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Gahoonia: Change is needed on council

Election 2010
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of profiles of Rocklin City Council candidates. All profiles will be available online at placerherald.com. Microelectronics Engineer Aman Singh Gahoonia is fed up with the state of the city and now hopes his experience as a businessman will help bring the city’s financial house in order. “Rocklin is a great place to live and raise a family,” Singh Gahoonia said. “I am running for Rocklin City Council because the city needs fresh and economically responsible leadership during these tough economic times.” Singh Gahoonia said the current council members are part of what he calls a “good ol’ boys” club that needs some fresh blood with fresh ideas. “It’s time for a different perspective to take part in city decisions,” Singh Gahoonia said. “As a city council member, I want to steer Rocklin in the direction of sustainable growth that benefits the community as a whole.” Recent reports of questionable financial practices concern Singh Gahoonia, who said he wants more transparency at the city.  “I am frustrated with the city council members making decisions that are only in the interests of their endorsers and campaign contributors, not in the best interest of the Rocklin citizens,” Singh Gahoonia said. He said City Manager Carlos Urrutia’s compensation is irresponsible and the council that approved it is to blame. “He is a public servant to the people of Rocklin, he is not a private sector manager and should not be paid like one,” Singh Gahoonia said. “It did not happen overnight, it took persistent unanimous voting of the current city council to get it this way.” Instead, Singh Gahoonia suggests performance-based pay that the city could use to pay the next city manager $125,000 with a 25k bonus for good performance. A performance-based pay structure to encourage thriftiness and economic growth for the city would also be used for all city employees. He also wants to phase out what he calls “antiquated pension funds” in favor of 401k plans for city workers. Singh Gahoonia said the council needs to do a better job of long-term planning. “I plan to renegotiate salaries and retirement benefits with our current employees so we can all equally share the burden of these hard economic times,” Singh Gahoonia said. Singh Gahoonia believes the city should stop cutting public safety. “We cannot afford to downsize the police force,” Singh Gahoonia said. “We need to make sure that we provide the working level police officers and firefighters with resources they need.” As an engineer, Singh Gahoonia hopes to use his position on the council to encourage students and foster more outreach with business and education. He also wants to form a task force to lure larger, environmentally responsible corporations to Rocklin to help the economy. “We need to leverage our close proximity to the Silicon Valley and attract some of these high-tech firms into Rocklin and pull from the Silicon Valley talent pool,” Singh Gahoonia said. “This is a definite way to increase consumer spending in Rocklin, lower unemployment and increase tax revenue without raising taxes.” Singh Gahoonia said he would bring a vision to the council. “Our budget needs to be reformed, we need to jumpstart our economy and our public safety and education need to be made our top priorities,” he said. Singh Gahoonia does not accept endorsements and believes council members need to be impartial to serve the citizens better. “As an engineer, I bring a different perspective to the city council,” Singh Gahoonia said. “I feel that it’s time for someone who knows how to examine and understands numbers to start making responsible decisions in the city of Rocklin with the interest of the people in mind.” Gahoonia is married and has never held public office or run for office before. For more information on Aman Singh Gahoonia call his campaign hotline at (916) 469-5477, e-mail him at Aman@OurRocklin.com or visit his website at www.OurRocklin.com. The Singh Gahoonia file Age: 27 Party: Republican Lived in Rocklin: 6 years Top Three Priorities: 1. City budget 2. Education   3. Economy Campaign hotline: (916) 469-5477 or website at www.OurRocklin.com