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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
California Common Cause@CommonCauseCA
June 7, 2016 — Elecciones Primarias de California
Condado

Condado de MarinCandidato para Supervisor, Distrito 4

Photo de Tomas P. Kaselionis

Tomas P. Kaselionis

Disaster Operations Supervisor
518 votos (4.47%)
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Mis 3 prioridades principales

  • Develop and execute on plans to support the housing and care of our communities including children, the elderly and homeless in Marin
  • Champion the implementation of new ideas to ensure the County is accessible, flexible, and accountable
  • Lead the County away from regional boards to better support the needs of Marin students, businesses, and commuters.

Experiencia

Biografía

My name is Tomas P. Kaselionis and I am running for Marin County Supervisor in District 4. I am a 1st generation American-Lithuanian, the eldest son to immigrant parents, my first language was not English, and the middle of three children. Born in Glendale, Ca, grew up in Tustin, thrived in Shell Beach/Central Coast, and since 2001 in the Bay Area. This summer, I will celebrate 10 years of marriage to Kim, the former CEO of Circle Bank and Managing Partner at Breakaway Funding, and have three adult step-children. A civil engineer, US Air Force 2nd LT, and college student in Speech Pathology.

I started my first business at 12, ran a $1m restaurant w/55 employees at 19, and managed a $150m/year security operation with over 1500 employees by 26. Now 40, I am running for Marin County Supervisor to bring my leadership and “get it done” attitude to the Board of Supervisors. As a business manager and long-time disaster responder, I will offer a fresh perspective with my unique and varied background.

Preguntas y Respuestas

Preguntas de League of Women Voters of Marin County and California Counts, a public media collaboration (5)

What tangible plans do you have for addressing the lack of affordable housing and housing projects in the county? How will you deal with frequent neighborhood opposition to affordable housing projects?
Respuesta de Tomas P. Kaselionis:

I have addressed this issue on my website and provide seven specific ideas regarding housing in addition to why it is so expensive to live in Marin. 

Short and Long-Term Rental Strategies I would work on:

  • Explore current ordinances and develop an action plan (integrated with long-term strategies) to address the root cause of the housing availability issues.
  • STR limited to specific maximums. SF has a 90 day ordinance; Is that short enough?
  • Must register as a STR. We should look at rewarding residents for justified complaints and penalties for non-compliance.
  • All rentals must register, but long-term renters should receive a discount for allowing longer than 6mo/year occupancy and within fair market rates.
  • Explore the current occupancy tax and whether an increase for short-term rentals and lowered for long-term renters is needed.
  • We have to fix the inefficient and slow permitting and plan review departments throughout the County. I believe with a countywide strategy, we could help stem the tide of the growing lack of affordable and accessible housing in Marin.

New/Old Options for Housing Ownership:

My wife, Kim, while at Circle Bank created a serious of loan programs including fractional tenant-in-common (TIC).  Though I do not have the statistics for Marin, programs like this could be a refreshed option for community ownership in real estate to keep their communities intact. Maybe we do not need to look for one owner, but a group of owners who share a collective goal of ownership and living close to where they work.  In addition, Cooperative housing (Sazama, 2000) may prove to be a supported strategy as part of a larger incorporated policy.  In my last article, I go further to propose that the County should be exploring social investments for better access to homes for our public employees, improving our rate of return, but can also help guarantee implementation of the housing development strategies.

We could explore strategies on public landbanking and public land development as a strategic tool for redevelopment.  It is argued that only under very specific circumstances does it make sense for municipalities to act as land developers.  In fact, the study shows that the most common practice of zoning has a net negative affect in the US.  The alternative is looking at strategic land acquisitions to steer development in a proactive way that will earn money for public works and support the strategy as whole including open space and parks.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is scheduled to start picking up passengers late in 2016. What, if anything, would you change about the SMART train roll-out so that it could be fully functioning as soon as possible?
Respuesta de Tomas P. Kaselionis:

Very little.  Let them continue their work, but we need to work with the other tranist agencies to make sure we have a system that ties together.  This includes ferries and buses.

What transportation plans do you have to address the worsening traffic gridlock?
Respuesta de Tomas P. Kaselionis:

The third lane on the Richmond San Rafael bridge will not little to nothing to help Marin with its traffic.  Turn on the merge signals, build a ramp for North 101 to 580, partner with technology companies to get greater access to mobile phone apps for carpooling, school shuttling, after school sports, work transit, and more.  I have been a Bay Area commuter for 14 years and understand this issue like non of my other candidates.

Is Marin County prepared to handle any kind of disaster that might strike the county? What coordination is planned between cities and the county?
Respuesta de Tomas P. Kaselionis:

No.  Very little, but let me expand.  I am the only candidate with experience in this area and have deployed all over the US respoding to natural and man-made disasters.  I will bring Marin County out of the ice age under Sheriff Doyle to join the modern emergency management organizations that support their communities.

What is your position on ranching uses within the Point Reyes National Seashore boundaries?
Respuesta de Tomas P. Kaselionis:

It should continue, but we have to hold accountable the failures of past and present leadership.  This include the federal legislature and the Farm and Ranching associations that have done very little to protect the continuation of ranching in Point Reyes.  One other point, we should change the policy of the US Dept of Interior and the chemical castration of Elk in addition to herd thinning.  It is both unethical and stupid.

Creencias poliza

Filosofía política

Anti-incumbent Candidate 
As a member of the Novato Fire Protection District (NFPD) Board of Directors, I witnessed first-hand that insulation and incumbency do not lend to nurturing new ideas or perspective. As a disaster responder, we commonly say that no two disasters are alike. The same is true for governance. Accepting political office requires citizens to move away from their comfort zone and view each issue with as much perspective as possible. I hold myself accountable to hearing differing opinions and viewpoints so that when it comes time to make a decision, I am as prepared and knowledgeable as is possible.

21st Century Environmental Innovations
I want to create a consumer driven environmental revolution here in Marin County. Where are the next generation consumer products that will further lessen the requirement for improvement to existing infrastructure and further the independence/reduce dependence on current systems? How will Marin use technology to offset climate change impacts to our community? I want to help pioneer and further the discussion to move innovation into the hands of our community.

The Transportation Problem
I am a long-time Bay Area Commuter. I started in 2002 with daily commutes to San Francisco and SFO (on Marin Airporter’s commuter program), then two years northbound on 101 to Santa Rosa, and the current seven+ years to Oakland (vanpool). MTC and Caltrans own the share of criticism for our transit woes in addition to the accumulation of development (by local officials) over the years. Building more highway lanes is never going to work. I commuted during the expansion of 101 from three to four to five lanes. I am sure you will agree that little has changed. Where are the metering lights we as taxpayers financed? Where are the social carpooling apps? Are public officials weighing the compounding effect of development on our infrastructure (including street and highway traffic) BEFORE approving additional projects? Transportation management is a complex issue and only the candidate with first-hand experience can truly drive for change and improvement. I believe that I am that candidate and invite you to support my campaign for District 4 Supervisor.

Documentos sobre determinadas posturas

Housing Octopus: The Many Tentacles of Affordable Housing in Marin

Summary

We still have not solved the problems as articulate in a 1968 article: Housing Priorities, Settlement Patterns, and Urban Development in Modernizing Countries: “Until realignment of institutional norms and action is accomplished, the major resource for infrastructure development, the collective will and savings of the common people, cannot be coordinated with government plans and policies.”  With 11 cities and 54 special districts in the county, you could argue that the alignment has not occurred.  In addition, there is no continuous requirement to integrate policy and performance statistics across common mission sets (affordable housing, homelessness, eldercare and senior housing, etc.).

 

The lack of strategic planning from the County and many cities can lead to a disorganized approach as articulated above.  The real crime, and shame, is in the calculations required for affordable housing only uses new construction numbers which puts undo pressure on local government.  We should counter the developers and pass rules that take account for deeding existing property as affordable, and some other strategies I suggest below.   Further along in this article, I present an additional study that argues land use strategic planning needs to incorporate longer-term goals.

 

One of the strategies to gaining greater access to more affordable housing is getting more underused private property rooms and land use (small unit development) on the market for long-term rentals (LTR).  There is a growing issue, much in part to success and ease of using applications like Airbnb, with the number of short-term rentals (STR) on the coast and Tomales Bay communities. I have shared previously a case study from the University of Chicago that discuss occupancy regulation and taxation. I caution against jumping right to banning the app. Traffic is a major issue, but so is access to short-term stay facilities (motels and hotels).  One impact on West Marin traffic is the visitor vehicle volume.  What if there were more places to stay closer to their final destination, would it not reduce some of the midday traffic?  There is a balance that needs to be struck between STR and LTR availability and use.

 

I’ve already spoken with several single mothers and seniors who are able supplement their mortgage payment by to rent their home for a day or a week.  Now, whether a community supports the practice of STR is up that specific community.  I will work with each community to understand the root cause issues and how the County can support the community in full.

 

We need to explore how ordinances (and enforcement) can play an important role in the STR housing issue and shortages in rental availability.  There are communities severely impacted by unlawful occupancy, rent spiking, and poor development planning.

 

Short and Long-Term Rental Strategies I would work on:

 

  • Explore current ordinances and develop an action plan (integrated with long-term strategies) to address the root cause of the housing availability issues.
  • STR limited to specific maximums. SF has a 90 day ordinance; Is that short enough?
  • Must register as a STR. We should look at rewarding residents for justified complaints and penalties for non-compliance.
  • All rentals must register, but long-term renters should receive a discount for allowing longer than 6mo/year occupancy and within fair market rates.
  • Explore the current occupancy tax and whether an increase for short-term rentals and lowered for long-term renters is needed.
  • We have to fix the inefficient and slow permitting and plan review departments throughout the County. I believe with a countywide strategy, we could help stem the tide of the growing lack of affordable and accessible housing in Marin.

 

New/Old Options for Housing Ownership:

 

My wife, Kim, while at Circle Bank created a serious of loan programs including fractional tenant-in-common (TIC).  Though I do not have the statistics for Marin, programs like this could be a refreshed option for community ownership in real estate to keep their communities intact. Maybe we do not need to look for one owner, but a group of owners who share a collective goal of ownership and living close to where they work.  In addition, Cooperative housing (Sazama, 2000) may prove to be a supported strategy as part of a larger incorporated policy.  In my last article, I go further to propose that the County should be exploring social investments for better access to homes for our public employees, improving our rate of return, but can also help guarantee implementation of the housing development strategies.

 

We could explore strategies on public landbanking and public land development as a strategic tool for redevelopment.  It is argued that only under very specific circumstances does it make sense for municipalities to act as land developers.  In fact, the study shows that the most common practice of zoning has a net negative affect in the US.  The alternative is looking at strategic land acquisitions to steer development in a proactive way that will earn money for public works and support the strategy as whole including open space and parks.

 

As your Marin County Supervisor, I will not be limit my ideas to past solutions, comments from so-called experts, or anecdotal problem statements.  I want to foster debate so we can get a full-spectrum of ideas and solutions and apply what the community can support within the timeline we set.  Setting expectations and achieving goals is part of my daily life and I will bring that skill (among many others) to the Board of Supervisors.

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