 15 years. Jones is a registered investment advisor and owns his own downtown business, he’s also the father of two young children.
Jones got his start in investment advising in 1999 and since then has helped with financial advising and decision making across all stages of life from retirement to marriage.
Jones is a former Healdsburg Rotary and Kiwanis service club member. He serves as the chairman for the Healdsburg Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee, which works on monitoring and overseeing how various school bonds are spent.
Jones is also known for initiating the creation of the Mason Street Pocket Park. Jones financed and built the small park along with the help of the Healdsburg Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts, local residents, the county of Sonoma and Senator Mike McGuire.
Jones says he is adept at making critical decisions, listening and monitoring outcomes as well as adjusting opinions and perspectives when necessary. He said he would like to improve the quality of life in Healdsburg by contributing to and adhering to the city’s General Plan, a key guiding document for the city and its future.
Healdsburg Tribune (HT): What are the top three priorities/goals that you would want to address if you're elected to council?
Jones: One: Fire free Healdsburg - Catastrophic risk planning now for fire, earthquake, and COVID-19. Two: City budget - Eliminate waste and creatively manage consultants' fees/supporting Healdsburg businesses. Three: Quality of life and environment - Improved river access, eco smart planning and connectivity.
HT: What is the focus of your campaign platform?
Jones: Maintaining financial stability in a turbulent time. We are facing a dramatic reduction in our TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax) revenue this year and likely in years to come. We have all seen the "space for lease" signs on the doors of our longtime businesses. We have talked to our friends, family and neighbors and know firsthand that the effects of the fires and COVID-19 are here to stay for the foreseeable future. As a city, we must be prepared. This city council will be expected to make the hard choices of where cuts have to be made, while at the same time be willing to look into our current budget and trim excess spending when appropriate.
HT: Are there issues/topics facing Healdsburg that haven't been addressed and if so, how would you address them?
Jones: Catastrophic risk preparedness. We have done a lot of planning related to fire safety and evacuation readiness but there is more work to be done. We must continue to work hard to bring the city and county together on their shared responsibility of Fitch Mountain and fire fuel clearing. Earthquake preparedness and promoting earthquake insurance is a topic I feel strongly about, as I know that our city's residents are grossly underinsured. Housing. I would propose utilizing city owned land to develop a community land trust. I know that we have a large void to fill in the area of market rate housing and I believe this is a strategy that would empower many Healdsburg people to invest in their town and in owning their own home. There is a great need to protect our unsheltered in town, equal to that is the need to protect our waterways and our rural landscapes.
HT: What are the most important personal qualities that you think you would bring to the council?
Jones: My long-term career as a financial advisor fits what is needed for our city council. I am adept at listening, making critical decisions, monitoring outcomes, and adjusting my opinion when necessary. Over the past 20 years I have worked with individuals from many different backgrounds and businesses of varying industries. I am excited for the opportunity to use my experience to work collaboratively with all of the council members to navigate these challenging times. As a board member of our Healdsburg Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee and other nonprofits, I often find myself working alongside colleagues with beliefs and objectives different from my own. I view this as an asset that has prepared me well to make an immediate positive impact as we begin our new term.
HT: If elected, how would you make yourself open to residents who may want to start a dialogue with you on an issue or share concerns? How would you foster and encourage that open communication especially within marginalized groups?
Jones:I am in favor of greater government transparency starting with software that converts our regular council sessions, budgets, website and all other outward facing city communications to different languages. I believe we need to do a better job of projecting the city's goals and concerns visually and in layman's terms in order to promote inclusivity and foster participation across a broad spectrum of the city's residents. Today we have a select few members of the community who greatly influence the policy direction of the city of Healdsburg. I encourage anyone who would like to share their point of view with me to contact me at: email@example.com. Or, phone me directly at my dedicated number: 707-395-4898.
I am seeking a seat on the city council to participate in making Healdsburg all that it can be. As a city council member and city resident I would appreciate your candid feedback and promise to listen with an open mind.