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Teacher seeks to bring fiscal responsibility to Rocklin council

Election 2010
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of profiles of Rocklin City Council candidates. All profiles will be available online at placerherald.com. Sunday Rocklin resident Gary Lane attended his first Tea Party Rally at the Capitol in downtown Sacramento with thousands of supporters. “I wanted to see what it was all about,” Lane said. “I think many people are disgruntled with our current government.” While Lane is mulling over his level of support for the cause, he is confident about where he stands on Rocklin issues. Lane is one of eight candidates for city council vying for one of two open seats. Lane said he’s been called pragmatic and moderate, but he considers himself a regular Republican devoted to fiscal responsibility. Lane has owned a hobby game store in Sacramento for 14 years and is also a substitute elementary school teacher in the Rocklin Unified and San Juan School districts. Lane said he chose to move to Rocklin five years ago. Lane is concerned about two issues affecting his neighbors; development in Rocklin and pay of the city manager. “I want to see future development is done intelligently,” Lane said. “Rocklin hasn’t met a developer they didn’t like. I don’t want to see us filling every space we can with strip malls.” Lane likes the downtown plan for bolstering business along the Rocklin Road and Pacific Street corridor but prefers if more businesses were included especially those on Granite Drive. Lane said while he understands recessionary pressures have halted proposed commercial centers around Sierra College Boulevard and I-80, he believes the city should have improved existing infrastructure instead of getting the new interchange built. “The worst on ramp/off ramp is right downtown, Rocklin Road,” Lane said. “They should have improved that.” On the city’s manager’s pay, Lane believes the city council went too far in the compensation approved for current city manager Carlos Urrutia who is officially retiring at the end of the year after 25 years on the job. “Urrutia is leaving, he’s done,” Lane said. “We have a new city manager coming in, we want to make sure he/she is not over compensated for the job.” Lane would like the manager’s salary capped at $180,000 with a pension that is below $100,000. “This is taxpayers money,” Lane said. “Our government has forgotten that. They think the money is theirs and they can spend it however they want.” That’s one of the reasons Lane has decided to run. He said this is his first attempt at running for public office but he’s been interested in politics since the days of Ronald Regan. “I really love Rocklin,” Lane said. “I, like other people, (am) fed up with how it’s being run and want to do something about it.” He said his goal is to guard taxpayers’ money and avoid wasteful projects like the Rocklin sign surrounded by boulders at the Rocklin Road underpass with I-80. Lane said the long tenure of some of the current city council is unnecessary. “I think there is a bit of a good ‘ole boy network,” Lane said. “You should not be on the council for 20 years, it’s absurd. There should be term limits.” For that reason, Lane hasn’t accepted any endorsements. He said incumbents like Mayor Scott Yuill, who is running for re-election for a second four-year term, need to go. “I wouldn’t mind seeing him go,” Lane said. “We need new blood. Four years is plenty.” Lane believes his experience as a businessman and a teacher will bring a unique perspective to the council. “I believe compromise is incredibly important for running a complex government,” Lane said. “But that may not be a popular view point, especially in Placer County.” Lane said while he is concerned about dangerously long fire response times for two areas of Rocklin, he understands the city does not have the money for a proposed fourth fire station. “There are a lot of things we’d like to have but we need to be able to afford it,” Lane said. Lane has been married to his wife for 19 years and together they have a 13-year-old son who is severely disabled. For more information e-mail Gary Lane at babawonga@yahoo.com. The Election is Tuesday, Nov. 2. The last day to register to vote for this election is Tuesday, Oct. 18. The Lane File Age: 47 Party: Republican Lived in Rocklin: 5 years Top Three Priorities: 1. Reasonable pay for next city manager 2. Community planned intelligently 3. Guard taxpayer’s money E-mail: babawonga@yahoo.com