Citrus Heights is generally a well-run city. Nearly two decades old, the city of about 85,000 has little debt and a rainy-day fund.
The city recently moved into a new, $22 million City Hall, built near the site of the old city civic center on Fountain Square Drive. Dignity Health is building a medical center on the vacated site. The dual project, touted by city officials as the largest public-private investment in city history, drew strong opposition and a lawsuit. One candidate running for City Council opposed the new City Hall.
Eight candidates are vying for two at-large seats on the City Council. Sue Frost’s candidacy for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors created an open council seat, and Jeff Slowey is running for re-election.
In interviews, most candidates said Citrus Heights needs to focus on attracting businesses that would bring better-paying jobs, fix its aging infrastructure and deal with a growing homeless population. Low-performing schools, reducing crime and improving the quality of life were other issues cited.
Slowey, seeking his fourth term, was appointed to the council in 2003 and has been an important factor in the city’s success. Slowey has served two terms as mayor and is currently vice mayor.
A bank vice president, Slowey sees funding for crime prevention as one of Citrus Heights’ challenges. He cites an aging infrastructure as one of the big issues the city will need to address. Slowey deserves re-election.
Rick Doyle, a retired insurance agent, has served on the city’s planning commission for six years and volunteers with the Police Department. He wants to concentrate on bringing more professional jobs to the city. Doyle is endorsed by Mayor Jeannie Bruins and City Council members Steve Miller and Mel Turner.
Marcel Weiland works at a financial tech company startup and has been an aide in the Assembly. The 26-year-old says he would provide the council with the perspective of the next generation, as well as that of the public and private sector.
Others who filed candidate statements include Bret Daniels, a City Council member from 1999 to 2005 and a former Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy. His says there is a deterioration of safety in Citrus Heights, and that needs to be fixed. Tim Schaefer, a sales engineer, ran for City Council in 2014. He spearheaded the opposition to the new City Hall.
The Bee recommends Slowey and Doyle.