NEWS-LEDGER — JULY 25, 2012
By Steve Marschke, News-Ledger Editor
A number of seats for West Sacramento city office and local school board will be on the ballot on November 6.
Voters will be asked whether to return Christopher Cabaldon for another two-year term as mayor, and whether to give city council members Bill Kristoff and Oscar Villegas new four-year terms.
Also up for their regularly-scheduled elections will be three of the five seats on the Washington Unified School District Board of Trustees. They’re the seats now held by board president Teresa Blackmer and by Mary Leland and David Westin.
The three incumbents in the city race — Mayor Cabaldon and councilmen Villegas and Kristoff — each told the News-Ledger this week they will run again.
“The city is in solid shape,” reported Cabaldon. “We have the economic challenges from the economy and from the state’s challenges, but we’re pushing through this without massive service cuts, swimming pool closures, fire station cuts, layoffs or certainly bankruptcy. We’re seeing economic development activity start to pick up.”
Developer activity and building permits are creeping up, he said. Foreclosures are sliding down. “The trends which have been negative for the past three years are now in the other direction,” said Cabaldon.
He said West Sacramento needs to continue to focus on flood protection — “keeping the laser-focus of the city on what is a gigantic project for a city of our size.” He also wants to push waterfront development, including a new hotel, partly for economic benefit and partly for the “quality of life” issues that he expects new restaurants and other amenities to bring to all West Sacramentans.
And Cabaldon believes the city government needs to keep pushing economic development, even though the state has taken away the tools that used to be available from the local redevelopment agency.
Cabaldon, 46, has three “day jobs” with educational policy connections. He’s a program officer for the nonprofit California Education Policy Fund, executive director of the Linked Learning Alliance, and a director of the California Legislative Staff Education Institute.
“I’m absolutely running again,” Councilman Oscar Villegas also told the News-Ledger.
Villegas, 45, works for a state agency that oversees state and local corrections department issues.
What’s he done on the council?
“I have been able to contribute to a balanced approach,” said Villegas. “My approach comes from a lot of on-the-job training, but I was born and raised here.”
He said he wants to keep focusing on “the whole idea of making our fiscal practices sustainable.”
“And the flood issue, crime rate and public safety issues have become near and dear to me.”
Bill Kristoff is a retired postal employee, age 65.
“I took out my (reelection) papers and I’m in the process of gathering the signatures,” said Kristoff.
“The city’s in pretty good shape,” he commented. “We’ve been in better shape in the past, but we’re doing the right things. There are a lot of projects being talked about — although I only really get excited once I see sticks in the ground.”
“Flood control is out top priority,” Kristoff agreed. “Making sure our budget is secure and making sure we have adequate funds to supply services is another.”
Closing date to file as a candidate for this election is August 10, although candidates start their paperwork well in advance. If any of the incumbents does not file by Aug. 10, the filing period for challengers will be extended to Aug. 15. Anyone interested in running for mayor or city council should contact the city clerk’s office at 617-4500 or 1110 West Capitol Avenue.
The deadlines to become a candidate for school board are the same. For more information or to become a WUSD school board candidate, contact the Yolo County Elections Department, 625 Court Street Room B05 in Woodland, (530) 666-8133.
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Copyright News-Ledger 2012