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Up to $13,000 raised for City Council campaigns

Candidates hear multiple concerns from residents
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The six candidates running for City Council have raised drastically different amounts for their individual campaigns. The candidates have also encountered a variety of issues as they have met with residents this election season. Candidates who raised over $1,000 were required to file a 460 Campaign Disclosure Statement with the city. As of Sept. 30 Councilman Kevin Hanley raised $13,184 and spent $6,971. Hanley said the remaining amount is close to the amount of his personal money he used for the campaign. Hanley said the funds have gone toward fliers, mailers, Auburn Journal and KAHI advertising and a website. As of Sept. 30 Councilman Mike Holmes had raised $11,542 and had spent $8,233. Holmes said the money was spent on signs, advertisements in the Auburn Journal, a website and ad design. City Clerk Joe Labrie said $230 was donated to him, and he has spent $190 of that amount so far. The money went toward producing fliers and bookmark handouts. As of Sept. 30 Mayor Bridget Powers raised $8,642 and loaned her campaign $2,931 of her own money. She spent $9,534. Powers said the money was spent on signs, brochures, mailers and purchasing food for fundraisers. Planning Commissioner Bob Snyder said people donated an unsolicited $1,500 toward his campaign and he spent the full amount. Snyder said the money was spent on signs, advertising and holding a fundraiser for the Fourth of July fireworks to be used at the upcoming summer celebration at the Gold Country Fairgrounds. Taxpayer Advocate Dan Sokol said he contributed $250 of his own money to his campaign and has spent all of it. Sokol said the funds went toward the ballot candidate statement as well as fliers. Hanley said there are several topics he has discussed with constituents. “I get a lot of concerns on the wildfire issue,” Hanley said. “That’s a major one, and a lot of people ask me, ‘Are you watching our tax dollars at the city?’ Everybody is under tough economic times, and they want the city to watch every dime, and so I explain that the city has a 30 percent reserve and performance-based budgeting, and the charter city idea, and how we … get more for less.” Holmes said there are three major things voters have been talking to him about. “The main issues … have been the Baltimore Ravine specific plan and where people think that ‘s going and the economic health of the city,” Holmes said “A lot of people I’m talking to are also concerned about the Auburn State Recreation Area and keeping that open, which is why there is a public forum being held Tuesday at the Placer County Board of Supervisors at 6 p.m. for people who want to learn more about where that particular effort stands.” Labrie said he has heard comments from residents about Central Square and money the city has already spent. “The one thing that really got people angry was this thing about the (engraved) names on the street (tiles) for $8,000 (in Central Square),” Labrie said. “That really bothers a lot of people. Mainly (concerns are) that Central Square is too busy, there is too much stuff there, but otherwise (people) really like it.” Powers said she has heard questions about a lot of hot topics. “(I have talked with residents about) Baltimore Ravine, the sewer treatment plant, upgrades and stay (local) or go (regional), and of course public safety, making sure our community is safe,” Powers said. “Those are probably the biggest, those items. I believe that Baltimore Ravine is going to be one of the biggest discussion items that the council has seen in many years, and a lot of care and attention needs to be paid. We need to have careful consideration to make sure that we are doing the right thing for our community.” Snyder said community involvement and finances have been intertwined in his discussions with voters. He also said the Auburn State Recreation Area and possible solutions to keep it open are big topics of concern. “The main issue that I think has surfaced is the decreasing revenues to the city will cause us to rethink and redeploy … how the police operate, how the firefighters operate, how the public works folks operate, and how we can back them up with community involvement.” Sokol said Streetscape and possible future developments have come up during his conversations with residents. “They are extremely concerned about the condition of the streets and sidewalks,” Sokol said. “Money has gone elsewhere that should have gone there. I don’t think there is the support for Streetscape that some of the other candidates claim. Of course the other issue is Baltimore Ravine. There are those who think it should be left as is at the expense of the existing landowners forever, and there are those who feel it should be developed without any constraints on development.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com