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Longtime city clerk challenged in November race

Labrie has been in position for more than a decade
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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A longtime incumbent in the position of Auburn city clerk has some competition coming up in the Nov. 6 electon.

If reelected, Joseph Labrie will have been Auburn's city clerk for the past 12 years as of December. He is up against Stephanie Snyder, of Auburn, who is running for public office for the first time.

Labrie said in all his years as city clerk he has only missed four meetings.

"It's one way of becoming involved in government even though I'm not governing," Labrie said. "It also makes you aware of what is going on in the city because I attend all of the council meetings."

Snyder, who has lived in Auburn for 16 years, is a senior management analyst with the City of Rancho Cordova. She said she works with the city manager and staff and steps in and conducts the duties of a city clerk at times.

"I help gather data and help people come together and make decisions," she said.

Snyder said she decided to run because she wants to "bring the city clerk's office into the 21st century" with a document managing system.

"The current methods used are pretty antiquated with the exception of the city council agenda being available on the website and having the municipal code online," she said. "Other than that they don't have any easy way for very busy people to keep up with what is going on."

Labrie feels that one of his biggest responsibilities is to speak out when he thinks something isn't being done with transparency in mind.

One recent example of when Labrie voiced displeasure of the council's actions was the Measure A charter city initiative that failed.

"The city charter is a prime example. I spoke out against the charter because I thought it was misleading and deceptive and incomplete," Labrie said.

Labrie has also taken issue with changes to the Brown Act, which deals with alerting the public when there is a meeting scheduled. The City of Auburn releases its agendas at least 72 hours before the actual meeting date and time.

Snyder said she values transparency as well and thinks the way to improve the amount of public interaction with the council is through technology.

"This is an opportunity to offer the services from the city clerk's office that fits in with people's lives by employing technology to provide more transparency and accessibility," Snyder said.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.