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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of CalistogaCandidate for Council Member

Photo of Donald Williams

Donald Williams

Retired Businessman/Educator
1,217 votes (46.88%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • To offer my services and experience to community.To give voters a choice, an alternative voice on the council.
  • To uphold our values: small-town character, uncrowded hospitality, sustainability, unpretentious way of life
  • To advance the following themes: Respect for small-town character of Calistoga. Responsible growth. Enhancing democracy. Responsiveness.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Retired math instructor and craftsman/businessman
Owner, Donald Williams Wood Floors (1984–2014)
Commissioner, Water Rate Commission — Appointed position (2010–2011)
math instructor, Napa Valley College (1980–1999)

Education

USF and Sonoma State BS from University of San Francisco in Math and English majors; MA from Sonoma State University in English Literature, math and English (2002)
Sonoma State University MA, English Literature (1982)

Community Activities

President, OLPH Men's Club (2012–2018)
President, Diocese of Santa Rosa, board of education (1987–1994)

Biography

Responsive                                       Balanced                                          Experienced

Donald Williams for City Council           

                                   

Biography for a Council Seat

How does a candidate’s story prepare him for a place on the city council?

Background:  Until I moved to Calistoga in 1974, I lived in Noe Valley, in the center of San Francisco where I grew up.  I still visit my mother there often.  I’m quite familiar with the City and have a native’s strong sense of how a small, semi-rural town like Calistoga must contrast with the urban life to maintain its special identity.

Education:  After graduating from St. Ignatius High School and the University of San Francisco (majors in math and English), I studied at Sonoma State University in the evenings while working full-time, to earn a minor in business/accounting, and subsequently a master’s degree in English literature.  My education continues still---not with more degrees declaring what I know, but with an attitude of honest, open inquiry about what I don’t know.  So in any given situation, including civic affairs, I like to ask, “What is really going on here?”  “Does this proposal enlarge or diminish us?”  “What alternative approaches might serve us better?”    

Work:  That critical curiosity served me well in my working career in two different fields, construction and education.  In 1984 I started my wood floor business in Calistoga, and built it for 30 successful years.  I grew familiar with county-wide concerns from my experience with a diverse cross section of Napa Valley residents.  I and my eleven employees served 6,000 customers on almost every street in this county.  (If you’re not walking on one of the floors we worked on, you’re certainly near one.)  I organized all facets of the business---developing a business plan, hiring and training employees, conceiving marketing strategies, maintaining quality control procedures, generating profit---experience invaluable for public service.  My work involved management but also craftsmanship and aesthetics.  I spent years in hands-on manual labor practicing my trade.  (Kneeling on floors, by the way, provides a view of the world different from most politicians’---an uncommon perspective important in a diverse community.)  Blue-collar craftsmanship is second nature for me.  It is about production, not promises.  Most of the intricate floors we installed I designed personally (see the photos on my website).   In short, from my business career of management, craftsmanship, and aesthetics I bring to civic service the complementary qualities of pragmatism, sensitivity, and imagination. 

At the same time I was running the floor business, for 19 years I also taught math classes at Napa Valley College.  I challenged students energetically, with a rigorous, business-like, no-nonsense style.  They responded positively.  Some of their comments are posted on my website. 

Teaching and contracting over many decades, I engaged with hundreds of Calistogans and thousands of Napa County residents to understand and appreciate their needs, and was able to help them achieve their goals effectively, with courtesy and genuine interest.

Community:  My two children were raised in Calistoga.  When not working, the decades saw me coach Little League baseball; volunteer as a Cub Scout Den leader; and participate on three different elementary and secondary school boards (three years as president).   I also served on Calistoga’s Water Advisory board.  Now I help with the Men’s Club at OLPH Church, and volunteer on land-use issues in Napa County.

Beyond Work:  I like working but I like playing too---cards, racquetball, tennis, piano, the baseball batting cages.  I read a lot (mostly classics), and I garden (most of our vegetables are home-grown in our front yard).  I like wood-working and walking (I sometimes ride the bus down-valley to stroll beyond Calistoga).

Summary:  The theme of my life’s activities is a well-rounded balance of unusual contrasts.  Urban life, rural life---to appreciate their very different qualities.  Mathematics, literature---to be fluent both numerically and verbally.  Blue-collar, white-collar---to be very grounded, while also managing an organization.  Business, teaching---to be pragmatic as well as idealistic.  The breadth and balance of this background, as well as my interest in community affairs, and an open and inquisitive disposition, will be of particular service in the town of Calistoga where I’ve lived for 44 years with a strong work ethic, and where I’m now unencumbered by business or financial liaisons or obligations.

The Future:  Why be a candidate for office?  By being responsive to Calistogans’ concerns, I’ll establish a stronger connection between us and our council.  I’ve been well served by this community for decades.  It’s an honor to offer my services in return.  Candidacy is a way for me to contribute to Calistoga and make a difference.  I bring a perspective that’s educated, balanced, and grounded in deep experience in Napa Valley.  I respect pragmatism, optimism, and soulful consciousness.   I’ll try to harmonize Calistogans’ desires and goals.  I wonder, “What do you think?  How do you feel?”  With interesting conversations with interesting people---like you---I’ll be responsive to the citizens of Calistoga.  In me you’ll have a voice on this council.  I look forward to hearing your ideas and questions.

Website:  www.donaldcalistoga.com          Phone:  479-8660          Email:  dwcc@sonic.net

Who supports this candidate?

Individuals (1)

  • Gordon Brownell Kata Brownell Michael Nastari Helen Newmiller Lucretia Marcus Stephen Marcus Carol Uschyk Kellie An

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Responsive                               Balanced                                           Experienced

Donald Williams for City Council

Dear Fellow Calistogan,

In this beautiful small community of Calistoga, how shall we govern and organize ourselves?  Our democratic system offers us the opportunity every four years to reevaluate our goals and efforts, and to decide who among us shall be chosen to legislate them.  After 44 years in Calistoga, it’s my turn to offer my services in this important endeavor.

 

As a candidate for city council, I bring a perspective that’s broad and balanced.  I’ve been deeply involved in Calistoga since 1974.  Here I’ve raised my family, started and run my own business, and participated in community activities.  My work experience---both as a flooring contractor and as a teacher at Napa Valley College---encompassed the entire county.  It provided me an understanding of residents’ concerns throughout the valley, and now helps me place Calistogans’ issues in that larger semi-rural context. 

 

My interests align with yours.  Over the years I’ve written or spoken publicly about a broad range of local issues including land-use, budgeting, aesthetics, recreation, and transportation.  I approach issues with an open mind and critical curiosity.  My discourse is not declarative; I don’t tell people what to think or do.  Rather, I honestly inquire, “What makes this issue important for you?”  And when it’s time to decide, my criterion is:  “Does this action enlarge or diminish us---socially, economically, spiritually?”

 

As a businessman and math teacher, I fully appreciate fact-based pragmatism.  I also understand that Calistogans want acknowledgement of fears, hopes, and aspirations.  I like a relationship between the public and their council that’s empowered by imagination and a respectful exploration of different ideas.  Calistoga is not solely a business enterprise.  It’s an organic community that should honor hopes and dreams as well as facts.

 

In coming years we will pay attention to many issues:  the fairgrounds; the positive and negative effects of tourism; the town’s infrastructure; traffic; housing; water; and above all, honoring Calistoga’s special, small-town quality.  To this discussion I will bring a balanced, open-minded approach, grounded in years of experience and familiarity with up-valley issues.  Conscious of the spirit of Calistoga, I’ll want to respect the dimension of Calistoga which is not just technical or financial but also involves connection and cooperation.  If ever you have felt unrepresented, or that what you said wouldn’t matter---then I offer you my services on city council.  Meeting thousands of Calistogans and Napans at work and in the classroom for decades, I became good at listening and understanding people’s needs.  I will hear and represent you.  I want to have interesting conversations with interesting people---you.  I will be responsive to our Calistoga community’s wishes and participate in achieving our goals.  I hope to meet and talk with you, and I look for your support as a council member.  Till then,

 

Phone:  707-479-8660               Email:  dwcc@sonic.net                Donald Williams

 

Website:  www.donaldcalistoga.com

Position Papers

Launch letter

Summary

Who I am, what I have done, and what I plan to work on in Calistoga.

Responsive                               Balanced                                           Experienced

Donald Williams for City Council

Dear Fellow Calistogan,

In this beautiful small community of Calistoga, how shall we govern and organize ourselves?  Our democratic system offers us the opportunity every four years to reevaluate our goals and efforts, and to decide who among us shall be chosen to legislate them.  After 44 years in Calistoga, it’s my turn to offer my services in this important endeavor.

 

As a candidate for city council, I bring a perspective that’s broad and balanced.  I’ve been deeply involved in Calistoga since 1974.  Here I’ve raised my family, started and run my own business, and participated in community activities.  My work experience---both as a flooring contractor and as a teacher at Napa Valley College---encompassed the entire county.  It provided me an understanding of residents’ concerns throughout the valley, and now helps me place Calistogans’ issues in that larger semi-rural context. 

 

My interests align with yours.  Over the years I’ve written or spoken publicly about a broad range of local issues including land-use, budgeting, aesthetics, recreation, and transportation.  I approach issues with an open mind and critical curiosity.  My discourse is not declarative; I don’t tell people what to think or do.  Rather, I honestly inquire, “What makes this issue important for you?”  And when it’s time to decide, my criterion is:  “Does this action enlarge or diminish us---socially, economically, spiritually?”

 

As a businessman and math teacher, I fully appreciate fact-based pragmatism.  I also understand that Calistogans want acknowledgement of fears, hopes, and aspirations.  I like a relationship between the public and their council that’s empowered by imagination and a respectful exploration of different ideas.  Calistoga is not solely a business enterprise.  It’s an organic community that should honor hopes and dreams as well as facts.

 

In coming years we will pay attention to many issues:  the fairgrounds; the positive and negative effects of tourism; the town’s infrastructure; traffic; housing; water; and above all, honoring Calistoga’s special, small-town quality.  To this discussion I will bring a balanced, open-minded approach, grounded in years of experience and familiarity with up-valley issues.  Conscious of the spirit of Calistoga, I’ll want to respect the dimension of Calistoga which is not just technical or financial but also involves connection and cooperation.  If ever you have felt unrepresented, or that what you said wouldn’t matter---then I offer you my services on city council.  Meeting thousands of Calistogans and Napans at work and in the classroom for decades, I became good at listening and understanding people’s needs.  I will hear and represent you.  I want to have interesting conversations with interesting people---you.  I will be responsive to our Calistoga community’s wishes and participate in achieving our goals.  I hope to meet and talk with you, and I look for your support as a council member.  Till then,

 

Phone:  707-479-8660               Email:  dwcc@sonic.net                Donald Williams

 

Website:  www.donaldcalistoga.com

Letter to Calistogans

Summary

An invitation to vote for me.

DONALD WILLIAMS FOR CITY COUNCIL (POR CONCILIO)

 

Dear Fellow Calistogan,

 

Together we treasure our semi-rural town and quality of life.  But in an increasingly crowded Bay Area, can Calistoga’s growth be responsibly managed and its small-town character retained?

 

Yes, we can honor our small-town heritage.  But we need to know our limits, our carrying capacity with respect to water, traffic, and tourism.  We can’t responsibly welcome more developments unless we know those limits and also the effects of large projects currently under construction.

 

In the meantime we can still enhance our quality of life by improving our shuttle; slowing down unsafe traffic (on e.g. Lincoln, Foothill, Lake, Brannan); and rebating some of our increased water payments.

 

A city council that represents the public’s diverse viewpoints is crucial.  Active in our community for over 40 years, I’ll bring to the council experience, an open mind, and critical curiosity.  I will hear and represent you. 

 

Many of your neighbors agree.  I hope you’ll join them in voting for me.

 

Sincerely,    Donald Williams                        

Testimonials

Summary

Testimonials from a few Calistogans.

What Calistogans say about (Lo que se dicen de) . . .

Donald Williams for City Council (por Concilio)…

 

 

“I believe it is time to bring a new voice and perspective to the Council.  I fear we are beginning to suffer from "groupthink."  Donald Williams offers a fresh, diverse long term vision that would benefit the entire community.”---Mary Sherman

 

 

“Yo eligió a Donald Williams para nuestra siguiente candidatura porque el es un gran ejemplo a seguir como esposo, padre y representante de nuestra comunidad.”---Analuisa Molina

 

 

“Don is logical, reasonable, and enjoyable to talk with.  That’s as important for city leaders as it is for math teachers like Donald and me.”--- Ivan Miller 

 

“I have witnessed Donald Williams to be a man of integrity in whatever he does.  Donald is dedicated to helping Calistogans and as a senior citizen I am secure in the knowledge Donald is committed to protecting the well-being of all seniors."---Larry Vuckovich

 

 

“I am voting for Don Williams because he is profoundly concerned about intelligent slow growth and preserving the quality of life in our small town.”---Harini Oken 

 

 

“Donald will bring important diversity to the council.  He is uniquely experienced.  He is thoughtful, fair-minded, well-read, pragmatic.  If he’s willing to be on council, we had better take this opportunity.  We won’t get a better one.”---Paul Knoblich

 

For more, see www.donaldcalistoga.com.

 

Paid for by Friends of Donald Williams (FPPC #1407673)

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