My message to you is simple. If you like the change that you’ve seen over the past 20 months in city governance, City Council action and constituent engagement, and if you want St. Helena to continue on this path, then I strongly urge you to cast your vote for Geoff Ellsworth for Mayor.
Make no mistake about it; Geoff Ellsworth is an integral part of the City Council and also of a new majority that is the primary impetus behind many of the City Council’s most important recent achievements. Together, we:
- Saw the need to and quickly formed the SHAPE Committee on the heels of the 2016-2017 missteps over the Adams Street RFP; pushed for immediate solicitation of a professional assessment of the physical condition of our City assets and their appraised values; devised a robust citizen engagement process that helped inform the SHAPE Committee’s recommended capital improvement strategies and financial work plan to address long-neglected city buildings;
- Voted to hire Mark Prestwich as City Manager;
- Strongly advocated for and achieved the appointment of the Ad Hoc Utility Rate Committee in response to concerns over the adopted 2016 rates expressed by over 900 residents and many of our small local businesses, ultimately leading to Council adoption of recommendations to restructure our water and sewer rates and an expanded financial utility payment assistance program;
- Prioritized the goal to Maintain, Sustain and Improve Access to Housing and began the work of evaluating financial and regulatory measures to achieve that goal;
- Initiated a professional evaluation of the state of our downtown from which will flow long overdue city infrastructure initiatives, the overhaul of our zoning code to streamline the zoning process and create development incentives, and strategies to cultivate and reinforce the reputation of St. Helena as a desirable place to live, do business and visit;
- Cut $500,000 from the $1.1 million City Attorney budget under the previous administration; established the first city legal services policy and conducted the first evaluation of the City Attorney;
- Retained Jean Holsten to formulate a Good Governance Project, strengthen Council and staff team building and facilitate citizen engagement;
- Instigated the adoption of improved Council protocols, including a code of ethics and a kinder, gentler City Council process for commission and committee appointments.
We do not function in lockstep. We understand the importance of working together. Geoff Ellsworth brings a lot to the table. Geoff is a collaborator. Geoff is approachable, inquisitive and imaginative. He is a student of history and a creative artist. Geoff is willing to listen and learn and let ideas and solutions develop. Geoff has the ability to evaluate issues in the context of the bigger picture. He can look at a problem or an issue and work with others to devise a path to a solution.
From where I sit, Geoff Ellsworth is our best choice for Mayor of St. Helena.
St. Helena City Council Member