Per­spec­tive on is­sues

Hamil­ton brings years of Coun­cil ex­pe­ri­ence to re-election cam­paign

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - By ALEXIS ESPINOZA ae­spinoza@porter­villere­corder.com

The cur­rent face of District 1, Cameron Hamil­ton, is up for re­elec­tion and took time out of his busy sched­ule to sit down and dis­cuss some cur­rent is­sues fac­ing the city.

Hamil­ton was not timid in his an­swers and pro­vided in­sight on how the city is cur­rently han­dling is­sues and how he plans to con­tinue work­ing hard for a bet­ter and more boom­ing Porter­ville.

“I am the most ex­pe­ri­enced. I’ve been there since 2002. I un­der­stand bud­get­ing well in all de­part­ments,” stated Hamil­ton about his ex­pe­ri­ence sit­ting on the Coun­cil. “I’ve had to leg­is­late dur­ing good bud­getary times and bad bud­getary times. I have sat with great Coun­cils, I have sat with not so great Coun­cils and I’ve learned how to take the good with the bad.”

Hamil­ton is fully aware that Porter­ville faces grow­ing prob­lems in mul­ti­ple ar­eas, and of­fered well-thought-out so­lu­tions to those is­sues, some of which are al­ready be­ing im­ple­mented.

“I am a found­ing mem­ber of the Porter­ville Res­cue Mis­sion. Home­less­ness is a prob­lem. It’s some­thing we saw 12 years ago so we started feed­ing them on Sun­days. Then we started the mis­sion it­self as a place where folks can go to get ser­vices that they don’t re­ally know where to go for,” said Hamil­ton. “We are al­ready ad­dress­ing the home­less­ness prob­lem. This is not a new is­sue, but this is a larger is­sue than it has been. We have been part of the Kings Tu­lare Home­less Task Force for four or five years now, and there has al­ways been an is­sue with cash. Now, the state of Cal­i­for­nia re­al­izes that we have a huge prob­lem.”

Hamil­ton touched on fu­ture plans for ad­dress­ing the grow­ing home­less­ness pop­u­la­tion.

“We are look­ing at prop­er­ties — which I can’t re­veal yet — for pos­si­ble pur­chase. Our thought is we don’t just want to house home­less — that doesn’t cure a thing — but we do want to [es­tab­lish hous­ing for] ev­ery sin­gle county, state and lo­cal agency

that can help the home­less tran­si­tion.”

When it comes to the city’s bud­get, Hamil­ton pro­vided in­sight about which ar­eas he would like to see re­ceive more fund­ing.

“I wouldn’t ad­vo­cate to de­crease any. We run a pretty lean ship. The ones I would ad­vo­cate to in­crease is what we are hop­ing to ac­com­plish through Mea­sure I, which is more po­lice force and some money to­wards parks and re­cre­ation,” stated Hamil­ton.

As con­ver­sa­tion tran­si­tioned to the lo­cal tax in­crease mea­sure up for vote on the Novem­ber bal­lot, Hamil­ton wasn’t shy to an­nounce that he is in fa­vor of the one­cent in­crease.

“Mainly, Mea­sure I will start in three­fold: pub­lic safety, parks and re­cre­ation, and trans­porta­tion. A big pro­por­tion of Mea­sure I is set aside for roads it­self. I rec­og­nized years ago that we are a big enough city to start our own roads depart­ment,” Hamil­ton stated. “We’ve gone out and bought two pieces of equip­ment and are rent­ing the grinder it­self and we [the city] will start do­ing more of our roads. Un­for­tu­nately, we can only do a cer­tain amount of them.”

Hamil­ton re­al­izes the roads around town are prob­lem­atic, and was ex­cited to re­veal that re­con­struc­tion projects are in the works.

“We rec­og­nized that Main Street it­self, in­fra­struc­ture wise, is not where it needs to be, there­fore it is on the list for com­plete re­con­struc­tion from Mor­ton to Olive Street start­ing next year I be­lieve,” Hamil­ton stated. “That’s go­ing to be pretty vi­brant for the down­town ar­eas.”

Hamil­ton proudly spoke about the progress Main Street has made since he has been a mem­ber of the city gov­ern­ment.

“We went to a stream­line process about two years ago that makes it so any­one who ap­plies has to be in and out of all the de­part­ments in­volved and to the City Coun­cil within two weeks, and that has helped a lot,” Hamil­ton ex­pressed about the process of get­ting busi­nesses ap­proved. “Main Street was dy­ing and it’s com­ing back quite well now. We have man­aged — at a high cost to the city — to get the cor­ner of Olive and Main Street in our pos­ses­sion so that it can be de­vel­oped. That is go­ing to be quite a boost for Main Street.”

Hamil­ton was firm in his po­si­tion on bring­ing more in­dus­trial com­po­nents to the city.

“I think we need more of what we’ve been do­ing. We rec­og­nized about six years ago that we have two legs of the three-prong chair. We had re­cre­ation and we had some com­mer­cial, but we didn’t have in­dus­trial. So we as a Coun­cil sat down with staff and de­cided where we’d like to have in­dus­trial ar­eas,” said Hamil­ton. “We are on the cusp right now of one of the fastest-grow­ing eco­nomic booms that we will see in Porter­ville for some time.”

Hamil­ton spoke abut his ef­forts in keep­ing Porter­ville a beau­ti­ful city to live in.

“I am one of four peo­ple that I know of that ac­tu­ally goes out and picks up trash in a group,” stated Hamil­ton. “Most of the trash we see is on pri­vate prop­erty and it sure is not put there by the pri­vate prop­erty own­ers. This is com­ing from our own cit­i­zens.”

Hamil­ton is con­fi­dent in his cam­paign and be­lieves that he is best fit to con­tinue rep­re­sent­ing his district be­cause he has years of ex­pe­ri­ence be­neath his belt, and knows how to meet the needs of his con­stituents.

“You are go­ing to need the strong­est rep­re­sen­ta­tive for your district be­cause the other dis­tricts are go­ing to fight hard for theirs,” Hamil­ton stated. “If you can’t ac­com­plish what needs to be done in your district be­cause oth­ers are a lit­tle stronger than you are, then you aren’t go­ing to get any­thing done.”

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

In­cum­bent Cam Hamil­ton is run­ning for re-election for Porter­ville City Coun­cil District 1. He has been a City Coun­cil mem­ber since 2002.

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