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The Following are articles written by Mayor Arnerich for ALIVE Magazine, the Sentinel Newspapers, the Valley Citizen, Danville Today and other publications and forums:
 
MUSTANG SOCCER - Premier Fields
MUSTANG SOCCER - Premier Fields
September 2012 Written by Mayor Newell Arnerich

Fall signals the start of soccer with 5000 youths playing on fresh cut grass or our premier synthetic turf fields. As Danville Mayor, Councilmember, Commissioner and past ten year Mustang coach, I have worked diligently for 22 years to create more fields, provide cost effective maintenance and look for new solutions to provide premier soccer fields. Our first synthetic field was a partnership with Mustang Soccer at Diablo Vista Park that proved successful in reducing player injuries and providing more available play time. Danville converted the mid level fields at Sycamore Valley Park into a premier synthetic field as well. We set aside $125,000/year to maintain and replace our premier synthetic fields. Our master plan to re-layout Osage Park can add an additional field and our long-range new park plan will provide additional fields as well. Our partnership with Mustang Soccer is to maintain and build the best fields possible!
Support for Local Government Agreement - Reform, Relief, Reliability
Support for Local Government Agreement - Reform, Relief, Reliability
Support for Local Government Agreement - Reform, Relief, Reliability

Over the past several weeks, I as Mayor, our Town Manager and our representative to the League of California cities, Councilmember Mike Doyle, have called and written numerous letters on behalf of the Town of Danville to bring the Local Government Agreement negotiated by local governments with Governor Schwarzenegger up for a vote and its passage. I wanted to share with fellow residents the content and nature of what is at stake for our community and the State’s budget. The following is a portion of one of our letters to the state legislature.

“From Danville’s perspective, this measure is the compromise agreement that both state officials and local government are seeking. It offers reform of local government financing, relief for the state that needs revenue to close its deficit, and the reliability and predictability so needed in local budgets.

It reforms the current approach to financing cities and counties by restoring property taxes. It achieves this by permanently lowering the vehicle license fee and constitutionally dedicating property tax to cities and counties to offset lost VLF backfill from the state. After this swap, on a statewide basis, cities will have more property tax than sales tax for the first time since passage of Proposition 13. It assists the state in its time of crisis. The Local Government Agreement allows the state to use $1.3 billion in local revenues for each of two years to solve its budget crisis while still providing revenue protection for local revenues. Constitutional protection for local revenues from future state raids will restore the reliability and predictability that local governments need to provide and plan for current and future needs. They will be able to respond more effectively to a wide range of service requirements, from police and fire protection to infrastructure to the need for new housing.

Democratic and Republican mayors and council members have overwhelmingly endorsed this compromise agreement. The state needs relief right now to help with its budget crisis. Locals need relief from the uncertainty of state raids on local funds. This agreement achieves both goals. We urge that you work to bring this measure to a vote this week, and that you vote to support it.”

It is hoped that by the time you are reading this that the legislature has found the common sense in our plea to have passed a budget with real reform.
Mayor Arnerich, Bob and Carmen Pack and Mayor Abrams of San Ramon introduce new Streets Smarts traffic safety program throughout the San Ramon Valley.
Mayor Arnerich, Bob and Carmen Pack and Mayor Abrams of San Ramon introduce new Streets Smarts traffic safety program throughout the San Ramon Valley.
Cool fall mornings have arrived signaling the beginning of soccer season and children returning to school functions. This is a busy time of year around Danville. There are more children in our parks, around schools and generally on streets and trails. It is also a time to reflect on the events and progress we have made over the past year.
This great town has a strong sense of community demonstrated by the warm and caring support given to Bob and Carmen Pack whose children were tragically killed by a reckless driver nearly a year ago. The recent fund raising event sponsored by the Troy and Alana Pack Foundation clearly demonstrated the generosity of the entire community. The Foundation's purpose is to make our community and state safer for our children so that this type of tragedy will not repeat itself. Sadly, another innocent victim lost his life due to another reckless driver running through a red light on Sycamore Valley Road. The Town Council and our staff have worked closely with the Packs to support legislative changes regarding DUI cases. The courts do not have the tools to enforce driver's license suspensions. Simply, regardless of the reason for a suspension, the driver is on the honor system to not drive, as there is no follow-up provided in current legislation. Unfortunately, the common denominator in both of these tragedies is that each driver had a common background with multiple drivers' license suspension, however, each for different reasons. In this area, Danville will continue to work with the Pack Foundation and our local legislators to correct this flaw in court enforcement.

The Town has implemented several programs to make our streets safer. First, the recently completed east side trail connecting Diablo Vista Middle School and the Tassajara shopping center and Diablo Vista Park provides a safe route for school children. The trail also provides safe pedestrian access for the surrounding neighborhoods to walk to the commercial area and connect to existing walkways to Diablo Vista Park. There are many more trail connections planned in Danville as part of our Trails Master Plan. I hope all of you will embrace these trial connections when they occur in you neighborhood. All of the trail projects in Danville have been very safe and successful for neighborhoods, while providing valuable `safe routes' for families and children.

Secondly, the Town has installed solar powered electronic speed warning signs at four locations on Camino Tassajara Road. These electronic signs have a red warning device that illuminates when a driver exceeds the speed limit providing immediate feed back that you need to slow down. We will be focusing on Sycamore Valley Road and other high traffic areas to install more of these warning signs in the near future.

The most significant change Danville has implemented towards the goal of driver awareness and traffic safety is the recently implemented Street Smarts Program. This program was lead by Danville with the full support and cooperation of the City of San Ramon, San Ramon Valley Unified School District and Supervisor Millie Greenberg's office. The true value of this campaign is that it targets and addresses the fundamental root cause of many traffic safety issues by addressing the source of the problem. There is too often a general lack of awareness + as illustrated by our daily attitudes and behaviors + of the impact of our actions behind the wheel on the lives of others. Another valuable aspect of this educational campaign is its comprehensive approach in targeting all users of our roadways ... the drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. The first year of the program will focus on elementary school education, then middle schools next year followed by introduction at the high schools in the third year. We hope to build a new generation of young people with increased driver safety awareness. So next time your child is in the car, do not be surprised if they remind you that your speedometer does not match the posted speed limit. Please drive safely and give a brake for the children.
Danville's Old Town exemplifies our 'Small Town Character'
Danville's Old Town exemplifies our 'Small Town Character'
The year was 1982 with exciting ideas abound in the newly incorporated community of Danville. A community with a long history was moving towards the 21st century with great care and thoughtful guidance by its citizens. The vision included a town square, community center and the finest library in Contra Costa County. This vision certainly was not what author Tom Clancy describes in his new book in which he refers to Danville as a place to hide out in the 'burbs'. Rather the vision was similar to that which drew Nobel Prize-winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill, to the peaceful Town of Danville and the majestic views of Mt. Diablo.
Traditional planning, in the creation of American towns, often has a town square or a 'main street' as the central focus. In recent times, Danville's main street is Hartz Avenue, the center of old town Danville. Railroad Avenue may have been the main street in the past with its proximity to the local rail line, shipping and receiving facilities. During the early part of the century, Front Street was also a 'main street' scattered with automotive repair shops. Local businesses dotted the downtown area, intermixed among residential homes. The first Town Council and citizen's organizing committee set forth a long term plan to create a Town Square and replace our aging library. That reality was carried on by successive Councils and the New Library, Town Square and Community Center was dedicated in August of 1996.

Danville's downtown and various shopping centers are mostly made up of locally owned businesses and locally owned franchises. These are the very businesses we go to ask for help with that school auction, fund raiser event or to sponsor a community activity. The 'local' store is becoming a rare commodity in the ever expanding global economy. National chain stores are more common place in most communities. Stores, whether local or national, exist based on the success of selling their goods and services. Often times, fellow residents ask why the Town allows national chain stores to come to Danville. In truth, only property owners and landlords can determine their tenants. The Town only has discretion over stores that require a use permit such as a fast food restaurant.

The real success of our local businesses is entirely in our own hands. We have a choice where to shop and in a manner that allows us to personally get to know the owner. In our traditional town, with its Town Square and great civic facilities, we have all the ingredients that make up the classic small town. Precisely what we want our community to be is a direct reflection of our own actions. We determine our community's business make-up by our shopping habits. Clearly, not all consumer needs can or should be completely met in any one community. The character of our community is made up of high quality restaurants, specialty shopping, and basic services. Those people who shop in Danville are the ones that really determine the business character of our Town.

Through good planning, such as the redevelopment of the North end of downtown, the Council can assist in providing the framework for high quality environments. In areas such as this, the Council is considering asking for volunteers to serve on citizens' advisory committees charged with evaluating changes and needs in Danville. There are many wonderful areas and places to visit in Danville, we hope you will take the time to enjoy them all.
Old Town Danville Shop Local
Old Town Danville Shop Local
March Sentinel Article 2009

By Newell Arnerich, Mayor
Town of Danville

The overall economy may have slowed, but downtown Danville is bustling with activity and events. Have you noticed that on weekends Danville is a little busier they days as many people realize the best places to dine, shop and entertain are in walking distance. Even with the recent busy weekends in Town, the long term economic prospects are challenging.

The Council is moving forward to help ensure the continuing success of our locals businesses. Following our annual planning workshop at the end of January, the Council is working on a local stimulus plan to help existing retail businesses. In partnership with Discover Danville and the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce we are developing several plans to promote local businesses and provide directed assistance through our Community Development Agency. This program will use financial resources created by redevelopment that has occurred within the agency’s borders. These resources are restricted and must be used to facilitate renewal and redevelopment. Fortunately, past redevelopment within the agency has created financial resources for the benefit of the business community. The council, along with our Town staff and input from the business community, will be developing details of a new focused town-wide marketing plan, individual business planning, storefront improvement incentives, design assistance in re-tooling facade improvements and a concierge among other ideas.

Our local businesses are an integral part of the fabric of our community providing jobs and support to schools and charitable causes. While we all enjoy the wonderful shops and restaurants in Town, we also need to reach out and ensure mutual success to keep our community healthy. We can all do our part by remembering to shop locally. Most businesses are locally owned and may well be a neighbor. Many of our youth find their first job working at a local business providing an excellent opportunity to earn extra income and learn work ethic values. Numerous stores of all types can be found in Old Town Danville, the Danville Livery & Mercantile Shopping Center, the new Rose Garden Shopping Center and Tassajara Crossings in east Danville. Of course there are always great sales happening at our local stores where everything from women’s sportswear, sporting clothing styles for all ages, cigar and wine shops, quilting, fine furniture and home furnishing shops, shoe stores of all types is just around the corner. What new store have you discovered lately? Please take a moment to visit www.danvilleinstyle.com to view what Danville has to offer.
Home Town Hero and changes in Washington D.C.
Home Town Hero and changes in Washington D.C.
February Sentinel Article 2009

By Newell Arnerich, Mayor
Town of Danville

The Town of Danville welcomed Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger home on Saturday, January 24 on the Town Green at the Community Center and Library. Captain Sullenberger and his family were honored by the Mayor and Town Council, Congressman Jerry McNerney and other community leaders.

Captain Sully did something extraordinary and unprecedented on January 15, 2009. I can think of at least one hundred and fifty-five reasons why our town joined together to celebrate our neighbor and friend, and his family. Sullenberger’s actions, and those of his remarkable crew, have been the subject of worldwide media coverage. The Sullenberger family was grateful for and humbled by the expressions of support from their neighbors and friends, and they were delighted to share this special moment in their hometown.

The story of U.S. Airways Flight 1549’s emergency landing in the chilly waters of the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 resulted in the survival of all 155 people on board. Captain Sullenberger has said that he, his crew, and the New York City emergency responders were just doing their jobs – but what they did was an inspiration to every American. I personally met and spoke with Mayor Bloomberg who said, “New York is well prepared for emergency events and have trained for this type of emergency. Our first responders were able to quickly get all of the passengers and crew to safety without incident. We are proud of our efforts and applaud the ‘Hero on the Hudson’ Captain Sullenberger and his crew.”

On January 20th the Sullenberger family - sitting in front of the inaugural podium as a guest of President Elect Obama– were witnesses with the rest of the world to a unique time in America’s history with the inauguration of the first African-American President. I also had the honor attending this historic event with my colleague H. Abram Wilson, Mayor of San Ramon who is African-American. I observed Mayor Wilson during the few days we were in Washington D.C., particularly when we stopped at the National Archives to re-visit the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and with a great moment of pause at the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery. I was struck by the moment with Mayor Wilson’s deep feelings of pride and having fully arrived as an American with Mr. Obama becoming president. This was clearly a time of great reflection and sense of renewed hope. Although Mayor Wilson and President share their heritage they are from differing sides of the political spectrum. We all agreed, as we met numerous people from all over the United States, that this time in our history has the opportunity to find a common ground for everyone. Like Washington D.C., Danville has its history, famous people, natural scenic beauty and it’s Home Town Hero. Congratulations and thanks to Captain Sullenberger for his heroic efforts and I wish great success to President Obama on his new administration with hope for America’s future.

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