Newly elected members of the Turlock City Council, newly elected Mayor Gary Soiseth and Councilmember Matthew Jacob as well as reelected Councilmember Bill DeHart were sworn during the City Council meeting Dec. 9.
The room was filled with family and friends of the newly elected Council, as well as members of the public. Turlock City Clerk Kellie Weaver read finalized election results and there was a motion to accept the certified results that was passed by the Council in a 4-0 vote with Councilmember Forrest White not present.
Soiseth won the Mayoral seat with 8,374 votes, receiving 60.93 percent of the total vote, according to final certified results from the Stanislaus County Elections Office.
"I’m looking forward to leading this dedicated and energetic group of council members, in addition to guiding such a professional and capable staff,” said Soiseth. “While this Council comes from different backgrounds and experiences, we are similar in our determination to put Turlock first in every decision we make.”
Looking forward, Soiseth noted the workshops to be held starting in January part of his “100 Day Plan” first addressing issues surrounding water reliability, local roads and highway interchanges with openness and transparency.
“In addition to these topics, we will be analyzing our budget—line-by-line—to demonstrate to our constituents that we are delivering them the best and most efficient services in the San Joaquin Valley.”
These workshops will include City and government leaders, and members from the Turlock Irrigation District, Westside Ministries, Planning Commission, other local agencies and groups; additionally, any members of the public are invited to participate.
“Those who join us will also play a central role in crafting a new strategic plan for the city's future, with a strong focus on identifying a clear vision for our police, fire, and recreation departments,” explained Soiseth. “I look forward to working together with Turlock’s citizens and encourage anyone who may be interested in shaping our City’s future to join us.”
Of note, Soiseth will forgo his Mayoral stipend devoting the funds to create a public policy scholarship at California State University, Stanislaus.
In the race for the two open Council seats, Jacob won as top vote-getter with 7,066 votes, for a total of 29.30 percent, followed by DeHart with 6,351 votes for a total of 26.34 percent.
Jacob explained his experience Tuesday night, being sworn in with a number of his friends, family and supporters present.
“It certainly was the culmination of a lot of team work and collaboration,” said Jacob. “Looking out from the dais and seeing my friends, family, and supporters was encouraging.”
“I feel deeply humbled and blessed to have gained the confidence of the Turlock voters who entrusted me with this opportunity to serve.”
DeHart was sworn in for his second term alongside Soiseth and Jacob.
"I am gratified by the faith of the citizens of Turlock in voting for my continued service on the City Council,” said DeHart. “To offer my oath of office serves as evidence that I take the responsibilities of the office seriously, and, affirms my commitment to efficient and effective government.”
He commented on some of the issues that new Council will be facing including water, roads, public safety and appropriate fiscal management.
“As well, and with the passage of Measure A on Election Day, the implementation of Council Districts will require our focus going forward into the next Election cycle in 2016,” added DeHart.
The now two-term Councilmember spoke of his anticipation in working alongside his new fellow members.
“I congratulate Mayor Soiseth and Councilmember Jacob on their election and am excited to welcome them as we begin the work of this next term. I eagerly anticipate joining with them in the coming days as we address the needs of our community,” concluded DeHart.
The three new members took the oath of office swearing to defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; they swore to well and faithfully execute the duty of serving the City of Turlock.
The new Council took their seats and began voting on scheduled agenda items at the Dec. 9 meeting.
Mayor Gary Soiseth taking his oath of office with City Clerk Kellie Weaver. 12-9-14
Councilmember Matthew Jacob swearing in with City Clerk Kellie Weaver. 12-9-14
Councilmember Bill DeHart being sworn in for his second term in Turlock City Council. 12-9-14