• Name: Terry O’Day

• Age: 37

• Occupation: Santa Monica City Council member, executive director at Environment Now

• Marital status/children: Married, two daughters

• Your neighborhood?: Pico neighborhood

• How long have you lived there?: 12 years

• Your mode of transportation/model, make and year of your ride?: Specialized road bike and a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GT

• Own or rent? Own

• Do you support Measure Y, the half-cent sales tax increase? If so, do you think half of the money generated by the increase should go to local public schools?

Along with my colleagues who all voted to put Measures Y and YY on the ballot, I strongly support Y & YY. City Hall is facing a fiscal crisis because Sacramento has basically pickpocketed local governments to balance its own budget. This has forced City Hall to cut services, and use one-time funds. We’re already cutting the waste out of our budget, which leaves us with either cutting exceptional city services or generating new revenue that Sacramento cannot touch, as Measure Y/ YY do.

I strongly support the City Hall/school district partnership, and allocating 50 percent of Measure Y revenues to educational programs. I think our excellent schools benefit everyone. I see the revenues going to our schools as an investment in the safety and stability of our entire community, as well as the most important thing we can do for our children.

• What are you reading?

“The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey,” by Candice Millard, and “Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet,” by Tim Jackson.

• Do you believe there is enough parking Downtown? If not, what do you plan to do about it?

No I do not think there is enough parking Downtown and City Hall is looking at several options for creating more. Downtown is transforming right now due to the reopening of Santa Monica Place, Expo Light Rail and investment in the Civic Center and Santa Monica Pier. We should evaluate the effect of these changes before committing to exactly what projects make sense. In the meantime, and for the long-term impact on traffic and the environment, we should encourage people to leave the car at home by making it safer, easier and less expensive to walk, bike and ride transit. We should also implement state-of-the-art parking operations with information on availability.

• Now that the Broad museum is out of play, what should City Hall do with the Civic Center Parking Lot?

The Civic Center Lot is part of a comprehensive solution to parking in the Civic Center. While the Civic Center is being constructed, we should fully utilize the lot to support the school, special events, and other needs.

• When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A baseball player.

• Local businesses provide the majority of the city’s general fund revenues, yet Santa Monica has a reputation for being a difficult place to do business. How would you entice more businesses, different businesses, to open up shop? How can City Hall help those businesses that are struggling in the current economy?

I think in the last few years we have worked hard to change that reputation by sitting down and listening to the problems of the past. This week I participated in the opening of an electric vehicle manufacturing company called Coda. Enabling companies like this to establish in Santa Monica requires creative space, a skilled workforce and responsive, streamlined government services. If we do this, we will maintain a thriving local economy and harness our local talent to solve serious problems — like oil dependency, in this example.

• L.A. recently greatly reduced patients’ access to medical marijuana. Do you support medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Monica?

No, there are plenty of nearby dispensaries to serve our residents.

• Should smoking be banned within apartments?

I support certain bans on smoking, but in no case should smoking be used as a tool to harass or evict existing tenants while it protects non-smokers. Any ordinance that affects apartments would have to prevent abuse. We currently have a number of residents living adjacent to smokers who are not controlling their secondhand smoke, even after requests by their neighbors, and this is a serious health problem for children, the elderly, and others. The research on secondhand smoke is clear, and these tenants are being harmed by a few bad apples.

• What would you do to make Santa Monica more bike friendly?

Making our city more bike friendly has been my priority since well before I was appointed to the council. I am working with Santa Monica Spoke and others to increase connectivity of bike lanes by actually budgeting for new lanes and requiring that resurfacing projects include painting lanes; develop “bike boxes” at intersections that clearly indicate the appropriate location of a bike in an intersection and allow traffic signals to recognize the presence of a bike; develop “bike boulevards;” declare bike-only days on certain streets (Ciclovias); offer cycling education; increase signage; distribute more bike racks throughout the city; require new developments to provide bike parking and cut-throughs for bikes; establish excellent bike facilities at transit stations.

• What’s the biggest threat facing the quality of life in Santa Monica?

State and federal budgets are, and already have been, the biggest threat to our quality of life. The biggest victim so far has been our schools. Across the board, the severity of the cuts from Sacramento will get worse before it gets better. It is easy to say that development or global warming is the biggest threat, but the truth is that the near-term threat is what will happen if City Hall cannot maintain services or balance its budget because of the Sacramento money grab. Y/YY will help address the threat by giving us control of our resources.

• Downtown properties owned by City Hall. Should parking be the top priority or should housing come first?

Affordable housing and the needs of people should come before parking, but I also support projects that creatively combine the two. Mixed use is essential. Services should be matched to create complete neighborhoods.

• Do you support the closure of Santa Monica Airport in 2015? If so, what would you like to replace it with and how would you make up for the loss in revenue generated by airport operations, lease agreements?

To abate noise and pollution in the neighborhoods surrounding the airport, we must change flight rules, safety buffers, types of operations and reduce pollution. Before I know what to replace the airport with, I think we need to look at what the community wants and what is feasible, since the airport is primarily under federal jurisdiction, and the city is limited in its powers.

• Do you believe in pension reform and should Santa Monica employees contribute more toward their healthcare and retirement benefits?

I believe every American has the right to quality health care. By providing high-quality benefits to its employees, Santa Monica attracts top talent. We have to compare ourselves to the market and assure that we are not out of the market range.

• When it comes to getting public benefits from developers, what should be the top priority: affordable housing, public art, cash money, bike lanes or carpooling?

Public benefits from a project should fit uniquely with that project — where it is located, who it serves and who is impacted negatively by it.

• Would you support placing a limit on the amount of time council members can speak on a particular item during meetings?

I don’t think an absolute limit on councilmembers’ speech is smart.

• When was the last time you rode a bike or took Big Blue Bus?

Bike: three days ago for a haircut near the promenade. Bus: last week with the kids to the beach.

• Does the housing-first model work for addressing the homeless issue or should we focus on building more emergency shelters to get people off the streets immediately?

Housing-first allows a person to rebuild one’s life and it is a successful model. We need to increase the permanent affordable housing needs and other support services — good jobs and healthcare — to break the cycle of homelessness.

• Free form: What’s putting a burr under your saddle?

Failing state government putting a burden on local services, short-changing our future by cheating kids and communities of quality education and quality of life.

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