Re-elect Leah Gold
Healdsburg City Council​

General Election November 6, 2018

Why I'm Running​​​​​​


In 1992 I moved to Healdsburg with my husband and young son, delighted to join the welcoming family-friendly community. I realized very soon that Healdsburg was more truly my home than any place I’d lived before, and I was eager to give back. In 1993, I helped organize a broad community effort to build a new playground in Giorgi Park. And when I became aware that Healdsburg’s rural character was threatened by sprawl development, I led the citizens' committee that crafted Healdsburg’s Urban Growth Boundary Initiative, which voters passed by a wide margin in 1996. In 2000, I successfully ran for City Council and served through 2004, and as Mayor in 2003. Last year, the voters returned me to the Council in a special election to fill a vacated seat.

Healdsburg has since made real progress on issues that matter to our residents, thanks to an energized City Council and our stellar staff. We completed 69 units of affordable housing, added 109 downtown parking spaces, re-allocated bed-tax funds from marketing to community events, and initiated a floating solar project on our wastewater ponds, which is anticipated to generate 80% of the plant's energy and save ratepayers over $1 million over the lifespan of the project.

As lovely a place as Healdsburg is, it continues to face serious challenges, such as housing affordability, downtown parking, street repair, disaster preparedness, and balancing the needs of residents with those of our dynamic tourism-oriented economy. I will bring a practical, pragmatic approach to addressing these and other community issues.
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Gold for City Council 2018
401 Center Street, Box 35
Healdsburg, CA 95448

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Key Goals
More Affordable Housing Opportunity

It’s not news to anyone that lack of affordable housing options is a huge obstacle for people who want to live and work in Healdsburg. If reelected, I will press for more affordable housing as we negotiate the development proposals currently before the City, and seek out innovative programs and funding sources. I’m concerned about how rapidly our housing stock is being converted from full-time residences to investment vehicles rarely visited by their owners. I am working with our state representatives and leaders of other affected communities to create tools to help us fight this trend. 

Measure P is a concrete step our Council has taken to allow multi-family rental housing to be constructed in Healdsburg. It will be on your ballot November 6. While preserving Growth Management, Measure P adds extra allotments specifically for moderately-priced multi-family rental units.

Measure P has no effect on current Affordable Housing programs and uses no public funds. It simply allows the City to press developers to include multi-family rental housing in their project proposals. Please join me in supporting Measure P.
Recreation and Open Space

Providing greater opportunity for residents to get out and enjoy our beautiful surroundings has always been a priority for me. If reelected, I look forward to completing the Foss Creek Bicycle path, improving river access, updating facilities in Badger Park, planning the new park north of Parkland Farms, easing access to the Fitch Mountain Preserve, and connecting it to the Healdsburg Ridge Preserve. Furthermore, I will advocate for a project outside my jurisdiction, but near to my heart: a network of off-road bicycle paths in our surrounding agricultural valleys.
Balancing the Needs of Residents and Businesses
Our vibrant tourism industry is a great source of prosperity for Healdsburg. We need to be attentive to keeping it healthy while also maintaining the friendly small-town feeling that makes Healdsburg so attractive for residents and visitors alike. With this goal in mind, I want to limit further hotel development and protect the historic character of our downtown. The Council has supported me in this effort, and the city staff are in the process of completing a zoning change for the downtown and Plaza districts. I hope to continue this discussion and limit hotel development in other parts of Healdsburg.

Last year I pushed to re-allocate a portion of Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) funds from marketing to community cultural activiities. As a result, we now have a new funding source that has supported the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, the Tuesdays on the Plaza Summer Concert series, the Healdsburg Arts Festival, Art After Dark, Corazòn's Day of the Dead celebration, the Raven Performing Arts Center, and the Alexander Valley Film Festival. As the Council’s liaison to the Healdsburg Tourism Improvement District (HTID), I help administer the distribution of these funds.

Renewable Energy and Climate Protection
One of my first efforts after returning to City Council last year was to advocate for using photovoltaic tiles floating on our wastewater treatment ponds to generate solar power while shading the ponds and retarding the growth of harmful algae. My efforts were successful: the project was funded and is currently being planned. When complete, it is estimated to generate 80% of the treatment plant’s power and save ratepayers over $1 million over the life of the project. 

Because we operate or own electric utility, Healdsburg is well positioned to adopt new energy technologies when they become available. I will always be on the lookout for innovative, environmentally friendly solutions that will reduce our overall energy costs.
Downtown Parking
A downside of our vibrant economy and lively downtown is that parking can be tight at busy hours of the day. The City has made progress over the past year to make parking more available: we created 109 new parking spaces in the West Plaza and north of City Hall, and we funded new automated license-plate reading technology that will improve parking enforcement. I do not favor implementing paid street parking, because I believe that free parking contributes to the welcoming small-town atmosphere we love and want to preserve. But we will continue to look for ways to relieve the downtown parking crunch.