Perspective on issues
Hamilton brings years of Council experience to re-election campaign
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.”
Incumbent Cam Hamilton is running for re-election for Porterville City Council District 1. He has been a City Council member since 2002.