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November 7, 2017 — Local Elections
Local

Town of FairfaxCandidate for City Council

Photo of Bruce Ackerman

Bruce Ackerman

Planning Commissioner/Engineer
1,289 votes (19.76%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Move beyond negativity and gridlock by encouraging open and respectful dialogue, listening and engagement.
  • Promote sustainable, fiscally-sound, long-term planning that helps protect our small town character.
  • Work to ensure that we are responsive, impactful and effective in these challenging times.

Experience

Biography

I was born in Arizona and grew up in Florida, West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio and New Mexico, then went to school at Baylor University and MIT in the Boston area, studying Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Electrical Engineering. I met my wife, Diane, in Flagstaff, Arizona where we fell in love through hiking the Grand Canyon and on long bicycle trips throughout the desert southwest. We have two grown children, Caymin and Cyril. Caymin is now an amazing organic farmer in Bolinas, and Cyril is working to become an electrician.

I have worked in numerous areas of R&D and medical, factory and laboratory instrumentation, and was co-founder of a product development company in Mountain View which kept me insanely busy for a decade. We also cared for my aged parents here in Fairfax until they passed and now care for Diane’s mother.

Our family came to California in 1993 so Diane could study and work at Point Reyes Community Health Clinic, where she still provides health care to many Marin residents. Through being a primary care Physician Assistant, Diane has worked with emergency medical personnel throughout the county. We have both completed the CERT Training. Diane spends several weeks every year working for the Pachamama Alliance in the Equadorean Amazon training the Achuar people as birth attendants.

Locally, after taking the Environmental Forum of Marin (EFM) training I was invited onto their board, and coordinated the Energy Days for the EFM classes for several years. I am well-versed in the energy area, including solar, the grid, electric vehicles and household efficiency, and have brought our old house and others up to code while deeply improving both safety and efficiency.

I joined the Fairfax General Plan Advisory Committee in 2003, finding Fairfax to be a model democracy in inviting ordinary citizens into the center of this process. I became Secretary and then Chair. During my 10-year tenure we completed the quite substantial General Plan, working with the Planning Commission, Town Council, staff and consultants. Fire Chief Meagor advised us on the General Plan Safety Element, which was quite eye-opening to me regarding the risks faced in this usually-pleasant area. In the past decades I’ve worked closely with five Planning Directors and chaired the General Plan Implementation Committee. I did much of the work to craft the Fairfax Climate Action Plan and formed the Climate Action Committee (CAC) which I currently chair.

Through the Climate Action Committee, I’ve worked a good deal with Marin Clean Energy. I focused the town on the change-over to LED streetlights, which is now in progress. I am passionate about finding ways to get residents to do home upgrades to improve efficiency and safety; on the CAC we are now working with Mark Lockabee to propose a way to get old, dangerous electrical panels upgraded when homes are remodeled.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Supervisor Katie Rice
  • Planning Commissioners and former Mayors
  • Four Council Members

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Working transparently, respectfully and thoughtfully we can build a future with vision, rather than simply opposing a future we fear.

 

Our beloved Fairfax remains a down-to-earth small town, based on decency and respect, blessed with extraordinary beauty and open space, where neighbors enjoy one another. As the Bay Area continues to experience unprecedented job and population growth, our challenge is to protect this specialness, increase sustainability, and tackle the challenges impacting our quality of life—with thoughtfulness, creativity, effectiveness and transparency.

My commitment to sustainability, local engagement and service are lifelong. From organizing while at MIT to more than a decade of active participation in town affairs, working alongside many of you to craft both our General Plan and Climate Action Plan. As a Fairfax Planning Commissioner, and throughout my life I’ve found that community is a result of engagement and participation.  I’ve learned how to get things done and built effective working relationships with staff and community members. Whether tackling fire and flood protection, the cost of housing, or our aging infrastructure I know we can build a thriving future and protect our small town values.

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