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    Meet Election Candidates: Robert Lieber for Albany City Council

    Albany Mayor Robert Lieber is seeking reelection to the City Council. Lieber has robust supporters as well as  staunch opponents in the community, due to his sharp positions on several controversial city issues, such as waterfront development and direct election of mayor.Watch a video message from Lieber to Albany voters:

    Read an article from Lieber:

    I am running for re-election to the Albany City Council to protect the Albany shoreline from inappropriate development, preserve open space, and complete the East Shore State Park. But the next four years is also about bringing our community together around the many important issues we face. Working together we can make Albany even better. Under my leadership as Mayor, Albany has been recognized as the Greenest City in the State of California. I am committed to Social Justice, the Environment and Peace. Albany is my home and extended family, I want us to prosper.

    I was a leader in the fight to stop the pesticide spraying over Albany and the Bay Area against the light brown apple moth. I have brought resolutions to support Universal Health Care both at the State and Federal level to the Albany City Council. I proposed the creation of the Social and Economic Justice Commission to Albany and proposed the new Community Access Committee. I proposed and passed a Styrofoam ban. I brought forward Integrated Pest Management and saw it through to approved policy for our city. I introduced rational cell tower controls for Albany. I brought forth a resolution to support the Department of Peace. I brought forward and passed many Resolutions Opposing war, supporting peace and the environment. I fought to maintain an open Council when rule changes were proposed to stop members from bringing issues to the agenda. I was instrumental is stopping the Caruso Mall. Recently, I brought resolutions opposing Prop. 4 (restrictions on a minors rights to reproductive choice and a attack on privacy) and opposing Prop 8 (Discrimination against people being able to marry who they love and receiving equal rights under the law). They passed on a 3-2 vote. If re-elected, I will continue to be an activist for peace, social justice, and the environment.

    I introduced the concept of a community based visioning process for Albany. I support the community making their desires known so that any development that may happen at our waterfront is community driven, not developer driven. We are protecting Albany’s revenues by being proactive. rather than reactive. We need to have a plan in place should the racetrack close. I was instrumental in stopping the Magna/Caruso Mall. I support maximum open space.

    Currently, the City is working with a bicycle master plan and hopes to complete a section of Class 1 bike path on Pierce Street. We also hope to obtain a section of property from Caltrans on Pierce Street to complete that Class 1 bike path and ultimately connect it with the Bay Trail. Buchanan Street is also in the planning stage to receive a class 1 path upgrade in cooperation with UC and USDA. A new class 1 path on the Berkeley boarder along Cordonices Creek has been approved with creek restoration. Lighting and path improvements will come with BART’s earthquake retrofit along the Ohlone green way. We need to connect the Bay Trail though GGF. Education and outreach should be a continuing part of our city’s commitment. The City should move away from gasoline powered cars to electric or reasonable alternative fuels. We should promote public transit and consider a local stop for BART on Solano (no parking) which I have asked to be considered in the 50-years BART plan.

    The City has had a balanced budget for the last four years. It is anticipated that we will continue to do so withonly mild reductions in income due to the current slump in the economy. The development of the new Safeway and UC Village Whole Foods will generate new income. We have hired a redevelopment/development consultant to look into other means of generating revenue. In addition, Fern Tiger’s outreach to the community for Waterfront planning is fiscally responsible so that the City is prepared to replace any incomes lost should the racetrack close. Other ideas that have been floated that are worth discussion are parking meters along San Pablo and Solano Avenues. Possibly owning a high tech sign along Interstates 80 and 580, which conservatively could generate a half a million dollars a year. Support of our existing businesses is a continuing responsibility.

    All politics is local. Issues of social justice, the environment and peace affect us all. We must raise our voices in support of these principles. I have heard others say that we should just leave these issues to our Representatives in Washington or Sacramento, but I believe that we are the principal protectors of our own freedom. I have a record of supporting important issues at the Council level, such as; opposing urban casinos at the local, state and federal level, bringing our troops home, impeachment of the President and Vice-President, single payer universal health care at both the state and federal levels, climate controls that reduce greenhouse emissions at both the state and federal levels, and protection of public health at the local, state and federal levels. Freedom and justice are never silent.

    I support a directly elected mayor in Albany. We should have a voice on important decision making bodies that affect our city. The Alameda County Mayors’ Conference will not appoint a rotating mayor to a regional body such as the BCDC, MTC or BAAQMD that make decision about the air we breathe, our S.F Bay and transportation throughout the Bay Area. We also need leadership that lasts long enough to build relationships that will help us be competitive in a difficult environment for local, state and federal funds. In addition, with the current system of rotating mayors, the City bureaucracy/City Administrator is the de facto driving force for decision making in Albany, and like all bureaucracies, tend to be very conservative and rarely proactive on issues. Lastly, the charter change calls for electing the mayor with greater than 50% of the vote, thus giving the elected mayor a mandate for important issues that concern our citizens.

    I am proud to be endorsed by Democratic Party of California, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, Parks Board Member Nancy Skinner, Board of Supervisors Member Keith Carson, EBMUD Board Member Andy Katz, President of the Alameda County Board of Education Jacki Fox Ruby, Albany School Board Member Miriam Walden, former Albany Mayor Robert Cheasty, All members of the Albany School board, Albany Council Member Marge Atkinson, Albany Council Member Joanne Wile, the California Nurses Association, Citizens for the Albany Shoreline, the Sierra Club, The Green Party of Alameda County, and many Albany residents.

    Please vote on November 4th.

    Lieber could be reached by phone    510-558-9054  , or  E-mail: liebtaub@sbcglobal.net 
     
    *This post is part of Meet Election Candidates, a special coverage on the local elections by Albany Today. Each candidate for this year’s local elections has been invited to write an article and record a video speech addressed to Albany voters, which will be published on Albany Today in the following days. Please read their articles, watch their speech, and feel free to write comments under the posts.

     

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