|Yuba City Council - Todd Remund|
Reporter Ben van der Meer talks with Yuba City Council candidate Todd Remund about issues facing the city. Oct. 1, 2012
|Yuba City Council - Rick Walsh|
Reporter Ben van der Meer talks with Yuba City Council candidate Rick Walsh about issues facing the city. Oct. 1, 2012
|Yuba City Council - Kash Gill|
Reporter Ben van der Meer talks with Yuba City Council candidate Kash Gill about issues facing the city. Oct. 1, 2012
|Yuba City Council - John Dukes|
Reporter Ben van der Meer talks with Yuba City Council candidate John Dukes about issues facing the city. Oct. 1, 2012
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Yuba City City Council debate addresses deal on ADA suit, fees
The Sutter Buttes Tea Party Patriots conducted a straw poll after the debate and voters gave the most votes to Councilman John Dukes. There are two council seats to fill.
JOHN DUKES: 50.
RICK WALSH: 38.
KASH GILL: 36.
TODD REMUND: 16.
A $28,000 lot with city fees totaling $45,000 — and the agreement to pay George Louie to end his disability access lawsuits — were among key issues at a Monday forum for Yuba City City Council candidates.
"It's one less monster in the closet that a business owner has to worry about," candidate Todd Remund said of ending Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits by paying $15,000 to Louie.
John Dukes, seeking re-election to the council, said the payment "was a very good investment" and candidate Kash Gill agreed the money defends the city and businesses against more Louie lawsuits.
But candidate Rick Walsh said Yuba City will now have a herd of people lined up asking for similar payments not to pursue access lawsuits.
About 100 people attended the forum held by the Sutter County Taxpayers Association and the Sutter Buttes Tea Party Patriots.
Melia Campbell, owner of Campbell Realty in Marysville, asked about $45,000 in Yuba City fees to build on a $28,000 lot on Corby Court in the Shanghai Bend area of the community.
Dukes said it's expensive to build in Yuba City. Gill said the municipality concluded it didn't collect enough fees during the boom building years, and Walsh said that conclusion is correct. Remund said stories like Campbell's of high fees are why he's running for the council.
During opening statements, Gill said he came to Yuba City with his family as a 2-year-old.
"Yuba City's my home. Always has been. Always will be," Gill said.
Walsh said he and his sons are fed up with problems that include the city spending its reserves to balance the budget.
"You can only take back one city at a time," Walsh said.
Remund described himself as a native of Yuba City and a third generation resident.
"I'm a product of this area," he said.
Dukes told those attending that he is the only incumbent running and that his work with Yuba City began with his 2001 appointment to the city Planning Commission.
Asked about $42 million in pension debt that the city owes, Dukes said the California Public Employees Retirement System in Sacramento lists the return on its investments at 7.5 percent. But he said when CalPERS falls below that level, it tells Yuba City and other municipalities to make up the difference.
Walsh said private companies no longer provide the pensions they once did.
"It doesn't make sense that the public sector has it," he said.
Gill said contracts with public employees means the city's hands are tied except for newer hires.
The forum was held at the Sutter-Yuba Association of Realtors meeting room in Yuba City.