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Issues (City of HB and OVSD)

PUBLIC SAFETY

The Police, Fire, and Marine Safety departments work together within our communities to provide the highest level of quality service and protection. From HBPD to HBFD via 9-1-1 services, our HB team of public safety personnel must remain available and on alert for residents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365. I intend to make sure that law enforcement, fire, ambulance services, park rangers, along with marine safety remain the number one priority of the HB City Council. In an emergency, we need the best firefighters, police officers, and marine safety officers to ensure that our public safety services are top notch. Emergencies come down to seconds, and we need experienced, well trained public safety officers in a time of emergency or crisis.

HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

As a longtime school trustee, I have a documented record of performance in serving un-housed students and families in need. At OVSD, we have instituted the utilization of the McKinney-Vento Act to get services, housing, and take action to assist those experiencing homelessness. The issue is complex and often times creates frustration and upset in the community when mental illness and substance abuse play a part. Homelessness has many faces, and needs to be addressed through collaboration and coordination with multiple agencies, and not solely dealt with by the City of HB alone. 

SAVING OPEN SPACE:

My commitment to the environment and our community is unwavering. I pledge to continue steadfast environmental stewardship if elected to the City Council. As president of the OVSD Board of Trustees, I am honored to oversee multiple historical milestones in regards to saving public land, and never selling our open space. In March 2022, we created a brand new 15-acre open space area at the old Park View School site in the heart of HB. Recently, we said goodbye to the old school building, which had been closed since 1989, to provide the community with expanded green space. This is BIG. We are delighted that this demolition has revitalized the area. We will NOT sell the property to make way for high density development (HDD) or anything else. We will continue to be the only school board to NEVER sell our property to build homes. Instead we are going to provide additional open, green space for HB residents to enjoy. Come on out to run on the open green fields, because we know….Parks make life better!

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION SOLUTIONS
Cleaning up the toxic environment in HB while expanding open space is my top priority. I have already begun the work at OVSD, cleaning up the Rainbow/Republic Trash Dump. In 2017, I led the charge against gross polluting oil tankers off-gassing and creating a horrendous stench that choked out residents from Seal Beach to Newport Beach. Making HB more green and beautiful is a major goal of mine. I intend to push for a "Green Leafy Tree Canopy Initiative" that I began working on in OVSD in 2016, requiring new trees to be planted at every modernized school while saving all old growth trees on remaining on site. HB is lacking in large shade trees, and this creates a “concrete jungle” and “asphalt heat island” effect. As mentioned, I’ll push to implement a full herbicide/pesticide ban on public lands as I have done on all of OVSD’S 315 acres. No roundup is used on our OVSD properties, we don’t poison our kids and HB should follow suit, and implement it citywide.
 
UNFUNDED LIABILITIES:
As has been done with STRS (and CALPERS), which I pay into as a public school teacher, the employee contribution rate has been increased to help meet future pension obligations. Employer contributions have also increased, but can be managed via various options to mitigate unfunded accrued liability balances. The City of HB can elect to make additional contributions, to bring down unfunded accrued liabilities, and increase the assets earning an investment returns within the fund. Adjustments can be made to amortization schedules, reducing costs too. Also, the City can set aside assets in a tax qualified trust that can be used for future pension contributions. Everything is negotiable, and when a good relationship exists between the City Council and the employee labor groups, progress can be made to chip away at unfunded liabilities, and work toward stabilizing rising pension costs as well as benefits costs. As the president of the Ocean View School District, I have been negotiating with our employee labor groups for years to stabilize our costs, and have over a decade of expertise in this area.

HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT:
Having been opposed to HDD since being elected to the OVSD Board in 2012 has been a long term commitment to the environment. As the only current elected official on the ballot for City Council, and as president of the OVSD, I led litigation in 2015 against the City of Huntington Beach stopping the development of a 214-unit HDD apartment building at the corner of Beach and Warner. OVSD sued and prevailed, and the City HB had to permanently halt the project. In fact, that is the only lawsuit that has ever been successful in the history of HB in stopping an actual stack and pack HDD project, and I’m proud to have overseen the legal action. In lieu fees and lack of set backs are only two of the many problems created by unmitigated HDD. My decade-long track record is proof of my ability to save open space, and make sure that residential and commercial projects are built properly and to compliment the environment and beach community and not clutter it. We hear so much about affordable housing, but in fact, developments like Bella Terra and Elon are anything but.  

Redevelopment Agencies (RDAs) vs. Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs)

At this time, it is not a financially prudent idea to bring back California's 400 RDAs in their original form, due to mistakes of mismanagement and being previously riddled with waste and eminent domain abuse. However, I might consider the newer Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs). If these alternative EIFDs gain traction, it is important that they avoid the mistakes of previous RDAs. Being an elected school trustee since 2012, has made me painfully aware that after decades of operation, the RDA funding model was a pipe-dream, as projects under-performed and these RDAs wound up consuming 12% of property taxes statewide. As a longtime school official, I cannot approve of such waste again. I'm currently in a wait and see mode, and look forward to learning more about EIFDs moving forward. 

 
BAN OF ROUNDUP:
During the year 2016, as president of OVSD, I led the effort to stop all usage of the toxic chemical herbicide called Roundup on all 312 acres of our land. At OVSD, we were the first governmental agency to stop using this chemical in HB, and continue to be the only agency to have a complete ban. If elected to the HB City Council, I will demand a cessation of all usage of all cancer causing herbicide agents on city properties. There is no excuse to continue this bad practice, our kids, pets, and residents deserve better and I will get it done.

EDUCATIONAL PRIORITIES

The U.S. Department of Education recently released the “Return to School Roadmap,” a resource to support students, schools, educators, and communities as they prepare to return to safe, healthy in-person learning this fall and emerge from the pandemic stronger than before. The Roadmap includes three “landmark” priorities that OVSD will be adopting to ensure all students have the best chance for success in the 2021–22 school year. Prioritizing the health and safety of students, staff, and educators. Building school communities and supporting students’ social, emotional, and mental health. Accelerating academic achievement is number one. 

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
As students return to in-person learning with traditional schedules, OVSD has used multiple strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including mask wearing, physical distancing, good hand washing and respiratory etiquette, and staying home when sick, and getting tested. CDPH guidelines state that in-person instruction can occur without restrictions at this time.

CLASS SIZE REDUCTION

Studies have shown and I know from personal experience in my own classroom, that class size matters. Students receive more individualized attention and interact more with their teacher if class size is smaller. Teachers have more flexibility to use different instructional approaches with fewer students to focus on. Fewer students are less distracting to each other than a large group of children, behavior of students is improved. Teachers have more time to teach because there are fewer discipline problems. Students are more likely to participate in class and become more involved. Teachers have more time to cover additional material and use more supplementary texts and enrichment activities. Lower class size matters, and that is why when I was elected in 2012, I made it one of my primary goals to bring the high 29:1 ratio for K-3 classes back down. I made good on that promise and lowered class sizes to 27:1. With my re-election, more class size reduction has occurred.

COMMON CORE CURRICULUM

Being a twenty-five year classroom teacher, I have seen educational initiatives come and go. It can seem overwhelming for parents and teachers alike when adjusting to a new set of standards. Parents across the country are trying to make sense of Common Core Standards, a set of academic expectations that call for less focus on memorization and more focus on explaining how solutions are found. The Common Core can be frustrating for students and parents. When parents are frustrated, it’s important that educators listen to them, but they can’t listen unless the parents talk to them. Speak with your child's teacher for assistance, we are here to help.  

 

 


 

 

 

 


Paid for by Gina Clayton-Tarvin for Huntington Beach City Council 2022, FPPC #1439300
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