Joe Patterson candidate Q&A – Rocklin City CouncilBy: Steve Archer, Reporter
Editor’s note: November’s ballot will include six candidates – three incumbents, three challengers – running for three open seats on the Rocklin City Council.
All six agreed to answer a similar set of questions by email to introduce themselves to readers of the Placer Herald.
Joe Patterson, 34, holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in government from California State University, Sacramento. He lives in Rocklin with his wife, Colleen, with whom he has two children. Aside from his job as treasurer of the Rocklin Public Safety Foundation, his prior public service experience includes six years as legislative director for the California State Assembly, from 2005-2011.
Why are running? What do you bring to the council that is different? What are your priorities?
I am running because I want to be a proactive liaison between residents, businesses and city hall. Late last year, I was deeply involved in opposing the location of a proposed locked down psychiatric hospital, 597 feet from Whitney High School.
During that process, what became evident is that the city does not have a workable system in place for residents and businesses to learn about and provide feedback on items that directly impact our families’ lives. Whether it is the Sunset Whitney Golf Course, a psychiatric hospital, shared fire services with Lincoln or completion of neighborhood parks, I pledge to proactively meet with residents and businesses, prior to decisions being voted on at city council meetings, to ensure all stakeholders have an opportunity to be heard early in the process.
I’d also like to see the city foster a more cohesive relationship with recreational/competitive sports leagues and the school district. Despite Rocklin residents paying a parcel tax to maintain and build parks, sports leagues and the school district also have to pay fees for park usage. For example, just this year, the city started charging elementary schools to use parks for cross country meets. As a payer of the parcel tax, I am not comfortable charging Rocklin children for the ability to use community parks.
My main priorities as a councilmember are simple:
- Promote open and transparent governance;
- Cut bureaucratic red tape to spark small business growth;
- Safeguard tax dollars to ensure proper funding of critical public services like police, fire and parks; and
- Support local schools and youth leagues by improving relationships with the district and league volunteer boards.
What are your specific plans for economic development? What are your feelings about the county’s plans for Sunset Area and Placer Ranch? How do the county plans effect economic development in Rocklin?
Once Rocklin reaches build-out, the city’s ability to increase revenue will be limited …
We have a unique opportunity in areas such as Northwest Rocklin (right outside of Whitney Ranch) to bring businesses to the city that will encourage residents to shop and dine right here at home. By creating an environment which encourages businesses to move to Rocklin, the city can stop “leakage” to neighboring cities and generate revenue without the need to raise taxes.
The county’s plans to develop Placer Ranch fit perfectly into future development of Northwest Rocklin. Rocklin’s school system, safe neighborhoods and vibrant community give the city a distinct competitive advantage, allowing it to be complementary to future construction in Placer Ranch. In order to properly develop Rocklin, we have to increase this competitive edge.
The new overpass on Whitney Ranch Parkway will connect the 25,000 students and faculty members of the new CSU campus with great shopping opportunities in Northwest Rocklin. Rocklin will also be the natural place for many of the well-educated faculty members to call home.
We only have one chance to get it right and I intend to work together with the business community and Rocklin residents to create the culture of excitement needed to facilitate something which will make Rocklin residents proud.
We can maintain our advantage by streamlining the permitting process for residents and businesses, completing neighborhood parks, supporting our school system and keeping residents safe.