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Daniels, Schaefer to be sworn in next month. Here’s their top priorities

Bret Daniels, left, along with Tim Schaefer, right, were the top vote-getters in their respective council district races in Citrus Heights on Nov. 3. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report– Tim Schaefer and Bret Daniels are slated to be sworn in for four-year terms on the Citrus Heights City Council next month, after each received more than 60% of the vote in their respective districts.

Daniels is already serving on the City Council as an at-large councilman, but will officially take his seat as the council representative for District 1, which covers the western portion of the city. Schaefer, who currently serves as Planning Commission chair, will take his seat as District 3 representative, which covers the southwestern portion of the city.

Both will be sworn in at the City Council’s Dec. 10 meeting, according to an announcement Thursday by Mayor Jeff Slowey, who is retiring from the council and did not run for re-election.

Results on election night showed Daniels in the lead with 63%, with challenger Nicole Castor at 36%. As more votes were counted, his lead dropped slightly to 62%. Schaefer’s initial lead of 62% maintained throughout the vote count, with challenger Thomas Goetz earning about 37% of the vote.

More than 90% of votes countywide have now been counted and no known challenges to the results have been filed.

Daniels said his priorities will “remain public safety, quality of life, and economic vitality.” He said a focus on these issues “will allow our city to weather the storm of COVID restrictions and reduced revenue.”

With the apparent defeat of Measure M, which would have boosted the city’s General Fund by an estimated $12 million annually, Daniels said the council will also “likely need the courage to look at not only a wage freeze but possibly wage reductions over the next two years.” He also said selling the city-owned 11-acre property at Sylvan Corners and “perhaps some of the Sayonara properties” would be top priorities.

In an email to The Sentinel on Saturday, Schaefer said he will “do my best work with Bret Daniels and the rest of the Council to provide the highest level of services that the budget allows” and said he will work to ensure the Police Department “gets the resources they need to keep our community safe.”

He also expressed strong support for the city’s Sunrise Tomorrow vision to redevelop Sunrise Mall, which he said “will be a tremendous economic benefit to all of the businesses of the city.”

The City Council last year adopted a new district map, which created five distinct council districts in the city — with one council member elected to represent each district. Only voters residing within a district’s boundaries are able to vote for the council member running for that district’s seat.

Previously, council elections were held at-large, with voters able to vote for all five council seats — regardless of which area of the city they resided in. The change resulted from a lawsuit threat in late-2018 that forced the city to shift away from at-large voting, to avoid costly litigation over alleged violations of the California Voting Rights Act, which favors district-based elections.

*This story was updated to reflect the proper districts for each candidate.

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