Upland City Council election
City officials handle queries
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 06/29/2011 08:35:48 PM PDT

UPLAND – In order to address requests by City Council candidates to meet with department heads, city officials held an informational meeting Wednesday at City Hall.

City Manager Stephen Dunn and several other department heads, some of whom were appointed this week, explained their duties and departments to the candidates in attendance.

The candidates are running for a vacant seat on the council. Residents have to mail in their ballots by Aug. 30.

The 2011-12 fiscal year budget and Dunn’s recent reorganization of city government were the most discussed topics.

“What I was interested to hear is all the reorganization,” said candidate Ladan Bezanson, learning coordinator with the city of Montclair. “It is

very important for me to understand how they’re going to change how the city runs and how that’s going to affect their budget and staff that works here. I think that was the most important part of this meeting.”

Each candidate was given handouts and a copy of the budget, which is still being cut by $3.1 million, including reorganization of departments and layoffs.

“I’m surprised to see all the reorganization occurring, but it sounds like that makes sense and there’s a big eye toward making things run more efficiently and doing more with less,” said candidate Eric Gavin, vice president of software development for Bay Cities Bank. “I think that’s what we have to do.”

Fire Chief Michael Antonucci and acting Police Chief Jeff Mendenhall spoke with the candidates about the status of their departments and general duties.

The recently promoted department heads, Administrative Services Director Stephanie Mendenhall, Community Services Director Roberta Knighten and Development Director Jeff Zwack, also explained their new roles to the candidates.

Shaun Stone, principal utilities engineer for the city’s public works department, discussed his agency’s responsibilities.

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