The four candidates vying for the District 3 seat on the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will face off Monday in potentially the final forum before the June 5 primary election.
Tuolumne Park and Recreation District is hosting the forum at the Tuolumne Veteran’s Memorial Hall, located at 18375 Fir Ave. in Tuolumne. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Aaron Rasmussen, Laurie Sylwester, Anaiah Kirk, and Merv Cancio are looking to succeed two-term District 3 Supervisor Evan Royce, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election.
The race has gotten contentious and personal at times, with candidates sparring over which will be able to make the 40- to 60-hour per week time commitment necessary for the job.
James Wood, general manager of TPRD, said the district’s board wanted to host a forum in the township of Tuolumne because there are several hyper-local issues that are unique from other parts of District 3.
The district covers a wide, largely undeveloped area from Sonora Pass in the north to Duckwall Mountain in the south, including the communities of Tuolumne, Twain Harte, Mi-Wuk Village, Sierra Village, Long Barn, Pinecrest, Strawberry, and Dardanelle.
One of those issues unique to Tuolumne, which has a population of roughly 2,000, is a proposal to consolidate all of the township’s five separate special districts.
The five districts — each with its own board of directors and staff — are TPRD, Tuolumne City Sanitary District, Tuolumne Fire District, Tuolumne Lighting District, and Carter Cemetery District.
“There’s a desire out there to consolidate all of the districts,” Wood said. “That’s a very local issue that our park and rec district is up to our eyeballs in.”
Another unique issue is the proposed construction of multi-million-dollar “community resilience center” with funding from the federal National Disaster Resilience Competition, which was awarded to the state of California for projects to benefit areas of Tuolumne County impacted by the 2013 Rim Fire.
The county is considering a parcel at the corner of Bay Avenue and Cherry Valley Boulevard North as a potential site.
Wood said the Summerville High School debate team will moderate the forum, ask questions to the candidates and keep time.
Each candidate will give an introduction, followed by the questions, and finally a closing statement.
The plan is to conclude the forum by 8 p.m.
Contact Alex MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 588-4530.