Dec 11, 2013 12:15 PM
Andrew Coolidge, a 20-year resident of Chico and producer of community business events such as the Chico Home and Garden Show and Bridal show, has declared his candidacy for the Chico City Council in next year’s election. Coolidge just missed earning a seat in the 2012 election by a mere 222 votes. He finished fifth in a field of 11 candidates.
“I am running again because now more than ever we need leaders in our city who are accountable to the people,” Coolidge stated in reference to the inaccurate statements about the city’s financial health revealed after last year’s election. “Our police department has been devastated by the past mistakes of our city leaders…for the safety of our citizens we must have city officials and elected representatives who focus on our local economy.”
Coolidge believes the city must make law enforcement “one of our main priorities” and finds the department’s dramatic reduction in staff and funding “unacceptable”. Currently, the department has just 124 officers to serve a city of over 87,000 residents, according to Coolidge’s published statement today.
“Our police department has been devastated by the past mistakes of city leaders,” Coolidge said. “Our traffic units, mounted patrol, school resource officer, youth outreach, and neighborhood patrols have been decimated.”
Coolidge’s 2014 campaign will also focus on his belief of using local companies for city projects by offering what he calls “bid incentives” rather than hiring companies from outside the area. Coolidge estimates these incentives will give local businesses a 10 to 15 percent advantage over non-local businesses. Coolidge also plans to expedite the permit process for the city. If elected, Coolidge also has the goal of developing an economic team within the city to capture new business and ensure those already established are allowed to be successful.
“The main issues of this election are accountability and the safety of our citizens,” Coolidge said. “We need elected officials who work harder towards the goals of restoring our city to its former glory before it’s too late.”
Coolidge is a former PTA president and also serves as a director on the Board for the Butte County Fair. He is a graduate of the California State University, Chico, earning a Bachelor’s degree in English. Coolidge’s wife Julia is a part-time instructor at Chico State and Butte Community College. They have two children aged 11 and seven. He will be turning 41 at the end of this December.
Three seats currently held by Councilmember Mary Golof, Mayor Scott Gruendl, and Councilmember Mark Sorenson will be up for grabs on Election Day on November 4, 2014.