Clayton City Council candidate questions: Holly Tillman

The Concord Clayton Pioneer newspaper presented a list of questions to the candidates running for Clayton City Council in the 2020 election. To read other candidate answers, click here. For our story on all the candidates running in this race, click here.

Holly TillmanHolly Tillman

Why are you running for the City Council? It’s About Time to answer the call to serve. I am running for City Council because I have a passion for preserving our incredible sense of community, while bringing us into the future through greater inclusivity and transparency.

What are your professional/personal qualifications? I am a client relations director for a major financial institution, and I have been in the investment management industry for 21 years.

How long have you been a resident? 17 years.

What other civic positions have you held? Mt. Diablo Elementary Parent Faculty Club (PFC) president, PFC education vice president, Site Council, St. Bonaventure Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) track coordinator, Clayton Business & Community Association (CBCA) secretary, Clayton Speaks co-founder.

Vote for Holly TillmanWhat experience do you have that qualifies you for the City Council? I have been civically engaged in Clayton since 2010 and have been committed to finding solutions for issues that need to be addressed. I have a degree in sociology that trained me to be a good listener, and my professional career has been dedicated to listening to clients’ needs and meeting them, which is much like constituent services for the residents of Clayton I hope to serve.

Do you believe Clayton has a problem with racism that needs to be addressed? Yes, it exists everywhere. My family has experienced racism numerous times in Clayton, and there are residents (and your neighbors) hiding in their homes because they said they do not feel welcome in town. That does not mean everyone is racist, but It’s About Time to start addressing racism head on by having respectful dialogue and getting to know each other.

If so, how would you address the issue? I am currently addressing this issue head on with our Clayton Speaks webinar series focusing on race relations and racism in our community. These are tough conversations, but this dialogue is necessary if we want to be an inclusive town. We need to have real conversations and get to know each other instead of projecting our biases onto one another.

The governor has made the housing crisis a No. 1 priority for the state. Cities are being mandated to provide more housing units than has been required in the past, and it’s likely yet even denser housing plans will be required in the future. How should Clayton address these mandates? We should be wise in our approach and hold developers responsible for listening and assessing community concerns with an eye to active community participation. By requiring maximum civic engagement, the council can ensure that all concerns have been addressed and/or mitigated. Residents will know their voices were heard before I vote on every project. Additionally, I am acutely aware that as a fiscal steward of our public funds, I must consider the risk of potential legal challenges and the ramifications on our overall budget. The cost-benefit of litigation against the likelihood of prevailing will definitely carry weight in any decision on development.

Clayton has historically been very fiscally conservative with a limited budget. What are your spending priorities in keeping with a commitment to a balanced budget? Traffic safety near local schools, fully staffed police department and landscaping.

What do you see as the single biggest challenge for the city going into 2021? The impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and residents. Remaining semi-closed for an extended period of time is not sustainable.

What is your vision for Clayton in the next four years? Long term? In four years, I envision traffic safety fully implemented, our police department fully staffed and landscaping being a priority. I also envision a more collaborative community working together to ensure we are not known as a racist town. Long term, I would like to see some type of recreation for children in addition to the parks.

What role will you play in realizing that vision? While I am a resident of Clayton, to begin to have a role realizing this vision I need to hear what other residents’ priorities are. I am not joining the council to push through my own agenda. I am committed to listening to the needs of the community through respectful, transparent dialogue and finding solutions together so we all have a voice shaping the future of Clayton. I hope my vision aligns with the community at large.