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Tuesday November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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City of SausalitoCandidate for City Council

Photo of Aaron Singer

Aaron Singer

Local Business Owner
1,247 votes (10.65%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Economic recovery - Create a comprehensive, highly specific roadmap to recover from this pandemic, and quickly rebuild Sausalito's small business community.
  • Resilience - Help Sausalito prepare and mitigate against the natural and economic challenges that climate change presents: wildfires, sea-level rise, power-instability.
  • Quality of life.. for everyone - Provide for safe neighborhoods, unify our schools, protect and improve our municipal infrastructure. Keep Sausalito the best place to live, raise children, work and play in Marin County!



Profession:Local small business owner and commercial pilot
Owner & CEO, Seaplane Adventures LLC (2012–current)
CEO, Automodality, Inc, (2017–current)
Councilmember, California Small Business Advisory Council — Appointed position (2016–current)
Board Member, Marin City Community Development Corporation — Appointed position (2019–current)
Chairman, Sausalito Business Advisory Committee — Appointed position (2012–2019)
Chairman of the Board, Sausalito Chamber of Commerce — Elected position (2012–2018)
Board Member, CASA of Marin (Court Appointed Special Advocates) — Appointed position (2017–2018)
Co-Founder & CEO, Pacific Carbon Exchange (2008–2012)
Co-Founder & CEO, The adhoc Group (1991–2000)


California College of the Arts Masters of Architecture, Design and Engineering (2007)
Colorado College Bachelor's Fine Arts, Concentrations in Sculpture, Painting & Theater Arts with a minor in Anthropology (1989)

Community Activities

Founder & Chairman, Blue Yonder Aviation Scholarship Fund (2001–current)
Co-Founder & Chairman, Just Think Foundation (1996–2004)


Many of you already know me as "the Seaplane Guy", but for almost 25 years I have both lived in and owned several businesses in Sausalito since moving here in 1994. I live here in town with three caring, courageous women - my two growing daughters and my loving fiancé. I am also the owner and steward of the historic, 75-year-old Seaplane Adventures at the North end of town. During this time, I have served in many roles as volunteer, Board Chair and Committee Chair for various City, non-profit, civic organizations and committees in Sausalito, including:

  • Sausalito Chamber of Commerce - Board Member & Chairman
  • Sausalito Business Advisory Committee – Member & Chairman
  • California Small Business Advisory Council (Chaired by CA Assby. Marc Levine) - Councilmember
  • Marin City Community Development Corporation – Board Member

All of these companies/organizations were started and grown right here in town:


  • 1994-2000 – The adhoc Group (acquired in 2000) – CEO and Founder 
  • 1995-2005 – The Just Think Foundation – Co-Founder – Media Literacy Non-Profit
  • 2001-present – Blue Yonder Foundation – Founder – Aviation/Aerospace Scholarship Fund
  • 2008-2011 – Pacific Carbon Exchange – CEO and Co-Founder
  • 2012-Present – Seaplane Adventures – Owner and CEO
  • 2017-Present – Automodality, Inc. - CEO


I very much love this incredible town - for its beauty, its unique character and its magnetic charms beloved by the whole world. I want to work with all of you to face these challenges and watch Sausalito grow, prosper and shine brightly as she has always done. I first came to Sausalito in 1977 when my Grandmother brought me here. My family is originally from a small town in Oklahoma and my Grandmother had never been outside of the State until she was 70 years old, and the only place she wanted to go was Sausailto, CA. To this day I still have a curio figure of Sally Stamford that my Grandma bought in a gallery here on that trip. I hoped that one day I would come and live here and that dream came true in 1994. Since that time I have started several businesses and  a non-profit, established my roots and am raising a family here. I owe a lot to this community that has helped me grow, prosper and make many of the best friendships I have had my entire life. I wish to give back andcontribute my energy, skills and genuine care for this community by serving as a City Councilman.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Peter Van Meter - Former City Councilmember, Former Board Member Southern Marin Fire Protection District & Chamber of Co
  • Chris Gallagher - Chairwoman Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, Bay Model Visitor Center Gen. Manager, Business Advisory Com
  • Greg Stern - Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Butler, Shine & Stern Advertising Agency (Largest employer in Sausa

Individuals (33)

  • Bruce Huff - Former Chairman Business Advisory Committee, Managing Partner Kimber Companies
  • John Grubb - Bay Area Council Chief Operating Officer
  • Jim Wunderman - Bay Area Council President & CEO
  • Aaron Roller - Sausalito Bike & Pedestrian Committee Chairman & Resident
  • Robert Hendry - Marin City Community Development Corporation Chairman of Board, Retired CEO of Saab Motorcars
  • Shelby Van Meter - Founder of Sausalito Beautiful & Resident
  • Cheryl Popp - Owner of Sausalito Books by the Bay, former Chairwoman of the Business Advisory Committee, former Board Me
  • Christopher Holbrooke - Chairman-Elect Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, Studio 333 Owner & Resident
  • Jill Giordano - Giordano Design Boutique Owner, Former Board Chair Sausalito Chamber of Commerce & Resident
  • Maureen McCoy - Sausalito Optometry Owner & Resident
  • Alessandro Montagna - Sandrinos Restaurant Co-Owner & Resident
  • Monika Torggler - Sandrinos Restaurant Co-Owner & Resident
  • Ashok Kumar - Avatar's Restaurant Owner & Resident
  • Scott Penzarello - Golden Gate Market Co-Owner & Resident
  • Sean Cope - Sean Cope Productions Owner & Resident
  • Danielle Phillips - Bank of Marin Vice President & Resident
  • Jon Grabham - Grabham Construction Co-Owner & Resident
  • Stacy Simonson-Odom - Bank of Marin Sausalito Branch Manager & Resident
  • David Grabham - Grabham Construction Co-Owner & Resident
  • Paul Geffner - Drivers Market Co-Owner & Resident
  • Graham Driver - Drivers Market Co-Owner, Board Member Sausalito Chamber of Commerce & Resident
  • Adam Driver - Drivers Market Co-Owner, Board Member Sausalito Chamber of Commerce
  • Tom Gangitano - Gene Hiller Menswear Co-Owner, Former Chair Business Advisory Committee
  • Maya Markowitz-Thomas - Sally Stamford Cellars Co-Owner, Business Advisory Committee Member & Resident
  • Loring Sagan - Build, Inc. Managing Partner & Resident
  • Saskia Thompson - Marin City Community Development Corporation Board Member & Resident
  • Dr. Gregory Katzen - Marin City Community Development Corporation Executive Director
  • Mimi Towle - Marin Magazine Editor-in-Chief & Resident 
  • David Thomas - Sally Stamford Cellars Co-Owner & Resident
  • Marguerita Stewart - Piccino Restaurant Co-Owner & Resident
  • Wayne Kaleck - Shoe Stories Owner & Resident
  • Kayse Gehret - Soulstice Spa & Health Center Owner, Board Member Sausalito Chamber of Commerce & Resident
  • Felecia Gaston - Permorming Stars Founder & Marin City Resident

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California and Elect Justice CA (2)


Does your office have any plans to include currently or formerly incarcerated people in your decision-making process as it relates to criminal justice issues? What would that look like?

No answer provided.
With 8,000 people eligible for release from CA prisons to help stem the transmission of COVID-19, how, if at all, would your office aid these Californians and their families in navigating reentry?
Answer from Aaron Singer:

I serve as a Board Member of the Marin City Community Development Corporation and one of our most effective set of programs are our job prep and construction trades training programs. I would certainly work to provide links to this important resource to train people in the construction trades to prepare them for a career in construction. It is these types of policies and training programs that are essential to building skills that will create highly skilled workers able to contribute to their communities and to build a prosperous life for themselves.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

The Marin Economic Forum recently reported that 32% of all small business in Marin have closed due to the global pandemic leaving 11% job losses in their wake. We have a LOT of work to do to recover and rebuild the Sausalito business community in the coming months and years. With every calamity comes an opportunity! Together we can help shape what new businesses come to our town that we will welcome and support. Businesses that will appeal to residents and visitors alike!


I have both lived in and owned several businesses in Sausalito since moving here in 1994. During that time, I have also served in many roles as volunteer, Board Chair and Committee Chair for various non-profit and civic organizations in Sausalito, where I have seen extraordinary growth and change. The recent global pandemic is creating new challenges for us, including fiscal pressures on the Town’s budget, and several longtime, local businesses boarded up and shuttered for good. Nationwide calls for police reform have reached our local police agency and we are embarking upon a new relationship with our true sister city, Marin City, in the reunification of our schools to better serve all kids in our shared community.  Wildfires and power shutoffs have posed new challenges and public safety risks that further test both our citizenry and our business community. After nearly 24 years as a resident here and in Marin, I believe I have the experience, the track record and the ability to foster the collaboration needed to effectively address these challenges – and opportunities - during these difficult times.


The challenges before us are very real. Long-standing businesses are closing, families are feeling financial pressures not seen in over a decade since the Great Recession and the City's finances are being adversely affected by the pandemic-induced economic downturn. But we Sausalitans can DO something about all this! It has never been more important than it is now for both Sausalito residents and Sausalito businesses to rally around each other and support one another through this trying period. The time is now to get involved and contribute to this incredible place we call home. 

Position Papers

How do you think Sausalito should be responding to the Coronavirus crisis as a City?


COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for our residents and our local businesses. Equally unprecedented is the number of business closures, shutdowns and businesses boarded up that we have seen in the last few months.

COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for our residents and our local businesses. Equally unprecedented is the number of business closures, shutdowns and businesses boarded up that we have seen in the last few months. The City of Sausalito should be and is doing three very important things - supporting local business, encouraging our residents to support local businesses and pressuring Marin County to do a far better job with COVID-19 testing - shortening the interval between test and results and providing adequate contact tracing once tests are returned positive for the virus. It will be critical for City leadership to create and execute a plan to rebuild and recover our business community in the face of this awful pandemic. The entire community must be involved - residents and business owners alike - to attract the types of businesses that will maintain the unique character of our town and the types of businesses that our residents will be enthusiastic about supporting. We also have an opportunity to market to our surrounding Bay Area markets to attract visitors who will spend time developing a relationship with our town and who will return here again and again, staying in our hotels, dining in our restaurants, experiencing our activities and attractions and spending money in our unique retail shops. This Brand Sausalito Plan will steer our town into a more prosperous future as we recover from this pandemic-induced economic crisis.

The City of Sausalito should also be monitoring the mask mandate and actively encouraging people venturing out and into town to wear face coverings at all times and maintain social distancing. The Ambassador Program is playing a key roll in this regard - encouraging mask wearing downtown while maintaining a friendly demeanor with visitors. Chief Rohrbacher has also set the right tone with having Sausalito's Finest amicably enforcing the mask mandate without resorting to strong-arm tactics first and issuing citations precipitously. I believe Sausalito is striking the right balance between maintaining a softer approach and enforcing the mask policy.

Do you support the business community here in Sausalito?


Because of the Coronavirus Pandmenic, we are seeing things we have never witnessed here in Sausalito - multiple long-standing businesses boarded up, shut-down or closed for good. 

I have served for decades in many volunteer and advisory roles in the Sausalito business community, including as Chairman of the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce and long-time member and  Chairman of the City of Sausalito's Business Advisory Committee. I started my first business in 1991 and moved that business to Sausalito in 1994 where we grew from three employees in a live/work loft on Caledonia St. to over 100 employees in the Marinship on Liberty Ship Way. I have since started and grown both additional businesses and non-profit organizations in Sausalito and am currently the owner and CEO of Seaplane Adventures at the North end of town.

Because of the Coronavirus Pandmenic, we are seeing things we have never witnessed here in Sausalito - multiple long-standing businesses boarded up, shut-down or closed for good. There are two things we must do: 1) As a community we must rally around each other and support local businesses. That means eat in our restaurants, use local services and shop in our shops. 2) As a City, we must do everything we can at the local, County and State level to promote and encourage Sausalito businesses and to protect our business community from the economic fallout of this pandemic. I believe as a resident and long-time business owner here in the community, I bring the experience, the knowledge and the passion to help build these resident/business community relationships and help steer us through these troubled waters ahead.

There are over 1,750 businesses here in Sausalito. They provide the second highest revenue line item coming into our City's budget - sales taxes account for over $3.5 million dollars (23%) of total revenue to the city and business license fees over $1.5 million (9%). Combined with transient occupancy taxes collected from our hotels ($1.8 million), this tax and fee base (total of $6.8 million) provides more dollars to our General Fund than property taxes at $5.3 million. Businesses and their health are absolutely vital to the health and well-being of the Sausalito community - there would be no city services without them! COVID-19 is already exerting a 10% reduction in tax revenue from our business sector, which is going directly to our bottom-line, forcing large cutbacks of critical city services like our wonderful Sausalito Library (-36%) and the Parks & Rec Dept. (-31%).

We ALL must get involved and help support struggling businesses and help rebuild our business community where some businesses have already failed. Our unique town and our quality of life DEPEND on all of us getting involved! Yes, this is a call to action! When you are hungry - shop local. When you are bored, try a local activity or attraction. When you have a birthday or holiday requiring a gift - buy here in town. It's up to us! ONE Sausalito! LOVE Sausalito!

What are the impacts of the economic downturn on the city budget?


It may not be widely known that business related taxes and fees in Sausalito historically account for 43% of Sausalito's general fund revenues ($10.85 million) each year.

It may not be widely known that business related taxes and fees in Sausalito historically account for 43% of Sausalito's general fund revenues ($10.85 million) each year:

• Sales Tax - 23% ($5.3 million)

• Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) - 11% ($1.8 million)

• Business License Fees - 9% ($1.5 million)

The next largest source of general fund revenue is property taxes at $5.3 million - 33% of Sausalito's overall budget. The business community here in Sausalito is the leading sector for providing general funds revenue to our city budget. The city budget for 2020-2021 had to be revised DOWN 10% (loss of $3.6 million) in June due to the economic downturn precipitated by the COVID-19 global pandemic. There will likely be more losses incurred in the latter half of this year. Sales tax was down 18.5%, business permit fees down 35% and TOT taxes slipped to the 6th position on overall share of revenue, down 22%. 

Because of this significant budget shortfall, the City has had to make significant adjustments to the city budget. Two departments at Sausalito City Hall have been particularly hard hit: the Sausalito City Library budget has been cut over 36% and the Parks and Recreation departmental budget has been significantly reduced by 31%. These cuts will result in a reduction of services in town, as well as starve public works and parks restoration projects of necessary funding resources.

It is absolutely imperative that Sausalito City Council, the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Advisory Committee and all of us as residents work together to create a comprehensive Sausalito Business Recovery and Rebuilding Plan and soon as possible. We must diversify our business community, develop a Tourism Management Plan, craft a Sausalito Brand and Visitor Outreach Strategic Plan, revisit ordinances that restrict businesses that might be able to consider our town and remove unnecessary obstacles to doing business here. We must promote Sausalito as the perfect community to start your business in because you will be supported by residents who will buy your products, use your services and provide a perfect place to headquarter your employees.

I have built multiple businesses in Sausalito and know intimately, the massive challenges of doing so in the best and worst of times. We now face an economic emergency and the Council needs members with the experience, creativity, and determination to craft a plan to recover and rebuild. 


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