A new year means a new Sacramento City Council.
In another year of turnover at City Hall, one of the new faces on the City Council is Allen Warren, who won a narrow victory in northern Sacramento's District 2 in the November election. Warren, a Del Paso Heights native and a developer, defeated Rob Kerth, who represented the area on the City Council from 1992 to 2000.
The outcome of the race took weeks to determine, with just 206 votes ultimately separating Warren and Kerth. Voter turnout was on the rise in the area, with more than 13,000 votes cast.
Warren replaces Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy, who represented the area for three terms before deciding last year to step down.
With Warren and fellow newcomer Steve Hansen who represents District 4's Land Park and the Central City five City Council seats have changed hands in just the past two years. Warren and Hansen were sworn in last month.
After just a few weeks in office, Warren answered our questions on his new job and what lies ahead for the city.
What was it like waiting out the results?
The energy continued to build through the counting of votes. I never gave up the idea that our campaign would win. I was, however, prepared to call Rob (Kerth) and congratulate him if he had been certified as the winner. This race reinforced the fact that every vote counts.
What will your first task be?
Finalizing staff is a top priority. Also meeting with neighborhood associations to start the process of working together for the common good of improving our district.
What does it mean to be the first councilman from Del Paso Heights in at least 20 years?
It's a huge responsibility and a great opportunity to represent District 2, including Del Paso Heights, which is where I grew up.
You will soon be faced with hearings on how to spend Measure U revenue (the sales tax increase). What are your ideas for how to spend that revenue?
We need to maximize the Measure U revenues. Opening parks and community centers, (adding) community policing officers and (making) public improvements, including making sure streetlights are working properly are at the top of the list currently.
Five seats on the council have now changed hands in the past two years. What does that say about the city?
The changing of five council seats means that we are changing as a city. We are in a new economy, we have to come up with ways to adapt to our new reality. We have to build on the groundwork of those that came before us.