All three of the candidates running for Corning mayor and one of the three candidates seeking a seat on the town's city council took part in the virtual candidates night hosted by the Red Bluff/Tehama County Chamber of Commerce and Red Bluff Sunrise Rotary on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The public was able to view the event on FaceBook Live.
Joining mayor candidates Robert Snow, John LePeilbet and John Harrison, was Shelly Hargens who is running for one of the two seats open on the city council. Corning city council candidates who were no-shows for the event were Lisa Lomeli and incumbent Chuy Valerio.
Jerry Crow and John Leach, who are in a run-off for Tehama County Supervisor District 5, were both in attendance at the Tehama County Supervisors Chambers where the event took place, as was Red Bluff City Council candidates, incumbent Clay Parker, J.R. Rodriguez and Cody Strock.
The evening started with each candidate giving a two minute introduction, followed by a question and answer period, and ending with an opportunity to give a two minute closing statement.
Leach said he is running to make a change for the better in the county and to ensure government works for the people and not the other way around.
Crow feels his past experience as a field representative for state Sen. Jim Nielsen has prepared him to serve as a Tehama County Supervisor, as well as his years of volunteering with the Corning Chamber of Commerce and Los Molinos Chamber of Commerce.
According to Leach, his top priorities if elected are public safety and the county budget
Sharing his top priorities, Crow listed law enforcement, fire departments, roads/infrastructure and homelessness.
Leach also talked about the importance of bringing business into the county, describing himself as “not a yes person,” and considering everything brought to the table.
Crow emphasized agriculture being the county's heritage, seeing room for growth and development on many levels, including business and industry, and being a good listener on the issues.
Concerning the subject of the expansion of broadband in the county, Crow said it is vital, with Leach in agreement.
“If I am elected I will always try to have an open door policy,” Leach said in his closing remarks. “I will always listen to the citizens.”
Crow said he believes Tehama County is a great place to live and if elected he understands that sometimes in leadership you have to agree to disagree to make progress in doing what is best for the county and the people who live here.
Hargens, owner of Sweet Swirls in Corning, said her top priorities for Corning are improving the roads and dealing with the homelessness.
Snow, who currently serves on the City Council, said economic growth is his top priority in an effort to develop the tax base.
“We can do this by working with developers to invest in Corning,” he added.
Snow feels accountability to the residents of Corning is critical in leadership.
LePeilbet's stated his top causes are jobs and industry. He described his leadership style as working with and getting along with people.
Harrison, noting the riots occurring in some cities, said his priorities are safety and security by making sure the police department is fully funded. He added the town needs to develop an educated workforce to attract businesses to the community, and said he would lead by example.
Hargens said if elected and found herself in disagreement with a resident on a city policy, she would do what she felt was right. She described herself as a hard worker and if given the chance she would provide that same work ethic to the people of Corning.
Snow stated keeping an open dialogue with the public is important, as well as doing his research on any given subject or issue.
“However, I will not be swayed to be part of the popular group,” he added. “I love my community and want to see Corning grow, and I will continue to fight for my community.”
In dealing with the public if elected, LePeilbet said he would do it with integrity.
“If I think I am right, I have to stand by that,” he stated. “I look forward to serving the City of Corning and the opportunity to payback all it has given me.”
Harrison said if elected, he would lead, follow or get out of the way.
“I will strive to do all three,” he stated. “I want to bring technology to the City.”
Strock said he is running as a proponent of medical and recreational marijuana use and bringing cannabis dispensaries to Red Bluff.
Parker said he is also supportive of bringing cannabis dispensaries to Red Bluff, as well as getting the city out of the pandemic and helping businesses recover.
Gonzalez added deregulation to help businesses is important, as well as growth and development.
The candidates night can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com.