Ron Stearn is now in his fifth decade as a member of the Sonora City Council and is currently serving as Sonora’s Mayor for the fifth time.
Stearn was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
Stearn’s City Council career spans an unprecedented 51-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 issue he feels will be important over the next couple of years is dealing with rising employee retirement and benefit expenses. Stearn continues to remain concerned over how much control the state has over local city business.
Stearn was selected in 2014 to serve as the Mayor for two years. The Council typically uses a rotating system to select the Mayor. Connie Williams is the next in line and is currently the Mayor Pro-Tem.