2020 CANDIDATE FORUM Q&A FROM Scott Bauer
1. Do you support cannabis manufacturing, distribution, and/or retail in Eureka?
I support cannabis manufacturing, distribution, and retail in Eureka. It is a legal enterprise and should be afforded the same opportunities as other businesses.
a. What types of cannabis businesses currently operate in Eureka?
The city has all three types of cannabis businesses.
b. What are the pros and cons of the cannabis industry operating in Eureka?
For the most part, I don’t see any cons with cannabis businesses operating in Eureka. I think too many retail sales locations could create a market glut, but the market will work itself out in the end. We have lots of warehouse space to expand manufacturing and distribution and should allow for these spaces to be utilized by the industry. We would need to change zoning designations within our Local Coastal Program, but it is a sound idea. I do think manufacturing and distribution should be located away from residential areas to ensure we don’t have nuisance issues with smell.
2. What recommendations could you make to revitalize business in Eureka?
I think we should provide tax incentives for struggling businesses, at least to get them through the pandemic. I’m unsure what form that would take but keeping people employed, both business owners and their employees, is critical to a prosperous Eureka.
a. What can the city do to help reduce commercial storefront vacancies?
The city is working on an economic development strategic plan that would provide a framework to recruit and retain retail businesses. I fully support this endeavor.
b. What outdoor projects in the city of Eureka do you support?
I support trail development within our greenways and gulches. I envision a trail from Myrtle Avenue to Eureka High and another from Myrtle Avenue to Zane Middle School, and continuing on to St. Joseph’s Hospital. These trails would provide our kids with safe travel to and from school (get many of them off the busy streets), and provide great recreational opportunities for many citizens.
3. What is your position regarding the ongoing increases in the cost of city development fees and water rates?
Development fees are a cost of doing business in all cities and counties within the state. I don’t see how we reduce the fees associated with development, unless we decide as a community to fund community development staff (those processing development paperwork, reviewing plans, doing CEQA related work, etc.) through the general fund. I would need to look into this issue more thoroughly to find an equitable solution that benefits the public and developer alike. As for water and sewer rates, this is a multifaceted problem. We have an ancient sewer system in need of upgrades and a potable water system meant to serve multiple Humboldt County communities and several mills. The mills are gone, which has put the burden of maintaining the water system on rate payers and businesses. We need to bring in businesses that can use the abundance of water we have in Ruth Lake to reduce the cost burden on the rest of us. I am not in favor of privatizing water or sewer because it always leads to higher prices and reduced quality of service.
a. If parking becomes a more significant challenge in the future, what solutions would you suggest helping alleviate the problem?
If parking problems threaten to overwhelm this city, I would support expanding public transit. I could see a small fleet of electric mini buses that would have routes through Old Town and downtown that would shuttle people from existing parking areas to work sites. More importantly, we need to get our citizens out of their cars and on their feet and bikes for their daily commutes where possible.
b. What is your position regarding Sea Level Rise regulations?
Sea level rise is real. We need a sea level adaptation strategy where we monitor sea level rise and at certain trigger points (water surface elevation increase) take action to protect critical infrastructure. Development within the coastal zone will require us to be flexible and plan for costs associated with protecting our community as the sea rises.