Guest Opinion | Justin Jones: Why I should Be Chosen to Represent District 3 – Pasadena Now


The applicant chosen to represent District 3 will join a diverse group of seven highly educated and accomplished professionals who serve as representatives of the constituents they serve. These individuals are responsible for arriving at each meeting prepared to discuss important and complex issues. To collaborate meaningfully and effectively, the applicant for this seat will have to quickly study and familiarize themselves with those issues. This person does not have the luxury of a transition or grace period.

I believe I can hit the ground running and help the council continue its valuable work for our city.

I’m a professional civil engineer, who has worked in local government my entire career. Currently, I help administer the Los Angeles County Safe, Clean Water Program, which is a $230M annual initiative that uses parcel tax revenue to provide funding for programs and projects to increase stormwater and urban runoff capture pollution in the District, including projects and programs providing a water supply benefit, water quality benefit, and community investment benefit.

No one will fill the shoes of Councilmember John Kennedy, but the applicant chosen may be tasked to fill his committee seats. My service on the City of Pasadena Human Relations Commission and collaboration with the community and patrolling officers will help me serve on the Public Safety Committee; and my experience managing municipal budgets and projects will help me if I am tasked with filling Councilmember Kennedy’s seat on the Finance committee.

The role of an engineer is to look at a complex topic, seek not only the input from experts, but also the impacted stakeholders, internalize the information gathered and synthesize a solution that addresses the issue and stakeholder concerns – this is how I’ll approach the job of a City Council member.

In addition to my professional career, I have dedicated my time and talents to the Pasadena community. I am the current chair of the City of Pasadena Environmental Advisory Commission, a member of the Stakeholder Technical Advisory Group for the City of Pasadena Water and Power Integrated Resource Plan, and former chair and District 3 representative on the City of Pasadena Human Relations Commission; outside of my civic work, I’ve provided math tutoring to students in Pasadena and throughout our region. Through my past work with the city and background as an engineer, I’ve participated in discussions of complex topics to help turn them into great opportunities.

District 3 is a diverse district which covers several neighborhoods and business interests.

My mission for the district and city is to hit the ground running on issues most pressing to us. In addition to my ideas on several issues outlined hereplease allow me to elaborate on a few more:

City Budget: Nothing happens in the city without clearly identifying a revenue source within the budget. The city appears to be in good fiscal shape thanks to the strong key revenue funding the general fund; however, inflationary pressure and rising interest rates turns my attention to ensuring our city maintains its quality-of-life services. We’ll have to continue to balance the general fund and forecast funding needs for CIP and revenue source for retrofitting the library.

Sunset Complex Project: In addition to ensuring the success of the Sunset Complex Project because of the necessity of safe, clean, and reliable water, I plan to work with PWP towards addressing the surrounding residents’ concerns.

Economic Development: I’m interested in expanding our first source database to include other professions outside of construction, so businesses can recruit from this list. We ought to look at creating some way for a person to let the database know they are available to work again. I believe we need to continue to focus on related local businesses, perhaps we can analyze more bidding opportunities to local businesses, who in return may hire our neighbors.

Central Library: It’s important we preserve the Central Library. Let’s focus on the next steps of the seismic repair. The engineer in me is keenly interested in the seismic stability of the library, at the same time, the resident in me is attracted to the idea of ​​getting the community involved to reimagine some of the library space for community programming and benefits.

Transportation Safety: Ensure the community is involved in the pilot projects for the safe system approach prior to laying down the hard infrastructure.

Rose Bowl: Ensure the Rose Bowl is around for another 100 years. In addition to the strong event calendar for the Rose Bowl, let’s develop a way to create revenue from the entire area and not just the stadium.

My vision for the district is to ensure that no neighborhood or person feels left behind and that we center equity in the work we do. Also, that we advocate for each other where we can and respectfully compromise when necessary. I was born and raised in this community, my wife and I are establishing our family here, and I hope that I am given the opportunity to serve in the capacity of a city councilmember.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my vision and hope that as you read this you consider lending your support.

Justin Jones, PE

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