Tuesday was a significant day for the City of Turlock, as Amy Bublak became the first female mayor in the city’s 108-year history. Bublak was sworn in as Turlock’s 23rd mayor on Tuesday, following her decisive win in the November election over incumbent Gary Soiseth, former mayor Brad Bates and Jaime Franco.
Joining Bublak in Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony was newly elected City Council members Nicole Larson (District 1) and Andrew Nosrati (District 3). Larson comes into the District 1 seat left open when incumbent Vice Mayor Matthew Jacob chose not to run for office. She beat out three other challengers, including former Council member Forrest White, for the seat. Nosrati won the District 3 seat after receiving more votes than incumbent Council member Bill DeHart.
Following the official swearing in ceremony performed by the City Clerk, the Honorable Judge Ruben Villalobos administered an oath of office special to the City of Turlock.
The oath charges the mayor and council members to “respect the Constitutional rights of all to liberty, equality and justice.” The Council members also vowed to keep their private lives “unsullied, as an example to all” and to be “honest in thought and deed” in both their public and personal lives.
“I think it’s an absolutely amazing oath. As I was driving here…I heard that in Washington today everyone was disagreeing, if you can believe it or not, they were. But I tell you what, if in Washington and in every city across this country of ours, the people that are deciding the issues that affect us the most would take this oath that you’re about to take today, we would be a better place — just like Turlock is a better place because of all of you” said Villalobos.
After the new Council was seated they jumped right into business taking action on roadway projects sent out to bid, changing the duties of the City Manager and voting on distributing funds for the design and construction management of surface water distribution system improvements.
The Council also set a path for finding a representative for the District 4 seat left open when Bublak won the mayoral race.
Legally, the City Council has 60 days from Dec. 11 to either seat an appointment for the vacancy or call for a special election. The Council chose to seek candidates for appointment, as a special election would be costly.
The Mayor and Council voted to make public participation and transparency part of the application process, as well as having candidates submit signatures of support from residents of District 4.
“As much public participation that we can include in this process the better it’d be. Running for office, just coming off of it, it’s a tough thing, they should have to deal with a little bit of public scrutiny. Don’t want them to just slide into that seat,” said Council member Nosrati.
Residents of District 4 who want to be considered for the open Council seat must fill out an application form and submit their signatures of support by Jan. 7, 2019. The forms will be available on the City of Turlock’s website or at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.
The applications turned in by the deadline will be presented to the City Council at their Jan. 8, 2019 meeting. At that time, the Council will set up a schedule for public interviews and when they will choose a replacement.
For more information about applying for the open District 4 seat, contact Turlock City Clerk Jennifer Land at 209-668-5540.