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2014 Citrus Heights Council Candidates Differ on Taxes, New City Hall

Looking to find out more about who’s running in the local Citrus Heights city council election?

The five city council candidates seated next to a League of Women Voters moderator at Saturday's forum.
The five Citrus Heights city council candidates sit alongside a League of Women Voters moderator during an October 11 voter forum.

With the election coming on Tuesday, we’ve updated this candidate forum story from October with separate audio clips for each of the eight questions candidates were asked.

Candidate answers show their greatest difference to be on plans for an estimated $18.9 million new city hall, with challengers Tim Schaefer and Bridget Duffy against the proposal, while incumbents Steve Miller, Mel Turner and Jeannie Bruins spoke favorably of the plan to build a new hall during the forum — although Bruins said she’d  wait for a traffic study and Environmental Impact Report before committing to a final decision.

Candidates were also divided during the forum on whether they supported a failed 2012 tax increase known as Measure K, with Miller, Turner and Bruins saying they supported it to help pay for roads and police services, while Schaefer and Duffy said they opposed the tax measure.

*Editor’s note: to listen to the candidates’ full answers to any of the eight questions asked, click on the audio below:

1. Public Safety: “Two days ago, the Citrus Heights city council voted unanimously to oppose Prop 47, with our Police Chief stating that the proposition would ‘virtually assure’ the release of 10,000 inmates into local communities. What is your position on Prop 47, and what is your plan to enhance public safety in Citrus Heights?”

Candidate answers (5:01)

2. New City Hall Proposal “What is your position on the City of Citrus Heights’ proposal to relocate city hall and can you tell and explain why this is — or is not — beneficial to taxpayers?”

Candidate answers (5:27)

3. Taxes: “The local tax increase known as Measure K was shot down by Citrus Heights voters in 2012 — although it was supported by councilmembers at the time. Would you support future tax increases, and did you support Measure K? Why, or why not?”

Candidate answers (5:47)

4. Special Interests: “Each election, there’s a lot of talk about special interests controlling candidates. On October 6, you all filed a campaign disclosure form, showing who donated to you and how much. Take a minute to share with voters who your top two donors are, and how these donations would — or would not – have an influence on decisions you would make.”

Candidate answers (5:01)

5. Homelessness: “Vice Mayor Sue Frost has said she questions whether it is the proper role of government to solve the problem of homelessness – or whether most aspects of the problem are best solved by private charity. Given the complaints about homelessness in Citrus Heights, what do you believe the proper role of government is in regard to homelessness in our community?”

Candidate answers: (5:58)

6. Schools: “Although the City and San Juan Unified School Districts are two different government entities, many citrus heights residents have expressed concern about the plans for Sylvan Middle School. What role, if any, should city councilmembers have in this matter?”

Candidate answers (5:46)

7. Business: “Citrus Heights has sought to create a City that is business-friendly, with stores like Stein Mart opening earlier this month and HD Supply opening next week. What specifically would you do to keep and attract businesses in Citrus Heights?”

Candidate answers (5:50)

8. Measuring Success: “If you are elected — or re-elected — to the city council, how will you personally measure your success as a councilmember after four years?”

Candidate answers (5:44)

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