Frequently Asked Questions… Answered.


Q. What is so important about Campaign Finance Reform?

A. For me, there are two questions about campaign finance.  One: Should funding from source outside Campbell determine who gets elected in Campbell?  Two: Should funding from single donors be capped?

Federal and State laws are minimally helpful and confusing.  Everyone here complies.

A year ago, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors  enacted campaign finance reform.  These are voluntary measures established in the interest of the voting public. There are voluntary contribution limits – $1,000,  and a voluntary expenditure ceiling. If the voluntary limit is not accepted, the contribution maximum is reduced to $500.

This does not cover scenarios of joint campaigns or outside campaign committees, but it’s a place to start, as I did this year.

I committed to raising 85% of funds from within Campbell and a max individual or business donation of $500.   I have donated and loaned personal funds to my campaign. I cannot compete viably without my personal funds.


Q. Is there a parking problem in Downtown Campbell?Liz in discussion with people.

A. YES.  This question has been at public meetings and during my precinct walking.  The traffic/parking/pedestrian conflict occurs in two different scenarios: hours around weekday lunch and weekend evenings.

  • I have observed both the Second Street and First Street garages full weekdays,  particularly around the lunch hour. There are great new businesses downtown that use the 1st Street garage. Parking on the loop roads and on neighborhood streets seems to be working reasonably well. I have noticed this is a period of speeding traffic and conflicts with pedestrians. Campbell PD has been working on enforcement.
  • Evenings, the problem is particularly acute Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings after 5 P.M. and again after 10 P.M. The 2nd Street garage is generally full.  The 1st Street garage often has space.  I have spoken with Downtown businesses.  They have two  recommendations:  1. Establish two special taxi-only parking areas. and 2. Downtown restaurants provide a valet parking stand that takes cars to the 1st Street garage.  The valet service  provides two benefits, increase capacity of the parking areas and reduction of noise from patrons returning to parked cars.


Q. What distinguishes you from the other Candidates?

A. This question has also been asked at several forums. My thoughts are:

  • The FOCUS OF MY CAMPAIGN is the citizens of Campbell.  Endorsements and 85% of my funding come from within Campbell.  Through this commitment, the voters will know that they are my priority while serving as their representative on the Council.
  • My REALISTIC VISION is Campbell as a community which values safety, financial stewardship, heritage and economic vibrancy. Even as we grow, neighbors will know neighbors and neighborhood collectively call this place Campbell.  This vision will be my guiding principle as your representative on the Council.
  • I have 40 years of PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE in the business area of development, representing both developers and public agencies.  Right now, Campbell is facing a plethora of development proposals and city-initiated planning decisions for the future.  I understand and question the drawings, traffic studies and budgets.
  • I bring a BALANCED PERSPECTIVE  and open mind to all discussions. I have been an active Community volunteer for 24 year. Serving three times as Chair during my 17-year tenure on the Planning Commission, demonstrated the value the public hearing process. I will listen to you, the residents and businesses. I come prepared and follow-through to get results.


Q. How is being an architect of benefit to your being on the City Council?

A.    Architects are puzzle solvers: Think of a rubric’s cube – get all the colors together on their respective sides. To do that I need to identify and understand all the moving parts. It starts with listening and exploring and followed by critical thinking.

This analysis applies to deciding how Campbell will grow. For example, to fit Campbell, housing must encourage neighbors knowing neighbors – creating neighborhoods.  Developers are parachuting into our community with exclusive, high-density housing; others are avoiding city standards by developing projects with private streets.

Is that what Campbell needs? The byproducts are traffic volumes and speeds in excess of road safety and capacity.  Skyline vistas are blocked by mega-blocks. We need to consider how to provide truly affordable housing.

Campbell has capacity to provide an excess of housing units so let’s create new neighborhoods with parking and evaluate realistic car usage and patterns.  Plans include sidewalks that take you to public transit, bike routes, recreation. With an awareness of surrounding neighborhoods, incorporate speed controls and roads.


Q. What are the issues facing Campbell?

  1. Development – residential, retail and business
    • For rent vs for sale housing
    • Affordable housing
    • Retail mix and location
    • Employment within city
  2. Revenues sources
    • Sales tax
    • Property tax
    • Hotel tax
  3. Need for new Library and Police Station
  4. Safety/Traffic
  5. Missing in the general conversation:
    • How to dialogue with citizens in 21st century – not via news print..
    • Water supply for new residents and businesses


Q. Why are your running for the City Council?

A. I’m running for City Council to re-establish a balance between development and quality of life. The City Council is a  5-person team with a range of skills and knowledge working on your behalf.  I have the right mix of professional experience, balanced perspective and involvement with the community to fill the void on the council.

My only agenda is securing a positive future for Campbell. I’m against the influx of outside donations to local elections; therefore I commit to raise 85% of my campaign funds locally.

I pledge to be a strong advocate for Campbell’s residents and businesses by challenging short-term decisions that threaten the reasons we want to be in Campbell.  These threats include recent Council decisions to relax downtown alcohol policies and requests from developers seeking favorable concessions for large construction projects. These decisions often come at the expense of established neighborhoods and businesses.

I’m a Campbell homeowner and community volunteer for 24 years, successfully championing the Campbell library measures and supporting the Country Woman’s Club scholarship programs. A licensed architect, I served for 17 years on the Planning Commission, three times as Chair.

This year I was recognized as Campbell’s Citizen of the Year.

Campbell had a woman Councilmember only three times in its history. I would be honored to serve you as the fourth woman on the City Council.


Q. Are there too many restaurants/bars in Downtown Campbell?

A.    Here is my letter to the Campbell Express Editor,  June 3, 2014

RE: Over concentration of Alcohol Establishments in the Downtown at Issue…Again – Joe Hernandez, May 28, 2014

Thank you Joe for speaking out about the burgeoning problems associate with continual addition of Alcohol Establishments in the Downtown. As discussed at the Planning Commission meeting, the number and character of the alcohol-related business is changing the quality of our Downtown.   It is important to note than nearly all alcohol-sales businesses have converted “under the radar” from beer and wines licenses to full liquor licenses. (edit)

There are fewer shops to visit as they are rapidly being replaced by restaurants/bars. There is incentive for landlords to convert to the more lucrative rents from alcohol-sales establishments. A daytime stroll to shop is fading along with the number of retail shops.  There are fewer family-oriented shops as well.

A notable byproduct of this transition is the increased demand for parking, as much as a three-fold increase without additional parking. This conundrum discourages people from coming downtown due to traffic and consequently puts pressure on the surrounding residential neighborhood streets. Late night revelers return to their parked cars, disrupting the peace and quiet of families.

An additional consideration is how will so many similar businesses hold up against each other over time? When does it become competitive over-saturation? (Refer to Joe’s statistics for Los Gatos and Los Altos at 18% and 14% respectively for alcohol-sales.)  How will they hold up during the next inevitable downturn?  Will the City revenues suffer not only from a downturn, but also a lack of diversity in revenue sources?

Finally,  Campbell’s Police Department (PD) is extraordinary.  The members are committed to support the community they serve.  If one explores the level of time and effort our PD expends in the Downtown, particularly on night and weekends, how much time and effort is not available to the rest of the community?

To begin the dialogue of options, the City Council may consider some or all of the following:

  1. Immediately define over-concentration of alcohol-sales at 40% of a given block (both sides combined).
  1. Establish a moratorium on alcohol-sales establishments until a marketing study, similar to those for a shopping mall, is conducted for the existing and extended C3 Zoning area which runs along E. Campbell Ave from Bascom, past Winchester and along Winchester from Rosemary Lane to Old Camden Ave.

Because most alcohol-sales require a Conditional Use Permit that runs with the land, not the business, the current piecemeal approach risks short-sighted actions versus long-term risk.

Liz Gibbons, AIA,  Former City of Campbell Planning Commissioner