Council Candidate Murray: Protecting Citizens is No. 1

ken-murrayKen Murray was born in Los Angeles, attended grammar school in the small San Joaquin Valley town of Planada and graduated high school at Newport Harbor High in Newport Beach.  After graduation he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served for four years prior to receiving an honorable discharge. Returning to Orange County, Ken worked in the electronics industry until moving to Redding in 1970.  He has three daughters, who live with their husbands out of the area, and four granddaughters.  His mother Margaret Murray lives in Redding. Since moving to Redding, Ken has served in several elective and appointed offices. He served a four year term on the Columbia School Board, as founding member of the Redding Area Development Committee, Shasta County Planning Commissioner, Foreman of the Shasta County Grand Jury and on the Board of the Shasta Women’s Refuge. Ken has served on the Redding City Council from 1994-1998 and again from 2004-2008.  He was selected as Mayor twice. He has been a Realtor for the past 34 years and was a radio talk show host for 10 years on KQMS in Redding. Ken’s hobbies include fishing, travel, reading, gardening and writing.  He has written several Christian songs that have been published.

As a candidate for Redding City Council, and with your help, I can make a difference in the future of our community. I propose to accomplish the following:

1. Put Public Safety First – Yes, current pension plans are unsustainable. Yes, budget cuts must be made. Yes, the unions must come to the table ready to give up benefits and/or pay. The national economic downturn has affected all of us personally as well as all levels of government. It isn’t the fault of some City Council doing something wrong in the past, it is a national problem. The Council must be internally united, lay all the cards on the table and invite the unions to submit long term solutions to our problems. There will be shared pain but there should not be acrimony. By the end of this year, 34 public safety positions will have been eliminated and to my mind must be reinstated. The number one priority of government is the protection of its citizens. The unions all recognize this and say they want to negotiate to fix the problem.  I want to give them the chance to do so.

2.  I believe that spending any City money at this time on the Oasis/I-5 interchange is a mistake. With over one million square feet of vacant retail space in Redding there is no demonstrable need for new retail. No one is expanding in this economy and no one is going to leave Redding if they cannot immediately expand.  Money for street infrastructure should be allocated where development has most directly impacted traffic conditions, such as Placer going west, Victor south of Hwy. 44 and Hartnell between Victor and Shasta View.

3.  We must negotiate a fair tax exchange agreement with the County to stop “government” shopping by developers. A tax exchange agreement will save all taxpayers money and promote orderly growth of manufacturing, commercial and retail where City sewer, water, storm drain and electrical services already exist. Tax shopping by developers must stop.

4.  We must prepare for the future.  Within the next fifteen years there will hopefully be development along Park Marina Drive and the bank of the Sacramento River. The Kutras family has long envisioned development that will open up this magnificent resource to all. Planning takes time and it’s not too early to start thinking ahead.

5.  We must devote more law enforcement resources to prevention and prosecution of cases of forcible rape. Currently we rank worst in the state. It is unacceptable to me.

6.  Regardless of what happens at the ballot box come November, we must continue to proactively seek green energy solutions to meet the growing demand for energy from the Redding Electric Utility. One thing we can and should be doing today is lobbying Sacramento to recognize our energy allotment from Shasta Dam as a renewable resource (they currently disallow large hydro from counting as renewable).

Editor’s note: You can find more statements from Redding City Council candidates in A News Cafe’s Village Voices section, and check out Doni Greenberg’s coverage of a recent candidates forum here.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

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