While many Turlock citizens are deciding who they are voting for to be the next President of the United States of America in Tuesday’s election, they also will be voting on two Turlock City Council seats that will directly affect Turlock citizens.
There have been several public community forums, each candidate submitted a candidate statement, and have answered many questions from the media and citizens alike. TurlockCityNews.com has provided links to related articles below and one last, brief Q&A for people still trying to decide on who to vote for.
To locate your polling place or for more information on voting within Stanislaus County, visit the Stanislaus County Clerk Recorder’s Office website.
1. What are your main goals if elected to the Turlock City Council?
Mary Jackson: If I am re-elected to the Turlock City Council, my first priority is to balance our city budget, continue to keep a general fund reserve and address the costs of health care and pension reform for our city employees. I want to be fair to each of our six labor groups, but we must ensure we have sound fiscal policies for future generations in Turlock. The next two priorities are filling the Turlock Regional Industrial Park and finding ways to repair our streets and roads. We also need to secure $10 million in funding to remodel the Fulkerth on/off-ramps on Highway 99. We also need more recreational activities, I would like to see the bowling alley project move forward in the next two years, if not sooner.
Steven Nascimento: Balance the budget and encourage economic development.
Amy Bublak: Continue to fight for balanced budgets and against wasteful spending
Focus on bringing new Jobs to our community through the innovative Turlock Partnership Incentives Program, which I led the charge in forming and implementing.
Ensure that our public safety teams have the tools they need to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe.
Sergio Alvarado: One of my main goals is to see the city get its’ house in fiscal order. We no longer have our reserve in place (which was once at $14 Million). Cutting expenses, salary revision, and pension reform are keys to achieving that goal. Only recently has the city begun to work on roads (like repaving Golden State Ave), while letting residential streets suffer. I will see that roads are included in budgets.
2. What area, if any, do you feel Turlock needs the most reform/change?
Steven Nascimento: The City of Turlock has developed a reputation as not being business friendly. I hope to work with the city manager and other members of the council to ensure that measures are taken to change this perception
Amy Bublak: Our City Council should focus on ensuring that our budget is balanced and that we eliminate wasteful spending during these turbulent economic times.
Sergio Alvarado: To be fiscally sound, we must get back to basics, and save for a rainy day. That’s not to say I don’t support Arts or recreation or other programs, but I’d like to see a sound budget before we spend on extras, like a lobbyist that was approved in the recent budget.
Mary Jackson: We need to figure out a way to fund road repair, currently we have $80 million in street and road repair projects. For the last 20 years, the state has held our gas tax money and used it for the state budget deficit. We need to explore different funding ideas, and look at what other counties are doing to repair their roads. It is difficult to not be a "self-help" county where we tax ourselves and the money goes directly to road projects. That is how almost all of the state and federal road monies is handed out and because we do not tax ourselves and are not "self-help, self-tax" we cannot apply for those grants which are worth millions. I also voted as a StanCOG member ,NOT to put the "self-help" tax measure on the 2012 ballot because I felt we couldn’t ask voters to raises taxes in Stanislaus county in such dire economic times. But we need to look at other alternatives for funding.
3. List 3 Top Priorities
Balanced Budget/eliminate wasteful spending
Protect and enhance public safety
Continue to grow our local economy and bring new jobs to our community.
1. Public Safety
2. City infrastructure
Smart, Planned Growth
Maintaining Public Safety funding
4. Why do you believe you’re the most qualified candidate for Council?
Sergio Alvarado: I believe I am the most qualified for council because I am the voice that will represent the residents of Turlock, and not cater to the unions, especially during salary/pension benefits discussions. I support bringing unique major stores to Turlock that aren’t in Modesto, like IKEA or Fry’s, and at the same time revitalizing downtown to make it a more vibrant area of the city. I support small businesses, who are a vital component of the city as well as living a part of the American Dream.
Mary Jackson: I am running on my voting record from the last four years. I believe I have done my best to protect our tax dollars and use our money wisely to benefit the majority of our community. I am fiscally responsible, open and transparent about who supports me financially and my vote cannot be bought or sold. When I tell you I stand for something, I back it up with my vote, both publicly and in closed session. I am humbled to have served for the last four years and would appreciate four more years to protect and sustain our quality of life.
Steven Nascimento: I have a passion for our community, and have spent my career working with Central Valley cities at all levels of government.
Amy Bublak: As an active duty police officer I bring a unique skill set to our council that helps ensure our public safety team is one of the top in the region. The dedication and innovation I have shown over the past 4 years, including such programs as the Turlock Partnership Incentive Program, have allowed small business to grow and flourish in Turlock, giving the residents of our city expanded employment opportunities that other cities in our area are severely lacking.
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