Turlock is a community on the move, growing jobs, attracting new economic development and emerging as one of the best places to live and work in the Central Valley. At the core of this success is the recognition that confronting our community’s challenges and capitalizing on new opportunities requires a team effort to mobilize our community’s assets and the active cooperation of business, civic and political leaders around core objectives. This is why the leadership choices Turlock voters make in November are so important. This is why, after conducting extensive interviews with all the candidates, the Turlock Chamber of Commerce strongly endorses the election of Mike Brem as Mayor and the reelection of Council members Bill Dehart and Forrest White.
For City Council, we were impressed that all the candidates in the race are serious and committed to improving our community. But by the breadth of their experience and knowledge as well as their positions on key City issues, Mr. Dehart and Mr. White clearly are superior to the three other challengers. While we hope that Mr. Alvarado, Mr. Babadalir and Mr. Jacob will stay involved in our community and perhaps run again in the future, they are not now ready for City Council. Re-electing Mr. Dehart and Mr. White will help provide continuity in Council and ensure Turlock continues to make progress on both the challenges and opportunities facing our community.
For Mayor, we are fortunate to have two very capable candidates committed to our community. As business executives we appreciate bold vision and decisive leaders, but we also like leaders with proven ability to execute strategies, who listen to diverse opinions and have the maturity to change course in the face of new facts. For the next Mayor, the mark of leadership will not be “picking sides,” but rather working with Council to bring our diverse community and conflicting points of view together around a shared agenda to grow and improve our community. Mayor John Lazar has done this well for the past four years. For the next four years, we believe Mike Brem has far more experience and capacity to lead our community forward than his opponent, Gary Soiseth.
Also troubling has been Mr. Soiseth waffling on Measure B to fix Turlock roads. Over the past several months, we have seen candidate Soiseth affirm his support for fixing our roads while constantly shifting his opposition to Measure B designed to achieve this objective. He has shifted from wanting to develop his own plan to fix roads when he is Mayor… to saying funds to fix roads should come out of the existing City budget… to saying assessments should be made on older and poorer property owners not covered by assessment districts… to finally being opposed because he is not sure how the city will fare under some future, currently nonexistent county transportation tax formula. In each case these positions are easily refuted by the facts, yet Mr. Soiseth stubbornly clings to opposing Measure B. In short, Mr. Soiseth’s position means further delay and greater long term costs to fix our roads.
In contrast, Mr. Brem has been clear and unequivocal in his support for Measure B. Equally important he has a deep understanding of the challenges facing our City, but is willing to listen to other points of view and learn the facts before taking decisive action. In short he has the leadership style and ability to lead our community through challenging times.
The Chamber is so very proud of Turlock and the progress our community is making. The leadership choices the voters of Turlock make this November are important to the future of our City. We urge you to vote!