Sonora, CA — Ron Stearn is back in a familiar role, serving as Sonora’s Mayor for the fifth time.
Stearn’s City Council career spans an unprecedented 50-years. He says it’s hard to come to terms with how the City’s General Fund budget is up to around $4.5 million. “When I first got elected in 1964, the whole budget was $178,000,” says Stearn. “But, things were different then. You could buy bread for 12 cents a loaf and a quart of milk for 12 cents. Inflation is the hardest thing for me to keep my arms around, and figure out sometimes.”
Stearn first ran for public office at the encouragement of the downtown Merchants Association. He has longtime been an advocate for additional parking in the downtown district. Stearn feels that parking will remain a big issue over the next two years with the gradual implementation of the Vision Sonora plan. It calls from improving mobility and the aesthetics of downtown Sonora, but it could result in a few less parking spots.
Another issues he feels will be important over the next couple of years is dealing with rising employee retirement and benefit expenses.
Stearn was elected last night to serve as the Mayor for the next two years. The Council typically uses a rotating system to select the Mayor. Matt Hawkins was the next in line, but he did not win re-election in June. Last night Council member Connie Williams was selected to be the Mayor Pro-Tem.