Note: In the interest of providing voter information and fair election coverage, The Sentinel has given all five Citrus Heights City Council candidates an equal opportunity to submit 100-word written statements on a variety of local issues. Treston Shull’s unedited responses can be found below.
Treston Shull, 34, currently serves as treasurer for the Birdcage Heights Neighborhood Association and is seeking to be a new voice on the City Council. He has lived in Citrus Heights for five years and has earned endorsements from Supervisor Sue Frost, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association PAC and the Sacramento County Probation Association. (Click to read full candidate profile)
One of the City’s three-year strategic planning goals is to enhance and expand public safety. What specifically would you advocate doing to accomplish this goal?
“Keeping neighborhoods safe is government’s #1 responsibility. We have to start with the budget — it’s easy to talk about making the community safer, but the truth is that we are not safer than we were four years ago. We need to ensure we prioritize funding for law enforcement in the budget, add patrols to keep up with growing problems, and invest in life-saving technology for our officers.”
Homelessness continues to be ranked among the top issues faced by businesses and residents in Citrus Heights. What additional actions do you believe should be taken to address this, and what role do you see private organizations playing?
“This is one of the issues I hear about most from voters — and almost 30% of our calls for service are related to homeless. We have to admit that more handouts have not and will not solve the problem — it might even be making it worse.
“As councilman, I will work with the Police Chief to explore creating Homeless Outreach Teams — officers dedicated to tackling homeless problems; explore enforcement alternatives to a ‘anti-camping’ ordinance the courts have ruled against; and look for partnerships that help move people out of homelessness.”
In August, the City Council voted 4-1 to pursue a $500,000 mandatory inspection program for thousands of rental homes/apartments in Citrus Heights. Do you believe the council made the right decision?
“No. Housing is already expensive, and increased fees on rental housing costs will just be passed on to renters and unfairly penalize responsible owners. We need to be aggressive at pursuing irresponsible owners, however only 27% of our rental housing units generated complaints, yet the city will charge 100% of rental owners for the new inspection program.”
In four years, Citrus Heights will finally begin receiving its share of property taxes (estimated over $5 million/yr), due to a 25-year “revenue neutrality” agreement with the county as a condition of incorporation coming to a close. How do you think that money would be best allocated, and why?
“We need to focus on three priorities: increase public safety/law enforcement, build reserves to protect taxpayers and vital services, and invest in better roads and real economic development.”
Proposition 6 seeks to repeal SB 1, which increased gas taxes and vehicle licensing fees to help cover transportation-related projects. How will you vote on Prop 6 and what option(s) for road maintenance in Citrus Heights will you advocate for if SB 1 funding goes away?
“I am proud to have earned the endorsement of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association because they know I will stand up for taxpayers in Citrus Heights. We need to focus on local solutions to fix our roads.”
Proposition 10 seeks to allow local governments to enact rent control on any type of rental housing. If Prop 10 passes, would you be in favor of implementing rent control in Citrus Heights? Why or why not?
“I oppose Prop 10 because it will reduce housing options while increasing cost.”
Nearby cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Davis have voted to discontinue their redlight camera programs in recent years. If elected to the council, would you vote to renew the City’s contract with Redflex and continue redlight cameras in Citrus Heights? Why or why not?
“We need to see what the new contract will look like. Although I don’t think the city should monetize public safety or law enforcement, we absolutely need to improve oversight to ensure that citizens aren’t being unfairly targeted just to bring in a few dollars.”
Schools in Citrus Heights have long been criticized as under-performing. Although the San Juan Unified School Board is ultimately tasked with governing local schools, what role (if any) do you believe the City Council can play in improving education in Citrus Heights?
“I agree we need to improve our schools in Citrus Heights, but we should be partnering with SJUSD, not feuding with them. We need to find ways to support vocational programs, ensure teachers can afford to live here, and do more to involve families.”
Citrus Heights has striven to be a business-friendly city ever since its incorporation in 1997. What more do you believe could be done to attract new businesses and help existing businesses thrive in Citrus Heights?
“We like to say we are business-friendly, but is that accurate? We’ve seen business after business close in Citrus Heights, yet done little to figure out why they are closing or what they would need stay or grow. I will bring together business leaders in a “summit” to identify the biggest local barriers to economic growth — and create a real plan to turn it around. Citrus Heights need to re-align it’s economic base, so we need to be innovative and look for real solutions.”
Want to see where the other four candidates stand on local issues? Click here