Current City Council member and was the 51st mayor of the city of Thousand Oaks. Al is also a managing director of investments for Wells Fargo Advisors. He is focused on economic development and the preservation of our environment.
Al was elected to the City Council in 2012 after serving our community in various capacities, including planning commissioner, YMCA chair, founder of the Alliance for the Arts and chair of the Civic Arts Plaza Board of Governors.
As the mayor, Al is the chair of the Ventura Council of Governments, a member of the Economic Development Collaborative — Ventura County and a member of the Association of Ventura County Cities. He serves on a number of committees, including Cultural Affairs, Ad Hoc City Council Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan Committee, Ad Hoc City Council Theatres Fund Budget Review Committee, Ad Hoc Cultural Arts Review Committee, City Finance/Audit Committee, City Selection Committee, and the 2064 Visioning Program Economy Committee.
After graduating from Rutgers University and moving to the city of Thousand Oaks, Al embarked on a distinguished career in the financial services industry. He holds the title of Premier Advisor, a designation held by a select group of financial advisors that reflects a superior level of professional achievement.
Al and his wife, Marilyn, have twin daughters, Erica and Allison, that are presently in their final year of high school and have been educated in the Conejo Valley Unified School District system since kindergarten. They are set to attend college at UCSB in the fall. Al is actively involved in the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce. Marilyn is involved in the Volunteers of Policing program, and the entire family are members of the Assistance League of the Conejo Valley.
What are the major city issues of concern to you in the future?
- We have an aging population
- We need to retain and attract the next generation of young people to Thousand Oaks
- We need more entry-level housing and senior affordable housing
- We need to revitalize our main thoroughfare, Thousand Oaks Boulevard
- We need to continue my efforts to save tax dollars and maintain our high level of city services
What issues in the past do you feel are not being addressed?
Major issues of the past have been overcome during my term in office:
- I have united a divided Council to be more efficient and productive for our residents
- I enacted pension reform to save millions of tax dollars each year
- I balanced the budget of our theaters, which was previously in the red
- I enacted campaign finance reform to widen electoral participation
- My term-limits initiative passed overwhelmingly and will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to our City Council
I will continue to be a responsive, effective public servant by providing excellent services for our residents such as street maintenance, recreational opportunities, top-notch theater presentations and a fiscally conservative government.
What are your thoughts on the state of local businesses in the city?
In Ventura County, Thousand Oaks is No. 1 in sales-tax generation, which is an indicator of the strength of our business community. I am constantly looking for ways to improve our business climate. We have streamlined the planning process in our Community Development Department so it is easier and less expensive for new businesses to get started in Thousand Oaks. I am consistently looking for new ways to recruit new businesses and add entry-level housing to Thousand Oaks so that our residents do not have to drive far for work. Over the last four years as your City Councilmember, I have recruited many new businesses, including Mercedes AMG, BOCOM, PennyMac, Dole Packaged Foods, Lowes, Easton, Nordstrom Rack, DSW and Dick’s Sporting Goods. This has generated hundreds of new jobs. Many of our small businesses are clustered on Thousand Oaks Boulevard. I have spoken with many employers in town, and they all agree that my approach to mixed-use development and revitalizing our Boulevard will create the housing and lifestyle that is currently in demand. This is exactly what they need to attract a more skilled workforce to our community and create an even more successful business climate.
What are your thoughts on current public safety issues?
Our Community Attitude Study indicated that public safety is a top priority for our residents. Accordingly, the largest percentage of our budget is dedicated to law enforcement, which is doing an excellent job. In every year since I was elected, the FBI has rated our city as the No. 1 safest city in the state of California with a population of over 100,000. In addition, we have risen from the fourt- to the second-safest city in the United States. I will continue to make public safety my No. 1 priority.
What are your housing concerns for the city? How will you address them in the future?
We need more entry-level housing for our youth and more affordable housing for our seniors. Since the city of Thousand Oaks is built out, it is important that we strategically develop infill projects that incorporate these types of housing. We can also accomplish this by revitalizing Thousand Oaks Boulevard with some mixed-use projects in conjunction with restaurants, shops, bistros and cafes that will create a walkable, sustainable, pedestrian-friendly town center. We will be sensitive to the environment and grow responsibly. We are an aging city and it is vital that we attract the next generation that will keep our city strong.
How important are the city’s natural resources to you and what are you doing about it?
- I will continue to add to our over 15,000 acres of open space to complete our Ring of Green around the city.
- I will preserve our community’s natural heritage by protecting our oak trees
- I will work to implement the findings of the groundwater study and tap into our many dormant wells to reduce imported water dependence by up to 10 percent
- I will continue to find ways to reduce water consumption and lower the quantity of water imported from the Metropolitan Water District
- I will protect our wildlife by implementing my initiative to ban the use of commercial toxins such as rodenticides by our city, which adversely harm our environment
Discuss other concerns you have with your city and what you will do to address them. This may include water issues, the state of your city’s school districts, the city’s financial stability, unemployment, etc.
- Maintain a strong commitment to public safety, including police, fire, emergency medical services and emergency management to ensure Thousand Oaks remains the safest city in California with a population over 100,000
- Operate city government in a fiscally and managerially responsible and prudent manner to ensure that Thousand Oaks remains one of California’s most desirable places to live, work, visit, recreate and raise a family
- Ensure that the General Fund always remains balanced, and sound financial policies are followed
- Identify long-term challenges and put into place mitigations before challenges become issues
- Create and implement a 10-year economic strategic plan to recruit and retain businesses
- Drive our local economy by finding a permanent location in Thousand Oaks for the Rams in-season training camp
- Continue to attract highly trained talent to provide a skilled employment base for our local businesses
- Provide more quality, affordable senior housing in our community — including at the former Pinecrest School site
- Continue to pursue opportunities for assisted living facilities
- Maintain essential senior services such as the Goebel Senior Center, Meals on Wheels and Dial-A-Ride
- Continue assistance via community development block grants for the quality of life of our seniors
Revitalize our Boulevard
- Highlight our downtown core with an infrastructure project that creates places for our friends and neighbors to gather and socialize
- Install new landscaping, lighting, street furniture and pedestrian-friendly walkways
- Attract cafes, bistros, restaurants and shops to make Thousand Oaks Boulevard an economic engine and a day and nighttime destination
- Provide high-quality, entry-level housing to attract young professionals and to help our young citizens stay in T.O.
- Continue to add to our over 15,000 acres of open space to support our “Ring of Green” around the city
- Protect our wildlife by preventing the use of commercial toxins such as rodenticides which adversely harm our environment
- Use our oak tree ordinance to preserve our community’s natural heritage
- Develop a transit master plan with supplements from the latest in ride sharing such as Uber, Lyft and driverless vehicles
- Create public-private partnerships to deliver efficient, low-cost and responsive transit
Water Conservation and Independence
- Maintain the significant reductions in our city’s water conservation efforts and realize the cost savings
- Implement the findings of the groundwater study and tap into our many dormant wells to reduce water dependence by up to 10 percent
- Continue to find ways to reduce water consumption and lower the quantity of water imported from the Metropolitan Water District
Cultural Arts Development
- Continue to support our local nonprofit resident theater and music companies that provide cultural arts enrichment to our community
- Facilitate the groundbreaking merger between the Civic Arts Plaza Foundation and the Alliance for the Arts
- Continue the city’s commitment to community and cultural programs and services such as performing arts/theaters, libraries, TOTV, visual arts, youth and senior programs