—Contributed by the Gilroy Business Political Action Committee
GilPAC, the Gilroy Business Political Action Committee has vetted candidates for Gilroy Mayor and City Council. Following the review of candidate questionnaires and completion of panel interviews, the GilPAC board of trustees voted to endorse Don Gage for Gilroy Mayor, incumbents Perry Woodward and Cat Tucker and Planning Commission Chairman Terri Aulman for Gilroy City Council.
GilPAC is backing Gage for his depth and breadth of experience in business, at the City and County; his solid, fiscal conservative track record; and broad regional connections that make him the proven, effective and respected leader that Gilroy needs. As stated in his endorsement interview, “What takes others a week to get done, I can get done with a phone call.” His desires to reduce fees and focus on bolstering and expanding existing businesses and growth in commercial and manufacturing are spot on. Gage’s accessibility, political insight and dexterity are needed to help the Council and City to define a vision, achieve stability and control.
Incumbent council member Perry Woodward’s roots run deep in Gilroy and it is clear that he is dedicated to leading the City through this “watershed moment.” GilPAC supports Woodward’s re-election due to his dedication to identifying obstacles to resolving issues, such as taking the lead in chairing the City’s task force on development standards. His commitment to transparency, diligence, reigning in “out of control impact fees,” and dedication to balancing the power at City Hall are commendable.
Cat Tucker is another community leader worthy of a second term. Her insights on achieving long-term economic viability, contract re-negotiation and investing on planning are tough and astute. Tucker has shown that she is a good collaborator, a champion for South County on regional boards and willing and able to work with the business community to get and keep things moving.
Though Terri Aulman is both a Gilroy and political newcomer, she dived in and has proven her muster. As Chairman of the Planning Commission, she has seen what needs to be done to remain competitive and as an IBM veteran, she understands perspectives on the other side of the dais. There is no doubt that she has the common sense leadership and grit to work with staff to improve systems, communications and expectations and make tough choices.
The #1 priority of the business community is creating a strong, local economy. The Gilroy Chamber of Commerce took the lead in 1996 in the formation of the Gilroy Economic Development Corporation, and today, due in part to the Chamber contributing more than $.5 million to that organization, Gilroy thrives with a robust tax base. The Chamber’s first step in striving to elect business-friendly candidates was the creation of our candidate endorsement program in 2004. The Government Relations Committee (GRC) Endorsement Committee evaluated candidates on issues important to the business community and made recommendations to the Chamber’s Board of Directors to endorse those candidates. Clearly the business community has a louder voice and greater stature now because of the Chamber’s efforts.
GilPac is an independent, nonpartisan organization, sponsored by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of GilPAC is to become involved in California state and local candidate and ballot measure elections, and in relevant state and local public policy issues, in order to promote the interests of the Chamber, its members, and the business community in the City of Gilroy and throughout the state.