Note: As part of The Sentinel’s 2018 coverage of local elections, we have asked a series of seven identical questions to each of the candidates running for a seat on the Citrus Heights City Council. The questions are designed to give each of the five candidates an opportunity to introduce themselves to the community and give voters an opportunity to learn more about each candidate’s life and background. More specific policy questions will be addressed in future articles. Candidates replied via email, and those who responded to each question in less than 100 words have their answers published word-for-word.
Jeannie Bruins, Vice Mayor of Citrus Heights | Age: 71
Top endorsements: Supervisor Sue Frost, Former Congressman Doug Ose, Senator Jim Nielsen
Basic bio: “I have lived in Citrus Heights for 34 years, since 1984. I grew up mostly in Costa Mesa and then lived in various part of Los Angeles, settling in Hermosa Beach for 10 years before moving to Citrus Heights. I attended UCLA and Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach, FL. I’ve been single for 36 years and I have 2 grown sons, 4 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. I am 71 years young! Leadership experience includes President of the Citrus Heights Chamber in 1989; co-chaired the campaign for Yes on Measure R in 1996, which gave cityhood to Citrus Heights…”
Why are you running for City Council?
- To insure we have a plan in place for the next 4 years until our property taxes are received and then to be sure we have a prudent, but aggressive plan to use those funds for infrastructure needs and to further invest in economic development and to rebuild our reserves.
- To help build the new economy in light of the transformation that is happening due to technology, with a focus on jobs creation and mixed use.
- Get better education in Citrus Heights schools cooperating with the school district or another education partner.
What are two things you like most about living in Citrus Heights?
“(1) Quality of life it offers and (2) good governance. I moved here in 1984 as a single mother with one son entering college and one son entering preschool. Citrus Heights provided a stable environment with old fashioned American values in which to raise my son. Governance is responsive, good policing provides safety and is a key component in our economic development; and there are many opportunities for the public to get involved.”
What are the top two things you’d like to change/improve in Citrus Heights, if any?
- I’d like to see Citrus Heights become a thriving jobs center, with good paying jobs offering room to grow within Citrus Heights.
- Offer a topnotch school system that draws involved families to our community because they want their kids to attend our schools.
What are two books that have had the most influence on your life, and why/how?\
“Besides the Bible, Never Look Back, by Dr. Henry Cloud, and Who Moved My Cheese, by Dr. Spencer Johnson. Never Look Back challenges me to look at myself and make the changes in my life that help me to continually grow, a necessary component of leadership and good relationships. Who Moved My Cheese challenges me to thrive in a changing environment, very necessary for the days ahead for the City.”
What are three key principles that would guide your votes on the council?
- Community first – my vote should benefit the community now and for future generations.
- Weigh both (or all) sides of the issue, while listening to input from the community, staff and other resources involved in the issue. Do my due diligence an avoid jumping to conclusions.
- Make decisions within the framework of our stated values and that are consistent with our strategic planning goals.
What kind of volunteer work have you done for charities, churches or service organizations in the community?
“I was a 23-year member of Citrus Heights Rotary, serving as president in 1999-2000; I served on the Community Planning Advisory Council before Citrus Heights became a city; served on the Sacramento Airport Visioning Task Force that eventually led to building Terminal B. On two occasions I served on the SJUSD Community Advisory Committee that interviewed candidates for superintendent, making recommendations to the School Board; charter board member and current Vice President of PAL; guest teacher at Mesa Verde HS as part of the Job Readiness program; volunteer at church — teaching kids and singing; support the youth center on Sayonara Drive and was instrumental in getting it started; started the Sylvan Ranch Community Garden; volunteer reader in schools, helped seniors in senior living centers register to vote.”
City Council members are paid a small monthly stipend of $600 for their service. If elected, how do you plan to balance work life elsewhere with council responsibilities?
“I am unmarried and my kids are grown so I’m able to work and carry out my city council duties as needed. Because I am self-employed and work from home, I have great flexibility to respond to community needs and concerns as they arise. I don’t rely on the monthly stipend as part of my earnings. I have it invested in a 457 plan for my retirement years.”
See all candidate profiles: Election 2018: Meet the 5 candidates running for Citrus Heights City Council