Candidate Profile: Millard-Stadel running for city council seat

She wants fiscal responsibility that promotes business growth
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald correspondent
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Successful real estate broker Julie Millard-Stadel is entering the race for one of three open seats on the Rocklin City Council. She has a number of goals in mind for her first term.

“I want to fill our empty offices and stores,” she said, “to promote shopping Rocklin so that our businesses will flourish and more business will follow.”

Millard-Stadel, 52, an independent, has a business degree from St. Mary’s College of Moraga. She is a broker for Whitney Oaks Realty and volunteers as a board member of the Whitney Oaks Homeowners Association in Rocklin. She said her experience with the HOA makes her a perfect fit for service on the council.

“I have been firm but reasonable in enforcing the governing documents (and) participated in guiding operating cost-saving measures to keep dues reasonable during the downturn,” Millard-Stadel said. “(I) practiced fair, respectful and reasonable consideration while working with homeowners. I will bring this same balance to the City Council.”

Millard-Stadel wants a fiscally responsible city that promotes business growth and services for residents, with a focus on public safety.

“I want to support the city in its continued efforts to make Rocklin a safe place for our families to live and play,” Millard-Stadel said. “To work with the city manager to ensure that we live within our means and that we save where we can and to bring back services that we’ve had to eliminate due to budget cuts.”

Millard-Stadel wants Rocklin’s swim lessons restored.

“I feel strongly that swim lessons should be reinstated, but I also understand that subsidizing them may not be economically feasible right now,” she said. “As a parent of three kids who took swim lessons in Rocklin, I am pretty sure I would have paid full fare for the lessons if I’d had to.”

Millard-Stadel said the city should have looked at other alternatives, like increased fees, parent participation or volunteer hours from students who can teach swimming.

“I think there are lots of options to get this program up and running again,” Millard-Stadel said.
Millard-Stadel called the 15 percent salary increase for Police Chief Ron Lawrence approved by the council last month “out of line.”

“It sounds like the chief has done a good job for the city, but that’s also what I’d expect of a chief of police or I wouldn’t have hired him,” Millard-Stadel said. “I’d have to say that, depending on their budget, I would have preferred a cost of living adjustment across the board.”

The Rocklin Police Officers Association, the union that represents the rank and file officers, is scheduled to get 3.5-percent raise in January 2013.

Millard-Stadel said the city is on the right track for pension reform for its employees and wants the city to take it to the next level away from defined benefit plans in favor of a defined contribution plan.

“I think the fund should be a government equivalent to the 401(K),” Millard-Stadel said.

Millard-Stadel is critical of the city’s series of economic incentives for downtown businesses, such as the $50,000 grant program to give aging business facades a facelift.

“I think the intentions are good for the short term, but the premise isn’t sound for old Rocklin,” Millard-Stadel said.

Millard-Stadel wants the city to come up with a better plan for attracting people to the older part of town that may include better infrastructure.

“There’s not enough parking, it suffers in walkability, the buildings are old and inefficient and there’s a lot of traffic on its way to somewhere else,” Millard-Stadel said. “I’d rather see money spent on developing a downtown specific plan that draws people to its center.”

On oak tree preservation, Millard-Stadel is in favor of current oak tree mitigation measures and against the city purchasing property for tree preserves.

“I would expect the developer to pay for 100 percent of the cost of the new trees and to take measures to see that they thrive,” Millard-Stadel said. “Because of the liability of owning property, the city should avoid buying land unless it’s necessary to protect significant trees.”

On the very public campaign by Rocklin Historical Society members to save the Big Gun Quarry from demolition and the ultimate sale by the city, Millard-Stadel believes the right time for development is yet to come.

“I value the history of the quarry, but am not certain it’s the most appropriate use of city funds to save all of it,” she said. “I think more research must be done.”

Millard-Stadel has lived in Rocklin for 22 years and raised three daughters in Rocklin schools.