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Tim Schaefer on the issues, in his own words

Tim Schaefer, Citrus Heights
Tim Schaefer, businessman and current 2016 Citrus Heights city council candidate. Photo submitted by candidate

Note: In the interest of providing voter information and fair election coverage, The Sentinel has given all eight Citrus Heights city council candidates an equal opportunity to submit 100-word written statements on a variety of local issues. Tim Schaefer’s full responses can be found below. See other candidate responses in the article: “Citrus Heights city council candidates on the issues, in their own words”

Tim Schaefer, 55, is a sales engineer with Ellison Technologies and has also served in various leadership positions in local neighborhood associations. In 2014, he spearheaded a “Save City Hall” effort to oppose the plan to tear down and move the old city hall. (Click to read full candidate profile)

Homelessness is ranked among the top issues faced by businesses and residents in Citrus Heights. What is your plan to address this and what role do you see private organizations playing? (Be specific)

“The city’s role in the homeless issue is to coordinate with other cities in the region to support programs and agencies for documenting the homeless. Two existing programs are Homeless Assistance Resource Team and the Winter Sanctuary program, which is limited to 20 homeless participants. With about 200 homeless people in the city, this limited space serves two purposes.  It creates a bit of a competition which helps to identify the individuals who are truly ready to take advantage of available services and secondly it makes facility security more manageable. This program should be expanded to more than just the winter months.”

Measure B would raise the sales tax by half a cent throughout Sacramento County to pay for roads and Regional Transit projects. If the vote were held today, would you vote “yes” or “no” on Measure B, and why?

“I am opposed to Measure B. Previous Measure A (1988) and Measure A (2004) are nearly identical to Measure B, with the exception that Measure B has some very expensive projects such as extending light rail to Elk Grove and the airport and a 33-mile expressway between Highway 99 and Folsom. Yet it is being ‘sold’ as surface street repairs. Both previous Measure A tax increases have fallen short with very few of our streets receiving repairs.”

One of the City’s strategic planning goals is to enhance public safety. What specifically would you advocate doing to enhance public safety in Citrus Heights?

“Public safety can be enhanced in many areas such as countering the recent influx of early-released prisoners with enhanced officer interaction. Our city would also benefit from increased officer involvement with the community through additional neighborhood watch programs. Current staffing levels do not allow officers to attend neighborhood watch meetings. Both of these plans would require increasing the number of active officers in our police department.”

Body-worn cameras have been praised by many as a way to increase accountability and decrease false claims against police. Do you believe CHPD should implement body-worn cameras within the next two years? Why, or why not?

“CHPD is on the right track and they require our full support. I believe body cams bring as many problems as they solve. Due to the narrow camera angle, there is no guarantee body cams really clarify situations. There is also the problem of when the body cams need to be turned off, such as when protecting the identity of the victims of battery or sexual assault. Storage and security of the video is expensive. Due to these issues and others, I believe the routine use of body cams would be of limited benefit to the community.”

Many of you have advocated for a fiscally conservative policy and maintaining the City’s history of operating debt free. What is your specific plan to address the growing cost of pensions and maintaining a balanced budget with healthy reserves?

“This is a concern for every government agency in California. We will need to work with the public unions to reduce the creation of more liabilities for new employees moving forward. While our existing council has been consistently fiscally conservative they have also added to our pension liabilities by approving many pay increases. Unfortunately these two issues are on a collision course. There are some tough decisions ahead and for this reason, I believe the voters needs to elect someone that is ready to tackle these issues head on and stand up to the pressures and powers that be.”

In August, the city council voted 4-0 to oppose Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational marijuana in California. Do you agree with the council’s decision?

“I believe there is a very simple question about this proposition.  Does passage of this proposition make life better in Citrus Heights and California? I believe the objective answer to this question is ‘no.’ I agree with the city council’s decision.”

It is well-known that many homeowners choose to ignore required building permits while doing remodel or construction work on their properties, citing permit costs or “excessive regulations.” What would you do to address this?

“Previously permits were issued by the county and enforcement was poor. Now that permits are issued at the city level, the process is easier and we have the opportunity to work toward an improved balance between customer service, building permit compliance and code enforcement. I would encourage the city manager to appoint a building department community advocate to help find the appropriate balance.”

What, if any, are two existing city regulations/codes that you think should be changed, and why?

“One area I think we could improve is traffic safety around our schools. This is of great concern for parents and they have brought that concern to me. I would propose a heightened awareness campaign for traffic safety and a doubling of traffic fines in school zones.”

>>See other candidate responses: Citrus Heights city council candidates on the issues, in their own words”

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