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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
Local

City of Arroyo GrandeCandidate for City Council

Photo of Leann Akins

Leann Akins

Academic Advisor
1,794 votes (11.34%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Get Arroyo Grande on the path to a balanced budget and increase revenue.
  • Develop a focused plan that addresses our water crisis; focusing on water recycling and balanced development initiatives.
  • Fully staff Arroyo Grande Police Department; the current practices are unsustainable and come at a cost to the community and the department.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Academic Advisor in Higher Education, Retired High School Teacher, Small Business Owner.
Academic Advisor, Brandman University (2013–current)

Biography

I have spent the majority of my professional life in education, as a high school teacher in Social Science, Math, and as an Education Specialist.  I am now an academic advisor in higher education.  I earned by Bachelor's Degree in Sociology at University of California, Santa Cruz, my first teaching credential through College of Notre Dame in Belmont, California, and my second teaching credential and Master's in Special Education through Santa Clara University.  I built a successful education consulting business, Successful Student, where I provided direct and targeted internventions for students struggling in school.

 

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (1)

  • Arroyo Grande Police Officers Association

Elected Officials (1)

  • Dan Carpenter, San Luis Obispo City Council, Candidate for District 3 Supervisor

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I believe that local government is where tangible governing happens.  Local government is where the focus is on meeting the needs of the community, and where transformational leadership, and therefore change can happen.  Local government should focus on creating a vibrant and dynamic local economy, while encouraging this growth in smart ways.  

Local government is there to truly serve the people and should be true servant leaders.  In that effort, personal agendas should not dictate voting.  Local elected officials need to be reflective and willing and able to listen.  They should not come the dais with their mind made up---that discounts public input and goes against the spirit of local governing.  Local leaders should not come to the dais feeling they have all the answers, they need to be diligent in inviting the public to participate in the governing process.

Position Papers

Economic Development

Summary

The City of Arroyo Grande is at a cross-roads with regards to economic development.  We need plan that not only lists our goals, but how we will achieve the goals as they relate to the economic development of our community, and how our progress towards those goals will be measured.

Economic development in the City of Arroyo Grande is an important topic on which we need to focus. I have owned and operated my own small business, an educational consulting firm providing targeted interventions for students struggling in school. It is difficult to get a new and small business up and running, but with the right planning, tools, and support, it is possible. While I do not have all the answers to growing business in Arroyo Grande, or retaining the businesses we currently have---I do have some ideas to help in both areas.

1. As a city, we need to support our local businesses. There needs to be a targeted and sustained campaign to encourage residents to buy local (food, gas, clothing, building supplies, etc.) and to utilize local service industries. This effort should focus on businesses city-wide.

2. We need to provide common spaces for small businesses to share work space and costs while they are in the design and launching phases of their business. This environment allows for networking and idea generation to possible investor connections.

3. The city should have a full accounting of all vacant business/commercial space inside the city limits. We should work with the owners of those properties to help creatively market the spaces. This strategy is being employed across the nation and has proved successful in smaller cities.

4. We should be encouraging pop-up stores in some of the vacant storefronts. While they are not intended to all become permanent, they do allow new businesses the ability to implement a trial run, with low cost and therefore low risk. This model encourages new business to be developed. The fact they do not have to sign a long term lease allows pop-ups to focus on getting their business up and running--focusing their funding on the product or service being offered, not on the space needed to house the business.

THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT: Buying local has a multiplier effect in the community. This means that as we buy locally, this injection of money into the local economy, produces a ripple effect because that infusion of money will expand employment and the production of goods and services in that local community. The more we spend at home, the better our overall economy will be.

My list above is clearly not exhaustive, nor the complete answer to the economic development questions facing the city. I hope if you have additional ideas, you will share them with me in an effort to collect more and have open and public discussions about this issue. The economic development of Arroyo Grande is not just an issue addressed by the City Council or the staff at City Hall, the economic development questions need to be addressed by all stakeholders in the City of Arroyo Grande.

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