HUGHSON -- Familiar names will be on the ballot for the City Council in Hughson, where incumbents and a two-time challenger are vying for two seats.
Incumbents Jeramy Young and Jill Ferreira-Silva are on the ticket with Billy Gonzales.
Young and Ferreira-Silva, both of whom work in law enforcement, were elected during a recall election in August 2010.
They, along with George Carr, took the seats of Councilmen Thom Crowder, Doug Humphreys and Ben Manley, whom residents overwhelmingly voted to recall because a grand jury found they broke state open-meeting laws, conspired against their staff and promoted their personal agendas.
Gonzales also ran during the recall election, against Ferreira-Silva, and lost.
He also lost when he ran against Carr and Councilman Matt Beekman less than three months later during the general election. In 2008, he ran and lost in a Ripon City Council race.
The Wilbur-Ellis plant manager doesn't plan to spend any money on his campaign, but rather meet people in the community through his volunteer efforts. He grew up in the Bay Area but moved to Hughson four years ago with his wife, who grew up there, and his five children.
Young, a lieutenant for the Modesto Police Department, said in his time on the council, he is most proud of his contributions to economic development.
He achieved his goal of helping bring back the Chamber of Commerce, which had been inactive for several years.
Also, in his work on the council's economic development committee, Young contributed to a plan to convert the city's vacant development services building into an incubator for startup businesses.
The new Chamber of Commerce occupies the reception area, and four offices are available for fledgling businesses to lease for far less then a standard storefront.
Ferreira-Silva, too, said economic development should be the primary focus for the council, as well as maintaining a balanced budget.
When she started on the council, the city's accounts were in the red and it took five layoffs to get the budget back on track, she said. "It was a difficult decision, but in hindsight, it was the best thing to do," she said.
There have been no layoffs since, and the council has maintained a balanced budget.
Ferreira-Silva is no stranger to managing budgets. She is chief probation officer for Stanislaus County, which has its own budget, but she also oversees county spending of state funding from prison realignment. Still, Ferreira-Silva said she had a lot to learn when she had to balance her first city budget.
She wants to continue spending responsibly and pursue grants for parks, road improvements and other city infrastructure.
One area all three candidates agree needs attention is water.
The city is drilling a test well at different depths to find the cleanest and best source of water from the aquifer. City Manager Bryan Whitemyer said the city also is considering a mixing plant, which would mix pure water with water just above the state standard for arsenic. Several city wells failed to meet the standard in 2006 when the acceptable level was drastically reduced.
Young said the city needs a better long-term solution for drinking water other than groundwater.
The city opted out of a joint powers agreement with Ceres, Turlock and Modesto to develop a system to treat Tuolumne River water. But Young said he wants Hughson to benefit from that water as a customer of the JPA.
Gonzales wants to learn more about the state of city wells and be part of exploring other options for water.
He also wants to see sidewalk construction finished and stop vehicles speeding through town.
Gonzales said he is happy with the work Young, Ferreira-Silva and the rest of the council has done. He wants to be a part of the council and realizes it will be difficult to beat the incumbents, but he hopes to be appointed to serve the remainder of Beekman's term after he becomes mayor.
Beekman is running unopposed to fill the seat of retiring Mayor Ramon Bawanan.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2366.