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On The Issues: Auburn parks candidate Fecko answers key questions

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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The November election gives Auburn residents the opportunity to choose two of five positions on the Auburn Recreation District board.

And the Journal is asking questions on key issues in the race for a seat on the parks board.

There are three candidates — incumbents Scott Holbrook and Jim Ferris, retired parks district employee Joe Fecko — on the ballot.

The Journal has reached out to the three for answers. Fecko’s responses to questions appear in today’s edition.

Journal: Have you opposed something that the recreation district board has done? If so, what was it and why did you oppose it?

Fecko: The most recent issue I disagreed with the Board on was a vote by the Board to disregard a blatant act of vandalism. An ARD banner advertising an upcoming event was cut to shreds. The perpetrator acknowledged that he did it and showed no remorse, nor did he offer an apology or restitution. It’s rare that ARD catches such a culprit and when they do, they prosecute. Not doing so in this case sends the wrong message.

Journal: What are the Top 3 issues facing the district?

Fecko: 1. Infrastructure maintenance issues?

2.  Equitable distribution of developer paid park mitigation fees paid to the County.

3. Repairing the important relationship with our two local County Supervisors.

Journal: What would be your first priority if elected to the district board and why?

Fecko: Strengthening ARD’s position for funding new projects. The need to develop a system of guaranteed park mitigation fees from the County is foremost on my list of priorities. Working together with our local Supervisors as well as County staff, we can come to a mutually acceptable solution.  The amount of funds available in this area fluctuates but is currently about $500,000. If we were able to reserve a significant portion of these fees, it would go a long way to paying for big projects, like development of the 24 acres in North Auburn.

Journal: Why should residents in the ARD vote for you?

Fecko: I spent the past 12 years as ARD’s Chief Financial Officer and Administrative Services Manager. I retired in June so I could run for this important office. By virtue of my position at ARD, I dare say that I know the District better than anyone other than the District Administrator.  I am a fiscal conservative who watches where every dime of money is spent, and I come with no specific agenda other than to provide the best parks for those that pay for them, our taxpayers. I will NEVER lose sight of that!

Journal: What are your qualifications for the job of ARD board member?

Fecko: As I said above, I spent the past 12 years as ARD’s Chief Financial Officer. I have intimate knowledge of every aspect of ARD’s operations.

Before coming to ARD, I owned a successful manufacturing business for 10 years. And prior to that, I was the Vice President and Treasurer for an international manufacturing company for 17 years.

I have the knowledge and background to be a very effective Board member and the folks below believe so too by endorsing my campaign for this important position: Daniel Berlant, Leilani Johnston, Jim Holmes, Cheryl Maki, Keith Nesbitt, Jennifer Montgomery, Matt Spokely, Bob Snyder, Ken Tokutomi

Journal: Here are some basic questions for you to answer: Age? Family? How long in Auburn?   Education? Elected office experience?:

Fecko: Age: 66

Family: Married, two adult children

How long in Auburn:  Lived in Auburn 22 years

Education: BS Physiology and Behavioral Biology, California State University, San Francisco

BS Finance, California State University, San Francisco