Albany City Council Candidate Statements: Joanne Wile

By Joanne Wile
Friday October 27, 2006


Albany is a special community. Our quality of life comes from our unique small town character. People know and care about each other. We have schools, libraries, parks, and public services that we are proud of. Our shopping areas on Solano and San Pablo Avenues have small businesses and restaurants that make our town a safe place to stroll and shop. 

Our quality of life is threatened by proposed developments such as the Magna/Caruso mall and casino plans. That’s why I oppose them. These developments will bring major traffic gridlock on Highway 80 and on our key streets. We will see Solano Avenue’s vitality disappear. The Eastshore State Park will never be completed. 

Join me in creating a different vision for our future as we join California’s Green Revolution. 

1. I want a community park and a development plan that is integrated at the waterfront. We can build a green hotel away from the shoreline and the wetlands. It will be good for Golden Gate Fields (should they decide to stay), good for Albany’s revenues, and good for merchants on Solano and San Pablo Avenues. Albany will receive a 10-12 percent hotel tax, rather than a 1 percent sales tax from a mall. 

My opponents have both supported large scale development by southern California developer Rick Caruso. Coffees held at the O’Keefe-Riffer household endorsed his development plan. Mr. Papalia’s campaign staff was formerly a Caruso public relations employee. These matters are of grave importance, since Mr. Caruso stands to reap millions of dollars in profits if his plan is approved by the City Council. 

2. I would like to see Albany participate in California’s Green Revolution, so that we can benefit from the $60 million and 17,000 new jobs which are being created by the state’s new law reducing greenhouse emissions. We can attract research and development businesses to Albany, along Cleveland Avenue, which is part of the city’s redevelopment zone. 

3. I am advocating collaborative regional planning for the San Pablo corridor, so that we can decrease our reliance on cars, have mixed use, affordable housing with open space and schools, so that the corridor will be an attractive place to live.  

I have worked for 35 years in the Department of Public Health in San Francisco. In the past ten years I have been the Director of the Division of Community Services, in charge of programs acknowledged for their outstanding clinical service, cost effectiveness, high staff morale, and state of the art emergency preparedness and security practices. 

I have worked with Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom. and Mark Leno developing strategies to maintain these programs in difficult times. To give you a sense of the fiscal context of my work, the San Francisco mental health budget alone is roughly six times the budget for the entire city of Albany. 

I have been endorsed by Barbara Lee, Loni Hancock, the California Democratic Party, Keith Carson, Albany Council Members Robert Good and Robert Lieber, the Sierra Club, Sylvia McLaughlin, and the League Conservation Voters.