Planning Commission Chair Rachael Ford will seek one of the two City Council seats that are up for grabs in November, she told Patch last week.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while, going back and forth, questioning the kind of work that can be achieved on the council, but the last several months there has been more leadership. That helped me decide to run,” she said.
Specifically, Ford said it was the traffic circulation and outdoor dining issues that led her to believe she could work with the council. Ford was active in the push to return the 500 block of Main St. to a two-way configuration, and to create more outdoor dining platforms downtown.
“I was surprised by how disenfranchised residents and some merchants feel,” she said. “It felt good to talk to them.”
Ford said one of her biggest issues is shaping the town to move into the future.
“For me, that would be developing a viable business base in Martinez that replaces the industrial and county workers that are leaving,” she said. “Also, how do we attract younger families into Martinez?”
She said that a series of strong partnerships with other agencies will be the key to a successful Marina, which she called a “huge asset.”
Ford has lived in Martinez since 1999, and “from what I’ve seen, you have groups dug in on both sides of the spectrum. There is an unwillingness to compromise – it’s all or nothing. Ultimately, that’s not a win for the community at large. There’s a much larger group in the middle that has bowed out because things are so contentious. When you go into the neighborhoods and get away from the factions, you get a very different perspective. There’s a lot of common ground. I’m a big proponent of trying to get people involved.”
Ford was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2008.
Dylan Radke, chair of the Park, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission, has indicated he will also run for council this year.
Meanwhile, incumbent Janet Kennedy said she will not seek another term this year, leaving at least one seat open. Councilman Mark Ross’ seat is also expiring this year, and he is expecting to seek another term.