Residents consider candidacy

Three non-incumbents pull City Council papers
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn may see some new faces in elected positions after Nov. 2. Residents Dan Sokol, Bob Snyder and Joseph Labrie have pulled papers for Auburn City Council, according to the Placer County Elections Office website. Labrie is also Auburn’s current City Clerk. His term for the position ends in November 2012. Sokol said he is thinking about running because the City Council needs more diversity in its opinions and votes. Over the last two years too many decisions have been made by a 5-0 vote, Sokol said. “Many of these issues, there is quite a bit to be said for and against them,” Sokol said. “And when it’s five to zero you wonder if there is really the thinking going into them that there should be.” Sokol said if he decides to run, he hopes to bring that diversity to the table. “We haven’t seen that in the last two years and probably the last four years, so I am contemplating filing,” he said. Snyder and Labrie were unavailable for comment on the election as of press time Tuesday. Mayor Bridget Powers, Councilman Kevin Hanley and Councilman Mike Holmes are running for City Council re-election. City Council has three open positions. Auburn Recreation District board members and local residents Scott Holbrook and Curtis Smith are running for re-election with Chris Asbury possibly vying for a position as well. The Auburn Recreation District has two open positions. Asbury, who has lived in Auburn for 19 years, said there are several reasons why he would make a good addition to the district’s board. “I have an extensive background in finance … and I have also been involved with many of the local user groups for ARD,” Asbury said. Asbury said he also has the necessary creativity to help the district succeed, and has been involved with most of the local youth athletic organizations. He has coached basketball for the district, coached for Auburn Little League, was a board member of the Auburn Youth Soccer Club and a board member for the 49er Youth Soccer League, Asbury said. Asbury said he has experience serving as a board member for Rebuilding Together in Sacramento. The international organization rehabilitates homes for the elderly and underprivileged. Cost control, raising funds and gaining volunteerism are some of Asbury’s goals for the district, he said. “We need to look at being creative, trying to look at programs for their effectiveness, making sure they are appropriately priced,” he said. “It’s a good business model in which you can take a small amount of funds and some sweat equity so to speak, and get a project complete in a short amount of time.” It’s also necessary for the district to take a new user survey to find out what services are currently popular or needed, Asbury said. “I think one of the things we have to do is step back and find out what are the current challenges,” he said. “I think we just have to do a better job turning over as many rocks as possible to find opportunities.” Holbrook, who has served on the board for 12 years and lived in Auburn for 22 years, said he is happy to run again. “I’m just so proud of ARD, and I just really enjoy serving the community by serving on the ARD board,” Holbrook said. Holbrook said he adds an important asset to the board. “I bring a very prudent fiscal approach,” he said. “Really it’s going to be a continuing struggle for as far as I can see now to keep the restraints necessary to keep the old ARD chugging along. Treading water right now is the goal.” Holbrook said although the economy is an issue, he has definite dreams for the future of the district. “I have a lot of great goals,” he said. “We obviously want to expand our facilities and opportunities for the community. I would like to see some more water-type feature facilities. We definitely have a changing demographic in the community, so we are looking to add more senior-type activities.” Smith, who will have served on the board for four years at the end of this term and has lived in Auburn 16 years, said being involved is important to him. “I enjoy doing something in the community, and I enjoy helping people out and providing facilities and things,” Smith said. “I have a good time. I enjoy doing that.” Smith said he definitely brings a more behind-the-scenes asset to the board. “I’m a retired business executive,” he said. “I bring business acumen to the board. They refer to me as a data person. When I worked, I worked in contract negotiations. I probably cover the business end of ARD better than most.” Smith said he also enjoys seeing projects like Party in the Park through from start to finish. “It’s such a neat thing for the community, but it takes all year long to put it together,” he said. Reach Bridget Jones at ---------------------------------------------------- Call to candidates Potential candidates have until Friday to file with the Placer County Office of Elections, or Aug. 11 if the position’s incumbent does not file. The elections office is encouraging more candidates to file papers for a number of positions throughout the county, according to a press release. “Every general election, dozens of people are appointed to local district boards because there are not enough people who file for office,” the press release states. “There are still several local offices that will not appear on the November ballot if additional individuals do not file. If you would like to have a say in what happens in your community, filing for office is the perfect opportunity to do so. Give voters a choice in who will be making the decisions that affect them, instead of the board appointing someone for you.” The office is looking for candidates for Placer County Board of Education, community college districts, high school districts, unified school districts, elementary school districts, Truckee Tahoe Airport District, community services districts, fire protection districts, city/town offices and more. For more information contact the Placer County Office of Elections at (530) 886-5650.