gmhTODAY 13 gmhToday March April 2017 - Page 27

Daniel (Dan) Harney was recently appointed for the second time to the Gilroy City Council. The first time was in January of 2016 when he was appointed to fill the spot vacated by Perry Woodward, who had moved up to the Mayor’s seat. In nine months he only missed one Council meeting — that was when his son, Urban, was born! Although not one of the top vote-getters in the November 2016 election, Dan has shown a remarkable ability to represent Gilroy effectively on a variety of regional boards and locally to offer a strong business insight on the Council dais. This, coupled with his solid experience and regional connections landed him the recent appointment. He is filling the spot vacated by Roland Velasco when he was elected Mayor in the November election. He will serve as an appointee until the 2018 election. His Background Born and raised in Canada, Dan became a US citizen after a Boarder Control Agent questioned why, after ten years of living in the US, he had not become a citizen. Both Dan and his wife work in Silicon Valley. They moved to Gilroy from Morgan Hill because of “its small town charm, open spaces, the strong park and recreation program and most importantly, a great public school system fro our children,” said Dan. He further noted that compared to cities further north, Gilroy has a “better quality of life — less traffic, a strong public safety organization, strong volunteerism and a real sense of community.” Dan noted that Gilroy is one of the few areas in the Valley that has buildable land for businesses and housing. Growth will happen. The task at hand is to make sure growth benefits current and future generations while maintaining green belts and agricultural resources. He calls for more local involve- ment in regional groups such as VTA, LAFCO, the County and Water Board. As a council member, Dan would like to see a strategic plan that focuses on: • Infrastructure and a capital funding plan to support improvements • Alternative revenue sources for the General Fund • Community engagement As a councilperson, Dan represents the City of Gilroy on Gilroy Gardens Board, Santa Clara County Expressway Plan Advisory Board, Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency Governing and Implementation Boards, Santa Clara Valley Clean Energy Authority, South County Joint Planning Advisory Committee, and VTA Board (Alternate, VTA Policy Advisory Committee.) Dan is a global senior manager at eBay in San Jose. He talks about the differences between the culture at places like eBay and the City of Gilroy. He notes the similarities—both organizations have a sense of providing services for every one. At eBay, collaboration is the rule—then “debate, decide and deliver.” In the City, staff does most of the background work and identifies decision points; the Council reviews, debates and makes decisions. His Vision On the Council, Dan brings a global perspective to decisions and a different set of decision-making tools. He likes to know and understand the history of the issue as well as the current implications, costs and consequences. He likes to see the support data. He likes to look at the impacts of decisions from a GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN local and regional perspective. In a recent editorial in the Gilroy Dispatch (February 2, 2017), he highlighted Gilroy’s changing role in Silicon Valley. He believes that regional and local decisions cross each other and that an increase in jobs in Silicon Valley will mean more housing in Gilroy; and more commutes. Dan is concerned with the recent departure of several key City employees. He wants to work on the downtown “to make it better.” Like it or not the High-Speed Rail will have a significant impact on Gilroy and the region. With either a downtown or eastside location the HSR station will have an impact on local and regional travel, traffic, housing, dining and shopping. Dan is an interesting man. He is a good listener and manifests passion to make Gilroy a better place to live and work. MARCH/APRIL 2017 27