With roots in Dublin stretching back 40 years, longtime local Dawn Plants said she's running in the Nov. 3 Dublin City Council election to ensure the community comes first in planning its future.
A retired development and construction professional who currently serves as an alternate member on the Dublin Planning Commission, Plants said joined the field of nine council candidates this summer, citing "just years of frustration ... and basically a lot of neighbors and people in town coming and asking me."
Being "bored" in retirement, Plants said, "I got on the Planning Commission for something to do. Once I was in there for a little while and could see what's going on, I thought, 'Wow, this isn't a mess that happened overnight, it can't be fixed overnight."
Having spent more than 30 years in land development and land infrastructure construction, Plants said she would combine her professional experience with her personal knowledge of the city's history to make decisions about where, when and whether to build certain housing and development projects.
But before supporting or rejecting any projects, Plants said "Dublin needs a General Plan review," and voiced her support for an evaluation every five to eight years, like in other cities.
"They need to figure out where we're at," Plants said. "When it's constant (council) turnover every two years, you get different people onboard, they want to change everything all over again. And by the time we get where we are now, 40 years later, it's a trainwreck."
Plants continued, "We need a reality check, we have a pandemic that's stalling everything. What a perfect time to do this -- slow the stuff down."
For Plants, that means scrutinizing environmental impact reports and monitoring existing traffic patterns and congestion even more closely before approving more development, though she said, "I'd like to see more Class A offices come into Dublin."
It's certain people already in Dublin, though, that Plants said she wants to help stay: "I don't want to upset the seniors. I'm a senior, too, but don't feel like a senior."
Plants added, "I care about Dublin because my life is invested here. When you had to move every year like I did and have a new school every year, you don't want to move anymore."
A self-proclaimed "Army brat," Plants comes from "a long military line" -- including her father, a lieutenant colonel commanding officer in the Air Force -- and was raised primarily in the South but said she "grew up all over the country."
Plants moved to California in 1967 and graduated from Alameda High School, then lived in Oakland for a while before moving to Dublin, where she has "lived in the same house for 40 years" ever since.
A Laney College graduate, where she was a social sciences major, Plants said she "would've gone to school further" to study law, were it not for lack of funds at the time. After three decades in construction and development, Plants retired several years ago and was appointed an alternate planning commissioner last year.
Widowed and without any living relatives -- "I even lost my dog" -- Plants said, "I'm not tied down with family stuff, so that helps" make her decision to run for council easier.
"I'm very unconventional, let's put it that way, and that's what makes me really different from the other candidates -- plus my experience and living in Dublin so long," Plants said. "I'm a protective type; I protect my friends, and I protect my town."
Eight other candidates are running against Plants in the Nov. 3 race for two separate at-large four-year Dublin City Council terms: Samir Qureshi, Sri Muppidi, Sherry Hu, Shawn Costello, Razi Hasni, Lucrecia Deleon, Mike McCorriston and Kashef Qaadri.
To learn more about Plants' campaign, visit www.dawnplants.com.