Riverbank voters in District 3 will have a tough decision to make in November, which of two incumbent city council members to return to the panel.
Both Cal Campbell and Leanne Jones-Cruz were elected to their current seats back in the days when the entire council was elected ‘at-large,’ representing the entire city. Before the 2016 election, the council voted to switch to district elections, voting for candidates that live, basically in the voters’ neighborhood.
Since Campbell and Jones-Cruz live in the same district, only one can continue to serve.
In the 2016 election, voters in District 4 chose Darlene Barber-Martinez to represent them, and in District 2, they chose Cindy Fosi. Mayor Richard O’Brien’s seat remains at-large, representing residents of the whole city.
This year’s municipal election brings the changeover for Districts 1 and 3.
District 1 includes the eastern end of Riverbank, from the north to the south. District 3 includes the northwestern corner of town.
District 2 is the middle part of town, extending north to Patterson Road. District 4 is the southwest corner of town.
Councilmember Cal Campbell
Campbell has served on the council for five years and is running as an incumbent in District 3. He feels he has “helped establish a professional council that makes decisions that are best for the city.”
He says he want to remain on the council to “help finish major projects the city needs to complete.”
In representing the city, Campbell has served on League of California Cities Committee for Transparency and Employee Relations for the past four years. He says he has represented Riverbank on the Stanislaus Business Alliance Committee and the county Workforce Alliance, both for two years.
Campbell says he was instrumental in getting a sidewalk completed on Patterson Road/Highway 108 for a senior’s trailer park to connect with existing sidewalks, so an occupant didn’t have to ride his wheelchair on the dirt shoulder of the road.
And he says he’s spearheading the development of illegal fireworks ordinances with council members and an ad hoc community committee. He’s hoping they will come before the council in November for approval.
“I’m grateful for all the community support citizens have given me during my time on council and will continue to work on what is best for Riverbank if reelected,” he concluded.
Councilmember Leanne Jones-Cruz
As a Councilmember for the City of Riverbank, Jones-Cruz says she “knows there are many issues facing our city. As part of the council, I am working to improve our economy, modernize our infrastructure, protect our local natural resources and provide for the safety and well-being of our citizens while keeping costs down.”
She says she is a fourth generation Riverbank resident and works as a local Special Education High School Teacher at Beyer High School.
“I know our community. We need to attract and retain business, we need to have a structurally balanced budget and we need to support our men and women in police, fire, rescue, and public works,” she added. “We need to do all of this in an efficient manner to make the best use of our finances and personnel.”
Cruz says we need to look to the future and grow in ways that conserve and make the best use of local and precious natural resources while striving to improve the quality of life for citizens.
“I am proud to be a member of a City Council that has come together, and is getting important business accomplished. With your support, I will continue to do my best for Riverbank,” she concluded.
Normally in election season, a candidates forum is sponsored and hosted by the League of Women Voters local chapter. It is usually assisted by city staff, and held at the Riverbank Community Center.
City officials report this year’s event has tentatively been scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 6:30 p.m. The remodeling of the Community Center is scheduled to begin in November, they say, so it will be offered at the traditional venue.
Candidates for District 1 in November include Luis Uribe, Eva Nash, and Vernon “Jack” Whorton, Jr.
Other items on the city-wide ballot will include Measure B, on whether to impose a business license tax of up to 10-percent of gross receipts on cannabis businesses and dispensaries, to help fund general municipal services.
For those living in the Riverbank Unified School District, there will be Measure G on the ballot, a vote on whether to extend the current property tax bond payments to assist with funding improvements and modernization of local school facilities.