Fresno Bee voter guide

Welcome to our guide for Election 2016 races. Compare candidates' views side by side, then create your own ballot, which you can print or email.

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Tulare City Council Area 3

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  • Carlton Jones

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    Philip M. Smith

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Biographical Information

In your opinion, what are the city's top three challenges? How would you address each of these issues?

The drought has affected communities throughout the Valley, especially those that depend on agriculture. What steps, if any, should the city take to diversify its economy? What steps would you propose?

Gangs have committed crimes and taken lives in communities throughout the Valley. What strategies would you propose the city undertake to keep kids away from gangs, and to help those in gangs give up the gang life?

Why are you the best candidate to serve on the city council? (Text or YouTube video.)

Candidate response is not yet available.
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Candidate response is not yet available.
Age 55
Residence Tulare, CA
Family My wife of almost 25 years, four grown daughters and seven grandchildren to date!
Education Bachelor's in Business Administration from Cal Poly, SLO; Master's in Business Administration from Cal State Bakersfield
Occupation Commercial Credit Manager
Public service experience Five years of service and current Vice President of the Board of Public Utilities for the City of Tulare.
Facebook/Social media A current Google search for Philip Smith Tulare will bring up the FB page.
#1 - Water - We've got plans on the table; but, like most Central Valley communities we need to focus on more than expanding our extraction to keep up with development. We also need to figure out how to manage the groundwater we have, and stabilize the extraction, in order to minimize a negative draft on the water table over time.

#2 - Cartmill Interchange - The roads are in, but now we need to encourage development in order for the public investment to realize a return. Infrastructure, solid planning and business development will be necessary for the community to realize the benefit of this expansion.

#3 - Paige Avenue and Highway 99 - This situation really needs to be addressed and city staff continues to work with Cal Trans on plans to achieve a beneficial solution for all stakeholders. We need to ensure that commercial traffic can move easily and safely through this interchange; hopefully bringing additional sales tax revenues as it moves along Highway 99.
Agriculture is our manufacturing sector in the Central Valley. Air quality controls, regardless of your opinion on the matter, have virtually eliminated the ability of other manufacturing concerns to operate at a reasonable profit; especially in the southern portion of the valley. We are all dependent on agriculture.

Once the now-forming Sustainable Groundwater Agencies begin to put necessary restrictions in place, I believe you'll see additional farmland being taken out of production. Surface water is necessary to minimize the continuing draft on the water table; but there has been little evidence that the State of California and Federal authorities are truly willing to allow water to flow through the canals established for that purpose generations ago.

That being said, I believe that opportunities remain in solar electricity production (a great use for fallowed agricultural land), and other commercial ventures which have a limited impact on air quality. Services, continuing to grow with a population seeking affordable housing, will also provide opportunities for investors and job seekers.
This is a really tough question. Serving as a CASA advocate for five years in Tulare County I worked one-on-one with troubled youth as they moved through the foster care system and juvenile court. There are no easy answers.

Here are some options I feel are worth considering:

#1 - Support local schools in their effort to identify, and provide additional support for, those students who may be inclined toward a gang affiliation or tradition. Seek opportunities to provide any necessary resources to minimize that inclination.

#2 - Identify those "after-school" programs which have been most effective in diverting their clients from gang involvement and facilitate their efforts.

#3 - Assist with the continuing efforts of local law enforcement and the Police Activities League (PAL's) program within your community. When officers reach out and engage young people in constructive activities, personal bonds are formed that may provide a deterrent to future gang involvement.

#4 - Ask the District Attorney's office to seek an injunction on gang involvement within a specific geographic area. It has been my understanding that this tactic has been used effectively in Tulare County. It is unfortunate that such a program even needs to be considered.
Reason #1 - I will bring a spirit of unity; and civil constructive debate to the Tulare City Council. As your representative, I can state with certainty that I will not always agree with the priorities identified by my peers. Regardless of who is successful in this election we will approach both problems and solutions from different points of view. However, just because I disagree with someone on the City Council does not mean that I do not care about and respect them as an individual. Reason #2 - I will bring a message of reconciliation and optimism to our community. The local healthcare debate has been an extremely divisive and we need to resolve this matter. I have two points to make here: 1) A strong local healthcare system is crucial for our local economy. We may not need all the "bells and whistles", but we certainly need the basics for our local employers and families. 2) We can do this! The vote is over and now the really difficult work begins; restoring damaged relationships and figuring out how to get that tower finished. Reason #3 - I will bring a vision of opportunity to those who may wish to invest in, or relocate to, the City of Tulare. I believe it is important for every resident of our community to strongly advocate for the City of Tulare. I'm proud of the community in which I've chosen to live and raise a family. When I speak to those who are unfamiliar with the diverse and gifted family that is Tulare; I focus on the positive.