Leo Panian, chair of Albany’s Planning and Zoning Commission, is running for the City Council for the first time. Panian says the purpose of his campaign to “place sustainability at the heart of city politics and decision making”.
A campaign statement from Panian:
“I wish to serve on the city council to promote a long-term vision for Albany committed to environmental and economic sustainability.
I am committed to protecting our shoreline, creeks and open spaces. I have consistently supported Albany’s efforts to establish an informed community driven plan for the future of our waterfront. Planning and policy decisions regarding the waterfront require broad participation and a basis in sound facts and informed opinions. It’s my expectation the visioning process will provide the community with enough understanding of the challenges and opportunities, the costs and the tradeoffs, for good collective decision making.
I want to continue the city’s efforts to protect our air, water, and soil quality through strong local, regional, and state advocacy.
I am dedicated to strengthening the vitality our local businesses by encouraging more livable and walkable streets and neighborhoods. having demonstrated a thoughtful approach that balances development with preserving a livable city, by improving pedestrian and bicycle access and encouraging a higher standard of quality in design and construction.
The city relies on commercial revenues for its finances and it will continue to do so in the near future. This means keeping the businesses that operate in Albany healthy and thriving. We need to maintain a balance between large businesses and the many more small ones that are key to the city’s financial well being and at the heart of Albany’s character. We need to attract the types of businesses and developments that will continue to provide a stable financial base as well as furthering Albany’s mission.
I want to maintain Albany’s well-deserved reputation for its excellent schools and will work to enhancing it with more and better quality pre-school and after school programs.
As a community, we need to do a better job of creating more and better quality housing. We need to keep Albany livable by attracting the creation of more affordable housing by strengthening the city’s efforts to reach its goals under the General Plan.
I have served as on the city’s Planning & Zoning Commissioner for the last four years and I am currently the chair. In my official capacity, I have been involved in a wide range of issues, including the crafting of city-wide ordinances, leading planning initiatives, and implementing new building standards, including.
• Community Based Waterfront Planning
• Green Building Standards
• Affordable Housing Standards
• Public Art Standards
• Integrated Pest Management Plan
• Cell-phone Antenna Regulations
• Expanding City Hall Renovations to Include a New Emergency Operations Center
I am an accomplished Structural Engineer and have worked to improve the earthquake safety of buildings and bridges. I am a graduate of UC Berkeley with a Master of Science degree in 1994.
My family and I have lived in Albany since 1999, and my two children attend Cornell Elementary School in the 1st and 4th grades.
I have been endorsed by:
The Sierra Club; California Democratic Party; Green Party of Alameda County; Citizens for the Albany Shoreline;
Robert Lieber, Albany Mayor; Marge Atkinson, Council Member; Joanne Wile, Council Member; Miriam Walden, Albany School Board Member;
Ron Rosenbaum, Albany School Board Member; Jamie Calloway, Albany School Board Vice President; Robert Cheasty, Former Albany Mayor
I would like to see Albany sustain its well-deserved reputation for excellent schools, a safe and family-friendly community, and environmental leadership. We are fortunate to be organized as such a small city in this important region. We can participate more directly and more effectively in decision making that affects us directly.
We must maintain the openness and transparency of our public processes and invite a wider discussion over issues.
I see this election and my candidacy as an effort to place sustainability at the heart of city politics and decision making. We can promote community-wide dialogue by raising awareness and representing principled positions on sustainability on the city council.”
Watch a video message from Panian: