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City Council candidates wrap up campaigns

Comments offer different views, thoughts
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn residents have a multitude of choices when it comes to who will represent them at City Hall. The six candidates vying for three seats in today’s election are Councilman Kevin Hanley, Councilman Mike Holmes, City Clerk Joe Labrie, Mayor Bridget Powers, Planning Commissioner Bob Snyder and Taxpayer Advocate Dan Sokol. Hanley said Monday he was finishing up going door-to-door talking with constituents in neighborhoods throughout the city. Tuesday morning from 7:30-9 a.m. he plans to hold campaign signs near Rowdy Randy’s on High Street. Hanley said he has noticed one commonality in talking to residents throughout his campaign. “I think Auburn residents really want to preserve our small-town charm and vitality,” Hanley said. “People say if they wanted to move to Sacramento or Roseville, they would do it, but they sense something very unique about Auburn … and I think they want local government leaders to set policies to keep that in place and enhance it. Because of the economic times (residents want government to) try to focus on the basics, try to focus on public safety, but be sure (government is) spending (its) money wisely.” Hanley said he plans to attend an election night party at Steve Galyardt’s house in the Aeolia Heights neighborhood. Holmes said Monday he planned to visit several Downtown Auburn businesses to wrap up his campaign and express his appreciation to supporters. Holmes said in his talks with residents he hasn’t noticed a want for change in City Council representation. “I have a feeling there is not a great deal of unhappiness with the current City Council,” Holmes said. “There are no great issues that have been brought up by the public, but I just want to kind of get the gauge of how things are working. When we march to victory tomorrow night, I’ll be happy that it’s over.” Holmes said he plans to spend election night at the Placer County Office of Elections on Richardson Drive as well as at the Power Club Restaurant and Brewery on Harrison Avenue. Labrie said Monday he planned to spend the last hours of his campaign focusing on talking to residents in the Auburn Ravine Road area. Labrie said the most important parts of the campaign have been the reasons he decided to run. “What caused me to get into the campaign is the fairness issue and the way (I think) the council throws money away,” Labrie said. “The people don’t know what is going on at City Hall, they just don’t know. There is a fairness issue with the employees, not just me. (The city clerk paycut) doesn’t affect me until the end of my term (in 2012). It affects my successor – whoever that is. It could be me.” Labrie said he plans to either watch the counting of the ballots at the elections office or stay home Tuesday night. Powers said Monday she planned to spend the last hours of her campaign knocking on doors. She also plans to stand on the corner of Auburn-Folsom Road and Lincoln Way with a campaign sign Tuesday morning. Powers said she thinks the campaign has been difficult because of the community’s feelings toward multiple candidates in the race. “It has been the most challenging campaign, because there are some very well-liked people running for this election. (The race also includes) people who have all worked together, and we really like each other. It’s been very difficult saying, ‘Please vote for me,’ when I have a lot of respect for the others as well.” Powers said she plans to be at Auburn Bike Works on Grass Valley Highway from 6 p.m. to about 11 p.m. Tuesday to listen for election results. Snyder said he has wrapped up his campaign and is now leaving the decision to the voters. Snyder said he thinks his reasons for running fit with the concerns of residents. “The one thing that stood out for me was that my focus was on the city finances, government financing, how the money is just not there,” Snyder said. “It looks like the voters got that message too – let’s fix this financial problem. Sometimes an election is focused around war, or social issues or something like that, but this time it’s pretty clear everyone is focused on their job security, how the government spends their money.” Snyder said he has an Auburn Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night and is then holding a party at his house for several campaign supporters. Sokol said he has also wrapped up his campaign, because he thinks voters have made up their minds. Sokol said he ran because he felt a change was needed in council representation. “I don’t think the other candidates fairly represent the residents of Auburn,” Sokol said. “They are running for the Chamber of Commerce. They think that what (happens to) business is the most important issue facing Auburn. It has been a very interesting and, I think, beneficial campaign, and I think it’s been very important that we have had the campaign.” Sokol said he plans to stay home to hear the election results Tuesday night. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com