|Sutter Supervisor Runoff Dist 1 - Ron Sullenger|
Reporter Ben van der Meer talks with Sutter County supervisorial runoff candidate Ron Sullenger about issues facing the county. September 27, 2012
|Sutter Supervisor Runoff Dist 1 - Jeff Boone|
Reporter Ben van der Meer talks with Sutter County supervisorial runoff candidate Jeff Boone about issues facing the county. September 27, 2012
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Sutter County District 1 candidates offer ideas for economy
Judging by the relatively sparse attendance, political radars might not have been aimed at Yuba City City Hall on Wednesday night, when candidates in two Yuba-Sutter races took part in a forum presented by area chambers of commerce and the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau.
But both the candidates in the Sutter County Board of Supervisors, District 1 race, as well as state Assembly candidate Charles Rouse, still shared their views on issues both local and state, many centered on how to improve the economy.
Jeff Boone and Ron Sullenger, running to replace Supervisor Larry Montna in a district including north Yuba City and Live Oak, both said new ideas were needed, but had different versions of what those ideas should be.
Citing a bid to put the county's airport in private operation as an example, Sullenger said consolidation and focussing on the Highway 99 corridor were his planks.
"There has to be someone who makes dentures, for example. Why would they not want to come to Live Oak?" said Sullenger, a semi-retired business owner and farmer. "We do have to continue to fight and think of business opportunities we can work toward."
Boone said he saw the best opportunity as developing a regional wastewater treatment facility to then attract agricultural processors and their jobs.
Beyond economic development, he said, such a treatment plant will become a necessity for the county as clean water standards tighten.
"If you look at what happened with the levee system, it had to start somewhere," said Boone, also a businessman and farmer. "Someone had to have the vision to make that happen. I want to be that person for the wastewater treatment facility."
Those topics, though, were notable as the major ones where the two candidates differed.
Both men agreed on the need to clean up the airport's finances, continue with levee work and stay out of passing an ordinance on medical marijuana.
While both men ducked an early question on where else the county could cut, Sullenger later said he could see a need for belt tightening in the same way private businesses have done in recent years.
"I'm trying to be objective about our money, your money, my money, and at the same time I want to get more bang for the buck," he said.
Looking at county management, and their salaries, might be a place to start, Sullenger said.
But Boone said he saw such talk as translating into more lost jobs and shrinking tax bases, and said he would rather see infrastructure investments to help the economy grow.
"While I was knocking on doors, the three most popular things were jobs, our tax dollars and what are we going to do in the future?" he said.
In turn, Sullenger said he would point out that regional wastewater treatment plants were looked at recently and passed up as overly expensive.
The two dozen or so who attended the forum — which nearly overlapped the first presidential debate — didn't get the same exchange of views in the 3rd Assembly District race.
At the outset, moderator Bob Harlan announced incumbent Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica, had canceled his appearance earlier in the week and made plans to attend a later forum for the 4th State Senate District, where he is also a candidate.
Charles Rouse, a Democrat from the Corning area and Logue's Assembly opponent, answered about a half-hour of questions on such topics as state propositions and whether California is overly regulated.
A farmer and retired postal worker, Rouse suggested he would be a moderate voice and said he understood small-business concerns.
But he also said he supported Proposition 30, which would raise state taxes, and said his union background made him an opponent of Proposition 32.
"It's anti-union, and I'm not for it," he said.
But fixing the state's fiscal house will require both extensive audits of spending, and a conversation with its residents, Rouse said.
"What services do we want to provide?" he said. "You have to look at everything. And you have to ask the citizens, 'what do you want?'"