Visalia newcomer running for City Council
You can't accuse of Michael B. Brown of resisting change. The Stockton native has had several careers that included working for a Silicon Valley software company, designing boxes and other packaging for products, being a project manager for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
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#1 Aug 30, 2013
Congrats to Michael Brown. We could use some new blood at City Council and he looks pretty qualified.
#2 Sep 4, 2013
You can’t accuse of Michael B. Brown of resisting change.
The Stockton native has had several careers that included working for a Silicon Valley software company, designing boxes and other packaging for products, being a project manager for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and consulting on gas and water issues for a San Francisco law firm.
It was while working in the last two jobs that Brown — who already had an industrial engineering degree — attended night classes at San Francisco Law school and passed the California bar earlier this summer.
Brown, 33, made another recent change, moving with his wife from the Bay Area to Visalia about eight months ago.
“My wife is from here, and she grew up here and … she wants to be here, so I want to be here,’ he said, adding that he has been dividing his time between doing legal and consulting work for the San Francisco firm and working to establish his own practice as a general lawyer here.
Now, Brown is looking to make another change in his life by running to become a Visalia City Council member.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the city, Brown said,“I want to run for office because I’ve had an interest in politics for awhile.”
He added that the “City Council seems a good way to get into politics and help out the community. But more than that, I think the area needs growth, and I have expertise in development, energy and water issues that I think would be helpful.”
That includes having testified for small businesses to help them get better energy and water utility rates. Some are in this area, said Brown, who declined to name them.
Currently, Visalia is in negotiations to avoid a proposed water-rate hike of more than 28 percent over three years, and city officials have said these types of negotiations are news to them.
Brown said he has that sort of experience, along with experience in renewable energy, water reclamation and water preservation, which he believes would be useful to the city.
If elected to the council, Brown said his top priority would be to reduce unemployment in Visalia,“specifically, employment for younger people. We need to create opportunities for younger people. We need to bring industry to the area.”
For example, Brown said more could be done to tap oil and natural gas along the Monterey Shale Formation under parts of the southern San Joaquin Valley — including a small section of Tulare County — and Visalia could be an “energy hub” where businesses involved in that extraction could locate, along with other businesses.
When asked whether he would support hydraulic “fracking”— injecting water, chemicals and sand into underground shale as a method to extract natural gas and oil — Brown said,“I’d say not necessarily. I would protect the water supply in the area.”
As for other issues facing the city, Brown said he would take them “one at a time” but didn’t say what his other priority issues would be if he becomes a council member.
He also declined to discuss the jobs done by the current City Council members or to comment on Salinas.
Brown did say,“I’m demographically different from the rest of the candidates,” who all are in the 50- and 60-year range.
“I’d be a younger candidate,” he explained.“I understand the problems of people coming out of college and high school — just coming into the workforce. And I understand how difficult it is and want to create opportunities.”
As for whether his lack of Visalia roots may hurt him as a candidate, Brown said,“I think, my wife has deep roots here, and I come from the Valley, and I think my knowledge and experiences apply.
“I think my resume will be impressive to potential voters.”
#3 Sep 6, 2013
THIS is CLASSIC.
"“My wife is from here, and she grew up here and … she wants to be here, so I want to be here,’ he said.."
#4 Sep 6, 2013
"...[PoopyMan Brown]adds that he has been dividing his time between doing legal and consulting work for the San Francisco firm and working to establish his own practice as a general lawyer here..."
Prima donna. And he ENCOURAGES fracking.
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