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Bublak announces council candidacy

Four vie for two open seats

Bublak announces council candidacy

Incumbent Turlock Councilmember Amy Bublak announced Friday she will seek reelection.

POSTED July 20, 2012 3:53 p.m.

Four candidates –and both incumbents – have now thrown their hats into the Nov. 6 Turlock City Council Election.

Incumbent Turlock Councilmember Amy Bublak, previously mum about her intentions, announced Friday she will seek reelection.

Since her 2008 election, Bublak, a Modesto Police officer, has advocated primarily for public safety and fiscal restraint.

“I hope to continue to build on these successes and provide a strong voice for taxpayers and ethical government,” Bublak said. “I will be running another positive campaign with an eye to the future of Turlock, and (I) am excited at the outpouring of support asking me to run again.”

Bublak’s tenure has been marked by her strict eye on the council budget. Rarely will a meeting pass without Bublak asking for details on expenditures which surpassed budgeted funds. On new expenditures, Bublak traditionally advocates austerity – and ultimately casts the lone vote in opposition.

“Everyone knows our economy is in trouble because of failed leadership on the state level and a lack of vision,” Bublak said. “That cannot happen on the local level or cities go bankrupt.”

Bublak also presents a notable difference from fellow council members in her approach to discussions; she never expresses her opinion on an issue before the public has an opportunity to comment.

In her first term, Bublak led the initiative to create the Turlock Partnership Incentives program, an effort which offers new businesses cash incentives to open in Turlock. She also successfully campaigned to bring the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championship to California State University, Stanislaus, alongside her husband Milt Richards, the then- CSU Stanislaus director of athletics. Richards has since assumed the post of director of athletics and recreation at Simon Frasier University, in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

Bublak said, if reelected, she would continue to provide the strong leadership needed to make Turlock great, and to protect community values.

“I am proud to work hard with our community leaders to maintain our quality of life, protect the public safety, and keep our community solvent,” said Bublak.  “I will focus my energies on keeping our community a great place to live and raise a family. It’s very satisfying to know I can help make a positive difference in my community every day.”

Bublak’s tenure on council hasn’t been entirely trouble-free. Her previous campaign had one notable gaffe – a planned “Amy’s Affair” fundraiser dinner, offering donors of between $2,000 and $5,000 “special benefits throughout the year.” The dinner was ultimately cancelled, and the benefits were clarified as a newsletter and signed photos – not political favors.


Election slate growing crowded

Bublak will join already-announced candidates Mary Jackson, an incumbent councilmember; Steven Nascimento, a current Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Facilities commissioner and the district director for State Sen. Anthony Cannella (R – Ceres); and Sergio Alvarado, a Turlock resident who works for the U.S. Postal Service in Livingston, in the campaign for the two seats currently held by Jackson and Bublak.

Jackson, first elected in 2008 alongside Bublak, has been an advocate for the arts and recreation, led the campaign for the return of the Turlock Farmer’s Market, and today serves as council’s representative to the Stanislaus Council of Governments. She says she will continue to advocate public safety, economic development and smart growth, protecting farmland and not building homes west of Highway 99, and open, transparent, fiscally responsible government.

Nascimento, a Turlock native, says he would bring his experience in dealing with the complicated world of government to the post, along with planning expertise from a stint as a planner with the City of Modesto. He says he would work to maintain Turlock’s quality of life by supporting public safety, the arts, downtown businesses, and parks and recreation programs.

Alvarado, originally of Dinuba, says he is committed to a clean, grass-roots campaign. He hopes to maintain Turlock’s small-town feel and charm, and has previously spoken in support of placing “In God We Trust” in City Hall and retaining a prayer invocation before council meetings. Alvarado has opposed big-box stores, population growth, the hiring of Wasden, and new taxes to rebuild Turlock’s roads.

Other interested candidates have until Aug. 10 to register with the Turlock City Clerk.

Candidates must collect signatures on nomination papers, and submit a $1,250 deposit for printing costs, if they desire a Statement of Qualifications be printed in the ballot pamphlet.

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