Six candidates are vying for three open Solana Beach City Council seats in the Nov. 6 election. Candidates include Vickie Driver (see below), Paul Frankel, Lesa Heebner (incumbent), Daniel Powell, Peter Zahn and Dave Zito.
Years living in Solana Beach:
• Research Scientist, Associate Director of Biology, Trius Therapeutics
• Colorado State University, bachelor ‘s degree in microbiology
-• Solana Beach Public Safety Commissioner for four years, current chair
-• CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member for six years, Operations Leader
-• “Are You Ready Solana Beach?” disaster preparedness program co-developer and co-presenter for five years
-• Member of Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society and Solana Beach Garden Club, Sierra Club and Friends of the Library
-• 15-plus years as volunteer at Solana Vista, Skyline, Earl Warren, Canyon Crest Academy (PTA, room parent, carnival volunteer, Young Scientist Club)
•Eight-plus years as Science Olympiad Coordinator (competitive science team) at local schools, EWMS and CCA (San Diego County Regional Competition Event coordinator, Southern California State Competition Event Coordinator)
-• Seven years as San Diego County Science Fair Judge
-• Foster family for Helen Woodward Animal Center
Why are you running for a seat on the Solana Beach City Council?
As a 15-year resident of Solana Beach, I have been an involved community member in the city and in the schools. I have made a personal investment in the safety and protection of Solana Beach. I will represent the whole community, not just friends and neighbors, to ensure a successful future to Solana Beach. There is a need for progress in the city, but it needs to be developed appropriately. Solana Beach can retain its character, protect its environment, and facilitate the needs of our vibrant business community. I want to make that happen.
What experience/qualifications would you bring to the council that you think would be beneficial?
First, I co-founded a biotech company in 2004. I know what it takes to work hard with minimal assets, stick to a budget and make a company successful. Second, my experience and background as a scientist would bring to the council a unique analytical view on issues presented. I am trained to research and understand topics presented to me, and make decisions based on the facts. Third, I have managed groups, projects and budgeted contracts effectively.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Solana Beach?
One big challenge for the city is traffic circulation. We need neighborhood traffic calming north and south of Lomas Santa Fe, not just on the 101. Better circulation near all our schools should be reflected in the General Plan. Currently, twice a day, hundreds of cars drive in and out of the neighborhoods adjacent to the multiple schools we have in town. This puts wear and tear on the roads (think pot holes) and adds pollution to our air quality. Another challenge is to increase our city revenues by building a vibrant business district on both the West and the East side of the highway, while still maintaining the charm of Solana Beach that drew us all to live here.
Do you have any suggestions as to how the biggest issue in your answer for #3 should be addressed by the council?
We should insist on a working relationship between the school district and the city. Some years ago, we had a bus system that transported students from Solana Vista to Skyline and back. This is a solution to decrease traffic and pollution. Traffic calming needs to be enforced in neighborhoods where residents expect a tranquil and safe street. We have portable speed bumps that should be circulated in these troubled areas.
For more information: http://www.driverforcouncil.com/ and Vickie@DriverForCouncil.com