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The city of Fremont made it through the worst of the pandemic without having to lay off staff while still providing city services, including the opening of a successful homeless center.
While other larger cities are confronting surging crime and long-term budget shortfalls, Fremont is a relatively safe city blessed with rising tax revenues. That allowed the City Council during the pandemic to use some of the budget surplus to reduce debt in the pension and retiree health care accounts and set aside money for infrastructure investments.
The city still has significant unfunded liabilities. But the City Council deserves credit for wisely setting aside more money now that will lower future interest payments and, in turn, free up money for other city services. And council members have agreed to continue the responsible fiscal stewardship.
Meanwhile, the city opened a shelter where homeless people can live while having a case manager help them find stable permanent housing, as well as connect them to other services such as employment assistance, medical treatment and counseling. Opened in fall 2020, the “navigation center” in its first year had a 66% success rate in placing people in permanent housing.
It’s that sort of blending of fiscal responsibility and social support for the most needy that voters should preserve in the Nov. 8 election. Balloting will be held for seats in three City Council districts.
We recommend electing Keith Parker in District 2, at the north end of Fremont, and Kathy Kimberlin in District 3 in the center of the city. To the east in District 4, voters should reelect Yang Shao.
District 2: Keith Parker
This three-way race is for the seat that incumbent Rick Jones must vacate because of the city’s two-term limit. Parker is the only one of the three with no government board experience, but he makes up for that with the careful attention he has paid to city finances and issues, including homeless programs and the city’s police staffing.
He’s running against Fremont school board Trustee Desrie Campbell and city Planning Commissioner Robert Daulton, who ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2018. While both would be qualified to serve on the council, neither brought the specificity to their comments as Parker was able.
District 3: Kathy Kimberlin
Lawyer Jenny Kassan has held this seat for four years and understands the details of city …read more
Source:: The Mercury News