Voters will be able to choose from a list of new candidates for vacant city council seats
Turlock residents living east of town in Districts 1 and 3 will have to choose between a host of new faces in the upcoming election as neither incumbent is standing for re-election. The deadline for submitting nominations for a City Council seat has passed, with two vying for the District 1 (south-east of Turlock) seat and four hoping to win the District 3 (north-east of Turlock) seat.
Real estate broker Chris Nichols and physician assistant Kevin Bixel are both vying for the District 1 seat which is currently represented by Nicole Larson.
Nichols, an alumnus of Turlock High and Stanislaus State, is also very involved in the community, coaching basketball at Turlock Christian Junior High for eight years and playing piano at Cornerstone Covenant Church. He has also served on several Turlock Town Boards over the past decade, which prompted him to run for council seat.
“The town of Turlock has been very good to me…I feel like I have created jobs, industry and I experience the pursuit of happiness in our amazing town every day. I have been blessed to have incredible success in the town of Turlock and it’s time to inspire, motivate and create opportunity for the citizens of Turlock,” said Nichols.
Nichols’ priorities are economic development, homelessness, roads and water.
“To be a good real estate broker, I need to spend a lot of time listening to people talk about the challenges Turlock faces. Most people agree that fixing our roads, supporting fire and police departments, solving homelessness, fiscal stability and protecting our water supply are the main issues Turlock is facing. faced today.
“As a council member, not only will I work on the issue with the mayor and council colleagues, but I will also use my business expertise and experience to attract new business to Turlock, creating much-needed new jobs for our residents,” Nichols said.
Turlock has been home to Bixel and his family for over 55 years.
“My parents moved here so my dad started his own business in the 60’s as one of the local dentists in town. I grew up in a Turlock that was rich with opportunities, clean and kind to our neighbors – new and elders,” Bixel said.
Bixel has also pursued a career in the medical field, first as a paramedic responding to emergencies in Stanislaus County for nearly a decade and now as a medical assistant.
“My passion for helping people in their most critical condition has propelled my career in our community over the past 20 years, specializing in surgery, emergencies and urgent care. All the while, my wife and I raised our family in Turlock. My instinct to help those in need doesn’t stop with patients; now I believe Turlock himself is in need,” he said.
Bixel’s priorities are bringing civility to the Council, homelessness, roads and public safety.
“I look forward to helping restore Turlock’s character in these ever-changing and politically charged times in which we live. I will engage with leaders from all political walks of life with respect, not animosity. Raising two intelligent young women alongside my equally strong-minded wife who all have different political perspectives, I recognize that finding common ground produces better solutions for everyone Working together is necessary to resolve issues such as the real reduction homelessness in Turlock realistically upgrading our road network improving the quality of our public safety for citizens and public safety employees I will lead Turlock to a better future through a political approach multi-faceted,” Bixel said.
Those living in northeast Turlock will have four candidates to choose from for the District 3 seat in November as incumbent Andrew Nosrati will not run.
Lifelong Turlocker and real estate agent Kelly Higgins said she wanted to make a difference in her community.
“I want to be your voice. One who presents a thought of common sense. I’m a real estate agent, mother, business owner, and productive member of society. These are just a few of the reasons I want to be the council member elected to this seat. I will bring those qualities to District 3 which needs a fresh new voice that won’t say no to issues important to you, like fixing our roads,” she said.
Higgins’ priorities are to “continue the city’s road repair efforts, support our law enforcement and fire departments, prioritize the quality and supply of our water for city residents and farm properties and to support the current council in the fight against homelessness, transients and related criminal activities that are unavoidable with this situation.
Consultant Ramin Odisho is a past president of the Assyrian American Civic Club of Turlock and the Assyrian United Organizations of California. The Turlock High alum has degrees in criminal justice and experience in various management and consulting positions.
Odisho said he was prompted to run for the District 3 seat because the council “needs to represent all the people of Turlock and not just special interest groups.”
“Residents of Turlock deserve to have their voices heard and to be represented by leaders who are experienced in their community and sensitive to their issues,” Odisho said.
Safety and security are its top priorities.
“I believe that by improving our community, we can provide a safe and secure environment for our children and families to enjoy a quality of life that is no longer available in the great overgrown metropolis to the west of us. “, did he declare.
Dr Cassandra Abram grew up in Turlock and returned home from college to join a local optometry practice. For the past two years, she has put her career on hold while she raises her two young children.
“My career is about serving people and solving their problems. I have this desire to want to do it on a larger scale, to help Turlock prepare for his future,” said Abram.
A top priority for Abram is public safety.
“Public safety means safe streets and sidewalks, first responders working in our community. This means safe public spaces and parks,” she said.
Abram is also focused on preparing Turlock for a “future with less available water” by “moving to more sustainable environmental projects.”
When it comes to homelessness, Abram said she had a unique perspective because she worked on a community health project on Skid Row in Los Angeles while in college.
“I feel like I have the dedication and work ethic to help our city and solve problems,” she said.
Ryan Taylor, a 2021 graduate of Pitman High School, is also running for District 3 headquarters. The current Modesto Junior College student has volunteered for local events and said he is eager to share his thoughts on how to make a positive difference in Turlock.
“I would like to see Turlock continue to grow economically and as a healthy place to raise a family. My ideas will come from a young and fresh perspective. I plan to encourage everyone in the community to get involved in local government and keeping our city strong. I also want to see Turlock stay connected to its past while looking to the future,” Taylor said.
Taylor said his priorities, if elected, include roads, access to public restrooms and homelessness.
“My priorities are to be the voice of District 3 by listening to residents and representing their concerns at City Council meetings, developing a strategic plan for road improvements, increasing access to public restrooms and come up with a workable action plan to address homelessness in Turlock. I want to continue to support city services as they work to improve our community,” he said.
All Turlock residents will also vote on who will represent them as mayor in the upcoming election. Former City Councilman Gil Esquer challenges incumbent Mayor Amy Bublak. The election will take place on November 8. To find out how to register to vote or how and where to receive a ballot, visit stanvote.com.