BY NICOLE LARSON
Turlock City Council, District 1
Over the last four years, our community has faced many issues: our budget crisis, water quality concerns, dilapidated roads, hostile workplace lawsuits, a global pandemic, and our growing homeless and housing-insecure population. Despite these challenges, there is progress to be proud of.
Immediately upon being elected, our council stopped the trend of deficit spending. In 2018, despite opposition from our mayor, the majority of the council members and I faced our economic realities and asked our citizens: what are you willing to pay for. By approving Measure A, the overwhelming majority of citizens agreed that we needed to heighten city service levels and investment. We voted to create new sources of revenue, and now, for the first time in years, our city did not have to consider vacating vital public safety positions or cut back services.
We voted to address our water quality and quantity concerns. Turlock, through collaboration with regional partners, approved the final construction of the surface water treatment plant to address our growing water quality issues and quantity concerns for our growing population. Soon, Turlock citizens and farmers will not be 100% reliant on our depleting groundwater reserves. We approved projects creating over 60 units of affordable housing and transitional housing options for those reaching out of homelessness. To ease the effects of the pandemic, we offered consumers and businesses support as well as vocational scholarships to those who became unemployed. Finally, we funded more road repairs, maintenance, and reconstructions in our city and in District 1 than any other single term in the city’s history.
Although there is so much more I want to tackle for our community, I will not be seeking re-election for this cycle. Instead, I will be pursuing, graduate school to continue to grow as a public-serving professional. I want to sincerely thank every District 1 citizen and neighbor who trusted me with their confidence in November of 2018 as the youngest woman elected in the history of Turlock. I especially want to thank every public-service employee and volunteer; YOU are the real unsung hero.
With that being said, I am gravely concerned for the future of our city. To keep our city’s quality a safe, affordable, and beautiful place to live, we need to elect people who are committed to taking the time to understand the new challenges facing a city of our size in California. With urgency, we must address our housing market challenges, invest in our city’s personnel to recruit to keep a quality public-serving workforce, and plan for the rehabilitation and construction of our city infrastructure — before it’s too late. Now, I worry that we do not have leaders that are prioritizing the long-term success of our city instead of their individual political agendas or loyalties. When you, the citizens of Turlock vote this November, remember to vote for someone’s proven record, rather than one’s sales pitch or political affiliation. Turlock’s future depends on it.