TID Unions Host Candidates’ Forum

Turlock Irrigation District (TID) employee unions International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Operating Engineers, Local 3 (OE3) held a forum for TID Director Candidates running for office this year.
The forum accommodated all the candidates to introduce themselves to the audience of about 30, answer a few questions involving vision, challenges, and experience, while also allowing a closing statement.
TurlockCityNews.com will post TID Director Candidates’ questionnaires soon but here’s some info on the Divisions they’re running to represent, statements on the qualities they would bring to the Board, and some comments made in their closing remarks at the TID Candidates forum.
TID Division 2 Director Candidate Charles Fernandes (Incumbent) showed up and participated even though he is running unopposed. Division 2 includes mostly Ceres on the east side of freeway 99.
Charles Fernandes said that the quality he brings is his ability to make decisions based on facts and not emotions. He understands that TID has a tremendous staff that supplies the Board through the General Manager with information needed to make or modify board policy.
“While we admire and respect Board decisions in the past hundred plus years, we need to continue implementing these ideas into the 21st century,” said Fernandes. “I think I can do that.”
Charles Fernandes closed by saying “Just four years ago I was a junior member of the TID Board. On December 8, 2009, I will be the senior Board Member. And along with Director Santos, will welcome not just the two successful candidates that are at tonight’s meeting, but another member that will finish Director Short’s term. These will be very challenging times, but I’m confident that those three new directors, along with Rob Santos and I, will continue to guide TID as the leader in irrigation and electric utilities.”
TID Division 3 Director Candidate Joe Alamo (Dairyman/Agribusinessman) was the only candidate to be questioned in his race as his opponent did not show up. Division 3 includes west Ceres and southwestern areas.
Alamo is running to replace TID Director of 26 years, Michael C. Berryhill, Sr. who is not running for TID re-election but instead has announced that he is running for US Congress District 18 against incumbent Dennis Cardoza.
Joe Alamo said that his qualities include his business and agriculture background that has provided him with the knowledge on how to run a successful business as well as handle the needs for the farmers.
“I can look out and see the big picture and see what decisions we make today will effect our locally owned irrigation district in the future,” said Alamo.
Joe Alamo’s closed by saying “I’m the right person for this job to bring about the necessary change we need here. I’m willing to listen, I’m willing to learn.”
TID Division 5 Director Candidates Pamela Sweeten (Agri Business Advocate) and Ron Macedo (Farmer/Agribusinessman) both answered questions and shared a little about themselves as they vie to replace current TID Director Randy Fiorini who withdrew his candidacy after serving for 16 years. Division 5 includes south Turlock to north Merced County.
Pamela Sweeten’s qualities included her experience while working with the California Women for Agriculture at the state level and American Agri-Women on the national level, while also working as a consultant to farmers that has given her the ability to focus on conservation and management practices in which she believes is key.
“To me understanding both the rural and urban rate payers’ concerns and keeping an open-door policy, so that all view points are heard, is critical, said Sweeten. “ I have been called to do this many times over the years, not only in the work place environment, but as a legislatature working to promote the work of the farmers and ranchers of our state.”
Pamela Sweeten closed  by saying “As the election approaches, I hope to continue to hear what’s on your mind and receive your feedback. I’d love to continue my family’s history with TID by becoming a Board Member. I’m very much into communication and accessibility.”
Ron Macedo state his qualities include having a tremendous amount of experience. He’s done just about every kind of farming in this area and irrigated with every kind of system. 
“My experience with the Farm Bureau, specifically at the state level, covering all kinds of rules and regulations will be invaluable to the members of the board,” said Macedo. “ My involvement in civic groups in town does well because TID is a big part of this community. “
Ron Macedo closed stating “I’d just like to remind you that how proud you should be of the system you have. I know that not everything is perfect at TID, but no system ever will be, but you have to be extremely proud of that so we can move forward. This really is the model system. I look forward to this job; I’ve already done a tremendous amount of work already. I’ve had a lot of people support me and it’s very very flattering, and humbling at the same time.”

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