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We need experience and a steady hand on the City Council
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I live in District 1 where five Council candidates want the job this November. I applaud the enthusiasm. But here is the decision. Will we elect style or substance? We chose style last time and it didn’t work.

My vote is for substance.

I enthusiastically support Forrest White because he offers at least two critical qualities no other candidate can claim, qualities that are in short supply among our current leaders: Wide ranging, long-term experience and firm independence.

Forrest started his career at the City of Turlock Parks Department more than 40 years ago. Since then he has worked extensively in state and local government including a three-decade stint as San Joaquin County Fair manager. He has lived continuously in Turlock since 1990. During four years as a Turlock City Councilman, he served tirelessly as a voice of experience, independence and for consensus governing.

That’s a far cry from our current leadership – a dictatorial mayor and a largely rubberstamp council that turned the mayor into a king.

I’m interested in the future. Should the mayor win, it is critical that he not have a majority of guaranteed votes in his pocket. And make no mistake, after his “guarantee” from District 1 decided not to run again, you can be sure he has recruited new favorites. It’s easy to tell. Look for the signs paired next to those for Soiseth.

Forrest will not be a “yes man” for anyone. He owes political debts to nobody.

Should one of the other two mayoral candidates win, Forrest will still be an independent voice. He has no ax to grind. Perhaps more important, he’s not campaigning now to line up support for his next job. He’s retired.

He’ll speak his mind and work with anyone for Turlock’s betterment, even when long-term decisions are less appealing than short-term “feel good” fixes designed to secure cash and votes for future elections. This is important because I believe there are unpleasant choices facing our city soon enough and we need integrity to help make them.

It’s great that people care and that young people want to serve. But now is no time for another experiment. We need experience and a steady hand. Forrest White fits that bill.

— Bob Crawford, Turlock