Sonora, CA — Two Sonora City Council seats are up for grabs this election year and four candidates are after them full speed ahead.
Hank Russell and Gary Anderson are the incumbents and Matt Hawkins and Jim Garaventa are the challengers.
Russell and Anderson both commented that given the seriousness of today’s economy and the recent announcement that Greg Applegate would be retiring from his City Administrators’ positing, this is no time to be making any changes in the makeup of the Council.
Garaventa stressed that perhaps the Council needs more diversity in its personnel while Hawkins added that some “new blood” might just be what the City needs at this time.
The candidates, for the most part, were also in complete agreement of increasing the Transient Occupancy Tax from eight to 10 percent in order to benefit the city, the county and the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau. Anderson admitted that he decided to do a 180 degree turnabout after visiting with a number of people in the travel and motel-hotel industry. Originally he was not in favor of the proposed increase.
All four candidates stressed the need to either delay or entirely eliminate AB32, the greenhouse gas initiative favored by Governor Schwarzenegger. Matt Hawkins put it this way, “It’s a job killer.”
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