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Election season officially opens
Former recreation manager throws his hat into ring
election update
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Election season officially kicked off Monday morning as the nomination period opened for the Nov. 2 Turlock City Council race, and Forrest White took advantage of the occasion by officially announcing his candidacy.

White made his announcement at the Starbucks on Canal Drive, packed wall to wall with supporters, where he said he was spurred to run by observing the conduct of the current Turlock City Council members.

“They seem to be less civil at meetings, less transparent and they have become more decisive,” White said. “… When I’m elected, I’m going to represent all citizens in an open and honest fashion.”

White, currently retired, worked for the City of Turlock as a recreation manager in the 1970s before being hired by the San Joaquin County Fair in 1981. He managed that fair from 1988 through 2008.

White said his fair experience – organizing a large public entity relying on enterprise funds – would help when it comes to budget time, which he pegged as the most important issue facing Turlock in these tough economic times. White said he would work to entice new businesses to Turlock, especially downtown, to help better the city’s budget.

If elected, White said he would work without a personal agenda, make good policy decisions for the community, and let staff do their work without micromanaging.

With White’s announcement, four candidates have formally announced their intention to run in November for two available City Council seats: White; Timm LaVelle, a small business owner and former Turlock Unified School District Board member; Pat Noda, a Turlocker upset with the city’s finances, new bus hub, street system, and lack of a homeless shelter; and Jeremy Rocha, 22, a two-time City Council candidate and recent California State University, Stanislaus graduate who hopes to put his political science degree to the test on the council.

Incumbent Councilmember Kurt Spycher announced July 2 he would not seek reelection this November.

The other incumbent, Councilmember Ted Howze, has been linked to a mayoral campaign. Howze opened an exploratory committee called “Friends of Ted Howze for Mayor 2010,” but says he has yet to make up his mind about November’s race.

Incumbent Mayor John Lazar has yet to announce his plans for November.

As of Tuesday afternoon, only one candidate had pulled the official papers required to run, according to Turlock City Clerk Rhonda Greenlee. No candidates have yet submitted their completed forms, she said.

Candidates have until an extended Aug. 11 deadline to file the necessary paperwork to run.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.