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Hughson council remains the same after election

POSTED November 2, 2010 10:31 p.m.

Some major changes have hit the small town of Hughson in the past year including the hiring of a new city manager and the removal of three council members through a recall election, but with the preliminary results of Tuesday’s election it looks like Hughson residents are happy with their present leadership.

As of 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Hughson Council member Matt Beekman won another term on the council with 412 votes and recently elected council member George Carr, who won former council member Thom Crowder’s seat in the August recall election, won a seat on the council with 308 votes.

“I am looking forward to focusing on work, getting back to business and continuing the positive things going on in Hughson,” Beekman said.

He said he is very thankful for the opportunity to potentially continue his role on the council and hopes to focus on economic development while giving 110 percent, he said. He has high hopes for Hughson.

Carr is also very thankful for the opportunity to serve on the council for the past two months he was elected to serve in the August recall election.

“I am very excited that it appears that I will be able to serve the City of Hughson for a full four-year term,” Carr said.

He is hoping to focus getting more grant money so the City of Hughson can purchase park land to continue the development of parks in Hughson, he said.

As of 10 p.m. on Tuesday, candidates Miguel Oseguera and Billy Gonzales, who also ran in the August recall election, fell short of a council seat.

Beekman started his role on the Hughson City Council in February 2009 after he was appointed to take the seat of Gerald Ledermann who resigned from the council on Jan. 26, 2009. 

And Carr has taken a recent role on the council on Aug. 30 after winning Crowder’s seat in the recall election to serve out the rest of his term, which ended this November.

The Aug. 24 recall election gave Hughson residents the chance to say enough was enough and remove three council members — Crowder, Doug Humphreys and Ben Manley — from office after they were found to be in violation of the Brown Act, Fair Political Practices and Regulations and the Hughson Municipal Code in a December 2009 Stanislaus County Civil Grand Jury investigation.

The three council members were also accused of planning to terminate former City Manager Joe Donabed before the council voted 3-to-2 to not renew Donabed’s contract in May. For the past five months, the City of Hughson has been run by acting City Manager Thom Clark who also wears numerous other hats as director of planning/building and director of public works/city engineer.

The city’s new manager Bryan Whitemyer will start Nov. 15 with a full council, including three new faces — two from the recall election and one from Tuesday’s election.

To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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