If a council race is reflective of a city, then Redwood City is a diverse city with a big heart and myriad viewpoints on the best path forward. So it is with its seven candidates for three seats on the council.
Each candidate brings a certain history, set of experiences and perspective on how to not only balance the new Redwood City and the old but also ensure it is successful in the future. And each candidate provides an important point of view.
Still, voters must choose on who will be the best decision-maker on the dais and who will be the most responsive and responsible to all the city’s residents now and into the future. While all the candidates are good, a choice has to be made and we choose Giselle Hale, Diane Howard and Rick Hunter.
Incumbent Howard is an easy call. She has been there, done that and can provide some historical perspective to a council that is in transition. She also has her mind firmly on the city’s bottom line and knows what it is like to plan for rainy days and how to best find shelter when it’s storming. She is part of a council that rejuvenated downtown but also didn’t anticipate the pace of development downtown. Still, she is part of the council that also learned much from the process. Howard is a steadying force on the council and understands the value of economic development and maintaining the quality of life in the city’s neighborhoods. Howard shines in bringing people into the middle through community engagement.
Former planning commissioner Hunter is also a creature of the middle and is much like current Mayor Ian Bain in that he is respectful of all sides and understanding of the concerns brought to bear in today’s current environment. As a CPA, Hunter will be useful in budget discussions and is willing to make cuts as long as they do not affect those who need services. And he is open to policies that might limit commercial development seen as a contributor to the area’s housing woes. He is even-keeled and open to discussion that will lead to the best outcome for all. It is in those civil interactions that he will thrive to find the best ideas from all sides. He will be a tremendous addition to the council.
Planning Commissioner Giselle Hale is polished and full of ideas. Some ideas we like better than others. Finding governmental efficiencies is a tried and true policy but utilizing chatbots for city business might lead to resident frustration. Still, it’s better to be open to all ideas when the city faces budgetary shortfalls. Hale is well-versed in both city and regional issues and will be able to make connections to solve problems both great and small.
The other candidates are also well-versed in city and regional issues and no one is falling short in conveying their viewpoints effectively in this campaign. Realistically, the city would be well-served with any of the seven on the council. But a choice has to be made, and we always choose who we think are the best candidates who will hit the ground running, have the entire community in mind, can draw from their extensive experience best and who will lead the entire city in a civil and responsible way. Hale, Howard and Hunter are those candidates.