City Council candidates speak out

Former councilman, current City Clerk plan to run
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A former Auburn City Council member and current City Clerk have decided to add their names to the list of candidates vying for three City Council positions. Other candidates include three incumbents. Bob Snyder, who served on the council from 2004-2008 and has lived in Auburn for 15 years, officially filed his papers Wednesday at the Placer County Office of Elections. Snyder spoke officially for the first time this week. Snyder said his experience and education give him the skills to lead Auburn through tough times. “Basically I see the city in the next four years again facing some financial difficulty with the state finances the way they are,” Snyder said. “There are going to be some hard choices that have to be made.” Snyder said his goal is for the city to no longer eat into its financial reserves. He also wants to continue the Project Canyon Safe effort he has helped spearhead as a member of the Greater Auburn Area Fire Safe Council. “I want to get it all cleared and then a maintenance program set up so it’s maintained,” he said. “The other important thing is to work to support the local businesses through these difficult financial times.” Councilman Kevin Hanley, who is running for re-election, is also an advocate of Project Canyon Safe, which is now being developed in several neighborhoods throughout Auburn. “It’s meeting all my expectations,” Hanley said in a previous Journal report. “I hoped neighbors would step up and they are. We have just got to keep on going and be patient. Acre by acre is just the way it’s going to get done.” City Clerk Joseph Labrie, who has lived in Auburn and served as clerk for 10 years, said he plans on running for City Council and has several goals in mind. He also spoke for the first time this week. “The city needs more transparency and openness in dealing with the staff and public,” Labrie said. Labrie also said he would treat a council position as a full-time job and would knock on residents’ doors to talk with them about current issues. “How can you govern 13,000 people part time?” Labrie asked. Labrie said if he is elected, the City Council would have to appoint a temporary City Clerk until the current term runs out in 2012. Jim McCauley, Placer County clerk/recorder/registrar of voters, said if Labrie is elected for the new position, the City Council would have to make a public notice of the open position and appoint the temporary clerk in 30 days. “Usually what happens is the City Council would call for applications and any resident within the city would be able to submit applications saying why they would make an excellent City Clerk,” McCauley said. Having citizen complaints go through the City Clerk’s office as well as only allowing council members to serve two terms are things Labrie said he would like to see happen during his time on the council if he is elected. Running for City Council re-election are Mayor Bridget Powers, Councilman Kevin Hanley and Councilman Mike Holmes. Dan Sokol has also pulled papers for the position, but it was unclear as of the Friday deadline whether he had formally filed. Powers said in a previous Journal report she is looking forward to completing projects such as phase two of Streetscape and securing funding for the rest of the phases. “I’m very excited to be running for City Council for my second term, and I’m looking forward to continuing with the projects that we have been working on for the last four years, almost four and a half years, that I’ve been on the City Council,” Powers said. Holmes said in a previous report his top priorities are public safety including services offered by the Auburn Police and Fire departments and the Public Works Department. “I am proud of the record I have established in representing you on the city council,” Holmes said. “Some of those votes and issues have not been easy, but I am especially proud of my role in protecting private property rights when we expanded the redevelopment district. We voted not to use eminent domain for solely economic development projects. We put funds aside in a reserve account in the event we faced an economic downturn such as we’ve had over the past few years with falling revenue sources for the city.” Locally, Scott Holbrook and Curtis Smith are running for re-election for the Auburn Recreation District board’s two open positions. Chris Asbury is also running for the position. Friday was the final day for candidates to file. Reach Bridget Jones at --------------------------------------------------- Candidate filing Traditionally, candidates running for City Council file their papers through their city clerk, but in Auburn all candidates file with the Placer County Office of Elections. Jim McCauley, Placer County clerk/recorder/registrar of voters, said under California election code, city clerks have the option to ask county clerks to take over filing responsibilities, and it’s not uncommon for that to happen. “That’s been the case for several years (in Auburn),” McCauley said. “The present City Clerk has chosen to use us to do the filing.” McCauley said the Colfax City Clerk also utilizes the county elections office for filing purposes.