Phone: (925) 216-8356
Hometown: La Jolla, CA
Birthday: Nov. 14, 1954
Bio: Jim's first experience out of high school was two-fold – playing guitar in John Lee Hooker's band, and leading his own five-piece band, Colefeat. His first "day job" was as a copy boy at the Oakland Tribune in the mid and late 1970s, the last days of the old-school newspaper men and women. Cigarettes, coffee and alcohol were the fuels that drove those newsrooms, along with an unmitigated love of the business, and the integrity of the people's right to know.
In the 1980s, Jim was a reporter for the Martinez News Gazette, the Oakland Tribune, and other publications. After a brief stint at the Antioch Daily Ledger, Jim returned to the city of Martinez as public information officer, deputy city clerk, and assistant city manager. He went on to work in corporate communications for the Bayer Corp. and Kaiser Permanente before launching Martinez Patch.
My Beliefs: I believe that government needs everyone's participation to work correctly. I believe it is the media's job to inspire and inform that participation. I believe everyone has a fascinating story to tell. I believe that shouting your opinions makes you less likely to be understood. I believe that music is essential to happiness, and that auto-tune is detrimental to music. I believe that my responsibility as a journalist in your community is a sacred trust, one that I will do everything in my power to live up to and fulfill.
Politics: I am a social liberal, and a fiscal moderate. I believe the worst thing to happen in politics lately is the entrenched, dogmatic "us vs. them" attitude inspired by and fed by cable TV talking heads. The key to political success: listening.
Religion: I am a practicing Buddhist.
Local Hot-Button Issues: Should downtown strive for constant growth and renewal, or should it maintain a small-town feel? This seems to be the overriding question in terms of development. The balance between spending on cultural enhancement vs. police and public safety services also seems constantly at odds.