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Calvert named new Loomis mayor

After one year on the Loomis Town Council, Calvert takes the reins; says revitalization of downtown and border concerns are priorities
By: Laura O’Brien, Loomis News Correspondent
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After one year on the Loomis Town Council, Sandra Calvert was seated as mayor at the December council meeting.
She took the reins with a confidence belying her newcomer status.  Calvert, 43, will hold the position of mayor for one year.  Prior to serving on Town Council, she served on the Park, Recreation, and Open Space Committee.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in information and communication studies from California State University, Chico.
She said her priorities for 2012 include continued focus on the revitalization of the downtown and efforts to resolve border concerns “beyond litigation.”  She said will create a
special task force to organize community recreation events and said she wants to strengthen partnerships with businesses, schools and organizations.
“Government works best when the community is involved. I’ll be looking for that help in the coming year,” Calvert said.
Calvert decided not to change the council members’ existing committee appointments. She currently sits on the council’s border and downtown business committees and is the schools liaison.
With her promotion to mayor, Councilmember Walt Scherer has moved up to the vice mayor slot.  Both Scherer and Miguel Ucovich had served multiple successive council terms prior to their re-elections last year, when voters passed the new term limit measure.  Now, councilmembers who serve two consecutive terms are ineligible to serve again until they sit out two terms.
The State Attorney General has not yet completed its opinion on whether the Loomis term limits provision can be retroactive, according to the report on its website. 
Outgoing Mayor Rhonda Morillas, who has served in the office five times, will remain as a councilmember through November.
In one of her last official acts as mayor, Morillas congratulated Del Oro High School principal Dan Gayaldo and football coach Casey Taylor on the team’s selection to play in the CIF State Bowl Division II championship game.  She gave Gayaldo the key for the town as well as Town of Loomis pins to give to the football players.
“This comes with our good luck and our best wishes and we know they’re going to bring home the glory for Loomis,” Morillas said.
In other council business, Liisa Stark, Union Pacific public affairs director for Northern California, answered questions about the track upgrades now planned for January.  She said the railroad work crews might not roll into Loomis until the end of January. 
“It could be very likely that we actually move into February,” she said. 
Members of the public may call (877) 243-1350 for the most updated schedule of railroad crossing closures.  Electronic roadway signs will alert residents and those traveling to Loomis of the closures at least one week in advance. 
The initial phase of the work will involve shutting down both the King Road and Webb Street crossings for about seven hours.  After that, crews will alternate shutting down the crossings so one remains open with cars able to pass over rough crossings until crews complete the work.  Stark said improvements at each crossing could extend four to five days.  She said work on two crossings in Auburn lasted five and nine days, respectively.
Council also discussed an amended animal-keeping ordinance, which the planning commission had revised a second time at the request of council.  Councilmembers reached agreement on changes to the ordinance, which means it can proceed in the process of becoming law and go to second reading next month.