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Will The June Elections Bring Change?

District 4 Supervisor Steve Kinsey stands on his experience, while challenge Diane Furst says enough of the same old politics.

Our mailboxes are starting to fill up with campaign flyers with just under a month left before the June 5 election.

In the Marin County District 4 Board of Supervisors race, incumbent Steve Kinsey and challenger Diane Furst, the Vice-Mayor of Corte Madera, are stepping up their push for office.

"One of the distinguishing differences between us is whether you believe change is needed because of experience. I feel (my experience) has been useful especially in finding funding for projects like the Greenbrae Interchange," Kinsey said. "I'm looking out for Corte Madera and Larkspur. I want to make sure the Twin Cities … keep moving forward."

District 4 is certainly the most far-reaching territory as it includes Corte Madera, Larkspur, Kentfield, Stinson Beach, West Marin and parts of Novato.

Kinsey cites his focus on local commitment District 4 for the past 16 years. Furst isn't exactly a newcomer to politics either. She cites on her resume her past work on U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's election campaign in 1994.

"People in general are very open to what I have to say," said Furst, who is battling to reach voters in West Marin who might be skeptical of politicians. "There is a general frustration with the Board of Supervisors and with Steve Kinsey in particular. There's a certain element of the public that wants change.

"People know we're ready for a change."

Although Kinsey and Furst sit near each other at meetings for the Transportation Authority of Marin Executive Board, they can be miles apart in their opinions.

Furst, along with Corte Madera Town Councilwoman Carla Condon, is trying to rally support for a new Marin-based coalition that could replace the often-criticized Association of Bay Area Governments and give more control to local governments.

Furst joined the charge against ABAG when the Corte Madera Town Council voted in March to leave the group in a split over housing requirement numbers in its 30-year projection and the methodology used to arrive at those numbers.

"I'm against the total mandates by ABAG, but I'm not against affordable housing," Furst said. "Corte Madera is a tiny community. We have the MacFarlane Property, but there's just no place to put more housing after that."

Kinsey might be more inclined to work with regional authorities such as ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

"Although there's an effort to make this (campaign) about ABAG, people seem to understand the value of regional planning as long as there's local control," Kinsey said.

More recently, there's been some backlash against the Bay Area Headquarters Authority's purchase in October 2011 of an office building at 390 Main Street in San Francisco using bridge toll funds. The BAHA is a joint powers authority that includes the MTC and the Bay Area Toll Authority.

Kinsey reportedly supported the MTC's move to use $180 million in bridge toll funds to purchase and renovate the old U.S. Postal Service building. The MTC's plan is to move its headquarters from Oakland to San Francisco, where it would share space with three other agencies.

The State's Legislative Counsel Bureau released its ruling Friday that the purchase was "improper."

Kinsey points to his work with MTC to bring the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit route through downtown San Rafael and into Larkspur.

"I did a lot of hard to work to find funds to allow the SMART plan to be fully funded. I was part of a driving force to bring the train to downtown San Rafael in the first place. … (SMART has) good leadership now. The job now is for everyone to get behind it.

"The County took the leadership role of opening the CalPark Tunnel. Through my work on MTC we were able to find the funds to bring $16 million to the Greenbrae area. We allowed SMART to upgrade the CalPark Tunnel to make it work for them as well."

Furst is supported by the Sierra Club, Marin Democratic Party and the Marin Women's Political Action Committee.

Kinsey has picked up endoresements from the Marin Independent Journal and the Marin County Farm Bureau.

The two Democratic candidates recently held a televised debate sponsored by the Marin League of Women Voters. A video if the debate is available at www.marinlwv.org.

Pat Ravasio May 10, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I believe Kinsey's idea of "moving the Twin Cities forward" runs contrary to the ideas of 99% of his constituents. He touts as accomplishments his Greenbrae interchange project, which features a 35-ft flyover ramp. He's apparently too afraid to discuss his visions for a new city that "evokes Paris" on the San Quentin peninnsula, which he was about to set in motion with a consent calendar kick-off this past January -- without a single public hearing. Kinsey's "cooperation" with ABAG is what has helped us lose our local control. He is supposed to be supporting our Council and our communities. Diane Furst tried for months to gain his cooperation before realizing it wasn't going to happen. (If a home owner has to get permission to install a new window, shouldn't installing a new city follow the same rules?). If Kinsey wants to represent an "Urban" area, I suggest he move to one. Vote for Diane Furst on June 5th! Next step, term limits for County Supervisors!
Bob Silvestri May 10, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Someone once said that the definition of a politician is someone who sees a parade and gets in front of it. By that definition Steve Kinsey is the quintessential politician. He seems to want to take credit for every new idea that he hears (e.g. the need for local control, challenging ABAG growth assumptions) while conveniently forgetting that not too long ago he was preaching just the opposite. And I wouldn’t count on “political experience” being a positive. In all his years of sitting on regional boards and as a Supervisor, where was his “leading” voice on our pension fiasco, ABAG and MTC power grab, the nonsense at MEA or anything else? He’s had his chance. Time for a change.
Tamkea Washington May 11, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Kinsey is talking out of two sides of his mouth. He says, "Although there's an effort to make this (campaign) about ABAG, people seem to understand the value of regional planning as long as there's local control," He voted with Judy Arnold to usurp local control and to streamline developer projects without resident's input. Clearly Kinsey and Arnold are pro-developer over the voters. This was voted DOWN by Sears, Rice and Adams. With ABAG we don't have local control. Ms. Furst is fighting for local control which we have all but lost. DIANE FURST FOR SUPERVISOR!!!

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