Wednesday Oct 15 2008
Community forum to include state propositions
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
Forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at Blue Goose
Meet the candidates for Loomis Town Council at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Placer County. The free candidates forum starts promptly at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, at the Blue Goose, 3550 Taylor Road. It is scheduled to end at 8:30 p.m. Council candidates are Rhonda Morillas, Gary Liss and Tom Millward. “Unfortunately, Tom Millward is unable to attend,” said forum coordinator Kathy Souza. Souza is president of the Placer County league. “He was confident he could attend, so we went forward with the plans.” Millward told the Loomis News Monday evening he would be working the night of Oct. 23 at Arco Areno, where he will part of security for a Sacramento Kings game. “If I’d known earlier, I would have been able to get the night off. At this point, there is no one able to work for me,” Millward said. He’s still hopeful he’ll be able to participate in the forum. “I’d like to be there, because I’d like to speak for myself. I’m still trying, but right now that’s not possible,” he said. Souza learned recently that candidate Morillas, whose mother is ill, will probably not be able to participate in the forum, either. Souza had planned to allow each candidate to give a two-minute opening statement. She now plans to ask Millward and Morillas to submit written statements. “Then we’ll have questions from the audience,” Souza said. The questions will have been written on index cards provided to the public as they enter the building. Attendees will be able to submit as many questions as they wish. Souza said she will sort through the questions, “to mix them up so that we don’t get all the same questions.” The question-and-answer period will continue “until time runs out,” she added. An unbiased presentation of the 12 state ballot measures has been added to the program. The League of Women Voters, which accepts men as well as women, has been a high-profile national player as a non-partisan political organization since 1920. But the league – after several years as a presence in Placer County – hadn’t been active locally since 1980. Souza, of Granite Bay, was asked by the state league to start a chapter in September and a kickoff meeting in January drew 100 people. Membership now stands at 61, with the league currently strongest in South Placer County. The Placer County group taps into an organization with a high national profile. There are 900 state and local leagues in all 50 states. And while it neither supports nor opposes candidates for office at any level of government, it is unabashedly political and works to influence policy through advocacy. Souza said that positions on issues come through establishing a consensus on local, state and national levels. For example, the state league has come out in favor of a redistricting measure headed for the November ballot that proposes formation of an independent commission to establish political boundaries. Voter education is also part of the league mission, which is known for non-partisan information it publishes and provides through the Web on candidates and issues. The league is open to all citizens of voting age. There are also associate memberships available for young people and non-citizens. Information on the local league is available at its Web site at lwvplacercounty.org. The phone contact is 791-5187. Gold Country Media’s Gus Thomson contributed to this story.