Candidate quits Yuba City council race
Dr. Larry Ozeran started Thursday's forum of Yuba City City Council candidates by announcing his withdrawal from the race because of work with a start-up company that he says has swallowed up all his time.
The remaining four candidates at the forum seemed to split into a pair of camps of the two challengers Rick Walsh and Todd Remund against incumbent Councilman John Dukes and Kash Gill, who was on the council from 2006-10.
Walsh said at the forum's end that electing him and Remund would bring a fantastic city. Walsh said the council lacks leadership.
"You don't want the same people," he said. "I think you want someone new."
But Dukes cited Yuba City's solvency when other California cities have declared bankruptcy.
"We can't let go of financial accountability," Dukes said. "We have budgeted conservatively."
Walsh, citing the eight-year saga involving Yuba City and the county run-animal shelter, said the "two guys sitting next to me" — Dukes and Gill — were part of the problem delaying a new facility.
"Eight years is too long," said Walsh.
He said Dukes called the joint powers authority — involving the city, Sutter County and Live Oak for a new shelter — a "failed marriage." Dukes said his statement refers to the need for a couple in a failing marriage to seek counseling before buying a brand new house — as the JPA would be doing with the shelter.
Dukes pointed to local efforts by the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency for levees, with work expected to begin in July 2013, as among Yuba City's successes. Gill said he played a key role in forming the local flood agency.
Gill said fewer city police and the new state law returning more than 100 criminals for confinement locally means that "crime will increase."
Remund noted his work as the owner of a manufacturing business and said he's seen many companies move out this area because of incentives offered elsewhere.
"I see a lot of frustrations with business owners," he said.
The forum, sponsored by the Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce and others, was held in the council chambers.