District 5 candidates speak at local meeting | SierraSun.com

District 5 candidates speak at local meeting

Promoting development that fits local communities and representing the voices of eastern Placer County were among the themes the candidates vying for the post of Placer County District 5 Supervisor consistently referred to at a forum Tuesday.

Candidates Jennifer Montgomery, Bob Houston and incumbent Bruce Kranz touted past experiences and voiced their positions on issues facing the county at a monthly breakfast meeting attended by community leaders, business owners and agency officials.

The candidates gave a short speech about their intentions for office to persuade votes in their favor come the election on June 3. District 5 citizens will soon choose which candidate they feel will best represent their concerns in a county that stretches as far west as Roseville.

“I strongly believe (development) has to be in scale, in scope, in character and supported by the community,” said Montgomery, who spoke first.

Montgomery said she supports development that revitalizes the economy and enhances community. But after looking at plans for pending development across the district, including those for Royal Gorge, Montgomery said she doesn’t support much of what she’s seen so far.

Preserving the county’s natural resources, protecting private property rights, restoring transparency to the government and respecting local voices are the fundamentals of Montgomery’s campaign.

“Making sure that your voice is heard at the table,” she said.

Houston, a lobbyist at the state capitol who has fought for money for the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and the Tahoe City Public Utility District among other local groups, said he intends to draw from his years of experience in controversial issues to become an advocate for the county.

“I want to be an advocate, No. 1 to protect the rural lifestyle in this county,” Houston said, noting that he subscribes to the Sierra Business Council’s three-way model for growth that conserves the environment, builds community and spurs economic growth.

Houston said he wants to encourage more community involvement and said he would dedicate himself to re-establishing local Municipal Advisory Councils.

Wildfire protection is and always has been incumbent Bruce Kranz’s first priority.

“That has been my No. 1 issue since I came on board,” said Kranz, who spoke last.

Kranz detailed his accomplishments over the past four years, saying that his strong record encourages his supporters. Purchasing 10 snowplow graders with berm gates, supporting the Maritime Museum, facilitating meetings at the state capitol with the BEAR league and the California Department of Fish and Game to discuss the issue of bears breaking into homes, pushing legislation to ban alcohol on the Truckee River and negotiating the purchase of the Waddle Ranch by using $10 million of County open space mitigation funds were among the accomplishments Kranz listed off.

“I think my record has been strong, which is why I have such a long list of endorsements,” he said.

In stressing his efforts to be accessible with the community, Kranz noted his monthly “Coffee with Kranz” gatherings, his updated Web site and his continual travel across the district.

“I don’t live up here, but I tell you, I feel like I live up here,” Kranz said, noting that he has logged more than 70,000 miles driving across the district throughout his term. “I’ve worked hard to be accessible, transparent and open.”

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