Patch: Why are you running for Pleasant Hill City Council?
Jeremy Cloward: I am running for the Pleasant Hill City Council because I believe the city council has a role to play in making Pleasant Hill an even better place to live. For example, I believe the city council can help to improve our schools, provide inexpensive day care centers at our K-8 schools, and limit taxes and growth in our town.
Patch: What are the top three issues you see facing the city, and how would you address them?
The top three issues that I see facing the city of Pleasant Hill are:
- The need for improvement of our schools,
- The need for inexpensive day care centers at each our K-8 schools
- The need to keep Pleasant Hill the small town that we all know and love.
I would address each issue through the following:
Education: The highest aim of any society should be the education of its citizens. However, with the rising cost of education in California as well as cuts to long-standing educational programs through out the state, what is needed in Pleasant Hill is both a decrease in the cost of education and an increase in funding for our schools. I propose increasing the amount of money spent on our schools in Pleasant Hill. Revenue for our schools will be generated through the passage of a city ordinance requiring all multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in Pleasant Hill to pay a small 1% franchise tax on their annual sales revenues to hire more teachers, librarians and counselors, to buy new books and computers, and to restore diminished or eliminated programs in our arts, trades, and sports programs. The franchise tax cannot be passed on to consumers. In 2011 alone, the top 25 MNCs operating in Pleasant Hill (AT&T, Chevron, Target, Safeway, etc.) had sales revenue in excess of $75 million dollars – more than three times the entire city budget for 2011 (est. $18 million dollars). A simple 1% tax on MNC annual sales will generate $750,000 dollars (or some $68,000 dollars per year for each of our 11 public schools).
Day Care: When my wife and I had our son in daycare full time and our daughter in after school daycare part time our monthly bill totaled nearly $1000 dollars - one quarter of our monthly salary. Most of us will have children at some point during our lives and it is important that they are cared for in a way that we feel good about and at a relatively inexpensive cost to us. While most of us have some kind of daycare center located at our children’s schools we generally have to pay for them to attend. I propose developing a childcare center at every elementary and middle school in Pleasant Hill, kindergarten through eighth grade. Revenue for childcare centers will be generated through the passage of a city ordinance requiring all multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in Pleasant Hill to pay a small 1% franchise tax on their annual sales revenues. The franchise tax cannot be passed on to consumers. In 2011 alone, the top 25 MNCs operating in Pleasant Hill (AT&T, Chevron, Target, Safeway, etc.) had sales revenue in excess of $75 million dollars – more than three times the entire city budget for 2011 (est. $18 million dollars). A simple 1% tax on MNC annual sales will generate $750,000 dollars (or more than $80,000 dollars per year for each of our nine elementary and middle schools) to develop and maintain quality childcare centers for our children at our local schools.
Taxes & Growth: No one wants to pay more payroll, income, sales, or any other type of taxes than they already do and there is no reason why anyone in Pleasant Hill should pay more than what each one of us already does. Additionally, I believe that most people in Pleasant Hill like the size of our town “just the way it is.” Indeed, I think most people in Pleasant Hill do not want to see Pleasant Hill change from the town that it is today into a small city that none of us will recognize. I pledge to neither raise taxes on any citizen of Pleasant Hill nor allow unnecessary growth that will change Pleasant Hill from the town that we all know and love. In keeping with this oath, I will oppose any city ordinance asking for increased taxes on our citizens or any city ordinance which attempts to develop Pleasant Hill into a place that runs counter to our small town roots.
3) What are the three best things about living in Pleasant Hill?
Living here, its relaxed pace, and friends & family
4) What are the three worst things?
The occasional smell of the Shell Refinery
5) If you win a seat, how will you keep in touch with your constituents for the next four years?
I am happy to keep in-touch with all of Pleasant Hill through regular email-updates, maintaining a Facebook page, conducting regular one-on-one or small-group meetings and any other way that is needed to remain in contact with anyone living in Pleasant Hill who wishes to be involved with what is happening with our town.