Tess Albin-Smith, Candidate for Fort Bragg City Council

Image: Tess Albin-Smith, candidate for Fort Bragg, CA City Council

by Tess Albin-Smith

October 2018 Presentation at Coast Women in Business

VOTE on November 6, 2018: Tess Albin-Smith for Fort Bragg City Council

I am a female who has always worked in fields that are considered non-traditional for women. I was a young athlete when women were not allowed to participate in sports. I was one of the first female foresters for the state of California. In my professional career, I trained and worked in the areas of forestry, agriculture, environmental law, water law, firefighting, and law enforcement. I am a percussionist. I am a leader. I am taller than many men. I’m a huge fan of Title 9 which greatly benefitted my daughters, who are also athletes and working in non-traditional careers. Lots of things make me different, but I only have one life to live so I want to experience everything I can before I get too old.

I have never been afraid of hard work. I volunteer hundreds of hours for non-profit fundraising. For 20 years I hosted up to four enormous annual soccer tournaments that filled every hotel and restaurant in town. I helped form six non-profits including an infant-toddler daycare center, the school band boosters, and a field improvement organization. Now I am retired and substitute drive for school busses, tour busses, and wine tours, teach in local schools, give professional forestry advice, and continue to participate in several non-profit organizations.

Having so many interests and experiences makes me particularly adept at fitting into any situation with any type of person. I am good at negotiating, blending, mediating, and I will always work with others for the common good. This community cannot be divided and argue about petty things when we ALL want a good quality of life. I think I will make an excellent city council member who listens to all sides before making decisions.

I’m adding City Council Member to my list of new experiences because I think I can make a positive difference in Fort Bragg, and I know I will get a lot out of it personally.

The top three issues in Fort Bragg that the Council should address are:

It’s all about quality of life (not just in the City).

  • Affordable housing
    Sweat-equity homes create ownership and community. Senior housing and more “granny” units are very important.
  • New light-industry and other better-paid jobs with benefits
    Partnerships with the college for light-industry training such as movie editing, marine science, portable mills, engineering, nursing, and teaching.
  • More recreation and parks
    More parks for locals and opportunities for tournaments for sports tourism.

Top three spending priorities? Ask the people…

Over the course of my 32-year career with the State of California, I have experienced many mild to severe budget cuts, hiring freezes, furloughs, limits to overtime, and other creative ways to deal with budget deficits in salaries. State employees themselves know which programs are worth funding and which are not. So if spending is limited…

  1. Ask our citizens and employees for solutions when faced with a shortfall.
  2. Do not apply for grants that create unnecessary make-work projects like blinking lights and too-small roundabouts, which all have built-in maintenance costs.
  3. Sales tax is a huge portion of the revenue so tourism is important. Tourists come for festivals and sports. Create more parks with room for activities that can generate income such as softball or soccer tournaments and music festivals.

About the Presenter

Active as a substitute teacher, musician, and school and tour bus driver, Tess Albin-Smith previously worked as Jackson Demonstration State Forest assistant manager, California state biologist and forester, and CDF peace officer. She was one of the first female foresters with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), working in reforestation and prescribed burning programs. Tess earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Renewable Natural Resources and a Master of Science degree in Range Management, both from the University of California, Davis.

About Coast Women in Business

Coast Women in Business supports the business community on the Mendocino coast. We meet monthly to foster entrepreneurship and professional development on the Mendocino Coast and beyond. Membership fees are $50 annually or $10 per drop-in meeting.

Note: We welcome all – all races, all genders, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations.

Your first meeting is always free, and we offer a limited number of need-based memberships—please inquire. We’re sponsored by the Women’s Business Center at the West Business Development Center. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

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