Thursday Jul 03 2008
Incumbents challenged for council seats
By: Michael Althouse, The Placer Herald
Magnuson, Yuill say it’s all part of the democratic process
Rocklin City Councilman George Magnuson said the recent political action committee that formed to unseat three incumbents represents “democracy in action.” The Rocklin Citizens for Council Change said it hopes to find and support candidates who will run against Mayor Brett Story, Vice Mayor Peter Hill and Magnuson in November. The RCCC claims that due the length of time Hill and Magnuson (and to a lesser extent, Storey) have been in office, the current city council is unresponsive to the public. Hill has served on the city council for 15 years, Magnuson has served since 1991 and Storey was elected in 2000. “In America, a majority is 50 percent plus one,” Magnuson said, adding that if the people of Rocklin don’t want him, or anyone else, to be on the city council, they won’t vote for him. The election process is the only form of term limits needed, Magnuson said. “You can’t please everyone. It’s like having 30,000 spouses – and everyone is right,” he said. “Politics is the art of compromise.” Scott Yuill, who is not up for re-election this year and the most junior member of the city council, has different opinion about term limits. “I think at the state level and the federal level, term limits have their place, but I’m not so sure about the local level,” Yuill said. “We’re not professional politicians, it’s not a full-time job.” Although Yuill agrees generally that when someone is in office for long periods they risk losing touch, he does not agree with the RCCC this is the case in Rocklin. “All they’re saying is that they want change,” he said. “It’s not enough just to say that the council is out of touch. I’ve worked with all of them and they are very much involved with the community. Democracy in its purest sense works just fine.” As far as the city staff is concerned, City Manger Carlos Urrutia said the staff does not participate in city politics. “I think the people in the community look at the crime rates, they look at the schools, they look at the parks and they make their decisions,” he said.