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Candidate filing period approaches for November election

Turlock Mayor, City Council races heat up

Candidate filing period approaches for November election

Gary Soiseth


POSTED June 26, 2014 7:36 p.m.

 

With the June Primary Election done and over with, it's now time to prepare for the November General Election where voters will be not only be making a choice for Governor, but also local government seats and ballot initiatives.

Candidates interested in running for office in the Nov. 4 Gubernatorial General Election must apply during the filing period which runs from July 14 through Aug. 8. Candidates, including incumbents, must file nomination documents during this period in order to run for office and appear on the ballot. 

“We encourage citizens to learn about this applicant process and consider becoming a candidate for office,” said Lee Lundrigan, Stanislaus County clerk recorder and registrar of voters.

The race for Mayor of Turlock is already heating up. So far, three candidates have announced their intentions to run for Mayor: Gary Soiseth, Ed Brault, and Mike Brem.

Soiseth, a third generation farmer from Turlock, announced his candidacy in late March. Soiseth said, if elected, he will focus on bringing sustainable infrastructure solutions to Turlock’s current diminishing groundwater resources and improving the city’s inadequate highway interchanges and neglected local roadways.

Soiseth’s diverse background includes having spent the past four years working in Afghanistan on agriculture development, teaching in the Political Science Department at California State University, Stanislaus, and advising Modesto Irrigation District management on water and energy policy.

Brault, a retired teacher, also filed his candidate intention statement with the City of Turlock in March, around the same time Mayor John Lazar announced he would not be seeking reelection.

Living in Turlock for over 50 years, Brault has been fairly involved within the local community, having served as the first president and chartering member of the Turlock Classified American Federation of Teachers Local 2424 union in 1973. TCAFT has credited Brault for heightening interest in the organization during its early days through writing the organization’s newsletter, “The Roaring Mouse” and for continuing to offer help and advice to former TCAFT President Jim Biever when membership saw a sharp decline.

Brem announced his candidacy for mayor on the night of the Primary Election. He is the president of SupHerb Farms in Turlock, a company that creates culinary herb and specialty vegetable ingredients for food manufacturers. Brem also sits on the Turlock Planning Commission and is vice chair of the Mayor's Economic Development Taskforce.

Both Turlock City Council incumbents Forrest White and Bill DeHart have filed candidate intent statements with the City Clerk's office.

Although White says that Turlock has several accomplishments over recent years, he believes that there are still areas in need of improvements which he hopes to continue helping over the next four years.

White spent over 35 years working for the public, including five years as a Turlock City Recreation Supervisor, and the last 20 years as CEO of the San Joaquin County Fair. His primary duties as CEO consisted of budgeting, public relations, and governmental advocacy, which included working with legislators and statewide boards.

DeHart is a retired commissioned officer of the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was a helicopter pilot. He also has over 30 years experience in small business administration and management. He promotes a collaborative leadership style and a fiscally-responsible approach to budget creation and management.

Just last week, recent college graduate and member of the Mayor's Economic Taskforce Matthew Jacob announced his candidacy for City Council.

In his You Tube video announcing his candidacy, Jacob says his “approach to City Council is going to be to singularly focused on public safety, on economic development for the private sector and building our quality of life.”

Jacob envisions working closely with California State University, Stanislaus to develop a higher skilled work force and potentially increasing the median household income in Turlock. He also states that because of AB 109, the state’s prison realignment mandate, he would like to see increased funding for both the city’s police and fire departments.

Those interested in running for Mayor or City Council can get more information at the Turlock City Clerk's Office, 156 S. Broadway, or by visiting http://www.ci.turlock.ca.us/government/electioninformation/

Turlock voters will also see two local ballot initiatives in November: Measure A - Electoral Districts and Measure B - Local Road Tax.

In May, the City Council chose a map to present to voters as the city's first district-based elections system.

Switching to a district based election system would prevent the City of Turlock from being sued under the California Voting Rights Act, while ensuring equal representation in local government by drawing districts balancing the City’s populations. Throughout California, various minority advocate groups have sued cities utilizing an at-large voting system, often resulting in million-dollar settlements and pricey attorney fees.

According to City staff, the outreach, study and preparation needed to place the district-based electoral system initiative on the November ballot is estimated to cost the City $30,000.

The selected district map, Plan A, can be found on the City of Turlock website at www.ci.turlock.ca.us.

With many cities and counties throughout the state adopting various tax measures to help gain funds for costly transportation and infrastructure improvements, the Turlock City Council began discussing placing a similar initiative before Turlock voters this November after the Stanislaus County Council of Governments – the regional transportation planning agency – recently opted against pursuing its third attempt at a countywide transportation tax.

To guarantee that the initiative’s generated funds are being spent only on Turlock roadways, the proposed seven-year half-cent sales tax measure would include an annual financial audit in addition to establishing a five-member Citizen Oversight Committee appointed by the Council to ensure the proper use of funds. Each year, an Annual Report will be prepared by City staff, reviewed by the committee and presented to the City Council, reviewing on expenditures and activities during the past fiscal year.

If approved by voters in November, the tax would raise an estimated $5.6 million per year.

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