I have lived in Paso Robles for more than 30 years.  I have watched the rapid growth of our community, both good and bad with interest.  I know that many of you have serious concerns about the future development of our city and I share them.

My profession as a computer assisted designer has required me to deal with Paso Robles government on a day-to-day basis for years.  Over time I have watched city staff change from a friendly, conscientious group of concerned people, into a cumbersome, over-bearing institution of self-interested bureaucrats.  I realized that something needed to be done so I decided to run for City Council in 2012.  I was unsuccessful in this initial effort, losing by 67 votes. I learned that it is not easy to unseat entrenched politicians.  My friends and business associates convinced me to try again in 2014 and this time I was elected as a City Councilman.

I went at the job with all the lack of experience of which I had been accused, determined nonetheless, to make our city government responsive, less expensive and more user-friendly.

It was said I lacked experience, but I also lacked the bad habits of a career politician.  I had my own good common sense and the goal of wanting to make government responsive to citizen’s needs.

I started asking questions but quickly realized, I couldn’t trust what I was being told.  Very often I was not told the truth, just what government wanted me to hear.

"I started asking questions but quickly realized that, even as a city councilman, I couldn’t trust the answers that I was getting from city staff. That remains true to this day.
There is much to do!!"

The kind of changes that I feel must be made are institutional.  Currently, many important decisions impacting our community are being made by unelected, unaccountable city staff members and/or outside consultants that are hired to deliver a predetermined result and, in the process, manipulate the public into thinking that they actually had input into the issue.  There does not appear to be an appetite on the part of this mayor or a majority of the current City Council to take more responsibility and exercise more control and restraint over the policies these employees and consultants make and the actions they take.  This needs to change if we are to stabilize our city for future growth and ensure our views are represented.

I originally ran for City Council in order to bring common sense governance to our city.  A want a city government that puts the residents of Paso Robles above special interests and government policy.  Since taking office I am frequently one voice against four in trying to do the right thing for the residents.  I am embarrassed when concerned citizens take their valuable time to come to a city council meeting to express their views on an issue, only to have those concerns brushed aside without consideration when the council finally votes on the item.

We need to rearrange the status quo and bring change to the cabal that is currently running our city government from within.

The mayor sets the agenda for the council meetings.  The mayor assigns council members to the various city committees and the mayor conducts the city council meetings.  I am prepared to execute these tasks with honesty, integrity, and transparency if you will honor me with your vote.

I have included my 2014 BIO to show that while I have affected change, not much has changed, this why I want your vote to be your Mayor.

My name is Jim Reed.  I ran for City Council in 2012 because I saw that the incumbents were not representing the interests of the Citizens of Paso Robles.  After that election and all the issues we pointed out, I hoped they would respond to us.

I have seen no change.  So, I am running again to change the direction that our City is taking.

Ten years ago the city surveyed citizens asking what was important to them.  The categories included Growth, Street Maintenance, Downtown Development, Parks, etc.  Ten years later, not one of the important issues the citizens indicated were important to them have been pursued, and, in most cases, the opposite has been done.

The council has voted in a restrictive uptown-downtown plan, several bike paths, and commitments to grants that sell out our city sovereignty to entities that don’t live here.  Our city is heading in a certain direction that is opposed to what our citizens have asked for.  The citizens have finally been made invisible and irrelevant.

21st Street is a good example of what is directing our current City Council.  Outside agencies and interests designed changes to the street that eliminated parking spaces, hurting the businesses on that street.  The changes narrowed driving lanes.  One of the jobs we ask of our City Government is to maintain our roads.  Our streets are for the public to drive upon.  What has been done is not in the best interest of the citizens.  Instead of spending $1.8 Million of taxpayer money on the changes to 21st Street, that street plus many other streets in our City could have been repaved.

At the time of the last election citizens stood up to an unconstitutional ordinance that would authorize city employees to enter a business anytime they wanted, to open closed doors without a warrant and if a property owner resisted, the city employee could use any legal force to make their unwarranted inspection.  The ordinance was stopped, but only for a short time.  Later the ordinance was passed despite objections from citizens.  And, in fact, a second such ordinance was then passed relating to backyards of citizen’s homes and other private property.

In watching council members approve every plan the city staff comes up with, it becomes obvious we need make some changes.  I see the need for strong, principled leadership that WILL listen and actually represent the views and positions of the Citizens.  For too long the council has allowed city government to run over citizen’s wishes and rights.

This practice is unacceptable.  On many occasions I have heard City employees actually say they, “… do not work for you.” (citizens).  That attitude pervades City Hall.  It is time for a change.

If you share my concerns, I urge you to connect with me and help change this dangerous direction our city has been going in!