Q & A with mayoral candidate Don Gage

Don Gage

Q: Why are you running?

A: I am running for mayor because I do not like the current dynamics of the City Council.

Q: What are your three priorities?

A: In the first three months after having been elected, I will create a uniform set of questions to 1) meet with each council member to understand what their priorities are and what their vision is for Gilroy, 2) meet with key staff members; then, 3) I would meet with the employees by departments.  

Long term, my major priority is fiscal accountability and great customer service. When all discussions have taken place with those involved, the plan would be to set a common vision and create action plans for implementation.

Q: What makes you a better choice than the other candidates?

A: I was employed for 30 years in private industry, along with 31 years in the public sector. My leadership skills, communication skills and listening skills enable people to arrive at a  consensus creating a “win/win” environment. I mentor without being threatening.

Q: Do you have any specific plans to support and strengthen downtown?

A: Yes, I want to look at the unreinforced buildings, signage, and possible historic preservation, restoration, among others. I will bring groups together to brainstorm for ideas and solutions; e.g., parking, economic development, and work closely with the Chamber of Commerce. The community needs to get some real solutions and energize the base to get people working together.

Q: Are you happy with the current dynamic of City Council?

A: No!!

Q: What skills do you possess that would be important in making you an effective mayor?

A: Integrity, honesty, personal communications, listening and creating a “win/win” environment and years of practical experience and political connections.

Q: How would you be accessible to Gilroy residents?

A: I am retired.  I have all my numbers and my email address posted. I also have residents come to my house to discuss issues if necessary. I return and answer my calls – all calls – promptly.

Q: Give a few examples of what you think are effective crime fighting strategies?

A: First and foremost, let the pro’s do their job. I will work with the police to enable them to implement their ideas. Secondly, I will focus on the youth by getting the community more involved.

Q: From whom do you seek advice on difficult issues?

A: I call people who I respect – those who have experience and a history of solving problems applicable to right area of need. I do a lot of self-reflection. I use common sense too.  

Q: What current well-known political figure do you most admire and why?

A: The role models I have are not current. I don’t hold most current higher politicians in high regard; e.g., State of California and the federal government. They are out of touch with their constituents and have to rely on staff to do their thinking. I like local politicians who actually roll up their sleeves and work with the people.

Q: Do any of the current residential development ordinances need to be changed?

A: Yes.  The point system should be modified to include more environmental issues like green building programs, transit oriented development.  We must control the carbon footprint we are leaving behind for the next generations

Q: Is there really anything a Mayor can do about creating jobs in Gilroy?  If so, please be specific.

A: Yes! The Mayor can play a major part in job creation by maximizing the potential of existing businesses.  We need to “wine and dine” new businesses who may want to come to Gilroy.  We need to change our ordinances to make it easier for them to get started.  This project would involve a team effort with the schools, neighborhoods, and organizations.

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