Fresno Bee voter guide

Welcome to our guide for Election 2016 races. Compare candidates' views side by side, then create your own ballot, which you can print or email.

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Important note: Candidates' responses have not been edited except for clarity, language and libel. Candidates provide their own photographs and video. Candidates for non-partisan offices are listed as No Party Preference, regardless of party registration.

Hanford City Council - Area C

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  • Candidate picture

    Mark Cole

  • Candidate picture

    Martin Devine

  • Candidate picture

    Gary Pannett

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Biographical Information

In your opinion, what are the city's top three challenges? How would you address each of these issues?

The drought has affected communities throughout the Valley, especially those that depend on agriculture. What steps, if any, should the city take to diversify its economy? What steps would you propose?

Gangs have committed crimes and taken lives in communities throughout the Valley. What strategies would you propose the city undertake to keep kids away from gangs, and to help those in gangs give up the gang life?

Why are you the best candidate to serve on the city council? (Text or YouTube video.)

Age 61
Residence Hanford, CA
Family Daughter, Han-Mei, 32 Son, Christopher, 30
Education A.S.
Occupation Salesman
Public service experience Hanford Chamber of Commerce Ambassador
Facebook/Social media
1. Revitalizing Downtown Hanford: I am currently trying to get a 501 c3 called Restore Downtown Hanford. It has been approved on the Federal level, I'm just waiting for approval from the state. 2. A new Fire Station. 3. Save our Parks
As Hanford is a huge agricultural community, water is always a big issue. The drought has caused many financial problems among farmers, as they have to dig new wells and go deeper to find water than they ever have before. Digging these huge wells, is not an inexpensive undertaking. I don't feel the city should diversify to make up for farming. Much of our economy is dependent on farmers and we should look into ways to assist farmers instead of pushing them aside and looking for other financial ways to support the city.
Luckily, Hanford does not have a serious gang problem. Currently I am working with the Big Brothers/Big Sister organization to start an office in Hanford, to attack the situation before it becomes a problem, by reaching out to the youth who could, because of their situation, be lured into the gang lifestyle.
As a 3rd generation resident of the city, I remember how prosperous our downtown used to be. I actually care about the city and the residents. I have no other agenda, than to help revitalize Hanford.
Age 51
Residence Hanford, CA
Family A daughter, Kylie Devine 18 years old and a son, Aiden Devine, 10 years old
Education Hanford High School and College of the Sequoias
Occupation Pest Control Professional
Public service experience Served 10 years on the Republican Party of Kings County Central Committee. Founded and served as the President of two Kings County Republican Groups.
Facebook/Social media Martin Devine for Hanford City Council @DistrictC2016
The first challenge Hanford faces is poor leadership from our current City Council starting with my opponent, the incumbent Gary Pannett. Mr. Pannett was elected four years ago and has shown himself to be a tax and spend individual who is willing to approve policy decisions of which I believe have been detrimental to Hanford's future. I'm addressing this with my candidacy, I seek to make sound decisions, provide good leadership and fiscal responsibility all with a desire to listen to those I would represent. Second is crime. Hanford has grown and along with that growth comes an increase in crime. Hanford once had the goal of being the safest city in the Valley. Public safety being my first concern, I will work to reestablish that goal, by being financially and fiscally responsible with our priorities and budget. We have great need for a new police and station stations and this has not been addressed by my opponent. We also need to increase staffing in both police and fire departments. The third challenge is revitalization of our historic downtown. The city's policies adopted by my opponent and the majority of the Council have been detrimental to the revitalization and preservation of our downtown. I would look at ways we could encourage investment from the private sector and develop partnerships to revitalize our downtown. Hanford's downtown could be a place where the community at large comes to visit restaurants, entertainment venues and our unique historic buildings.
The city of Hanford needs to continue to recruit businesses which will not compete for those resources that agriculture is dependent upon. We need to recruit businesses which provide above average wage jobs for the citizens of Hanford and to develop new policies which encourage investment in our industrial park and our historic downtown. The steps I would propose include not only policies of investment and recruitment of new businesses but also policies to encourage recharge of the aquifer which our city uses for its drinking water, industrial and business uses. As a city we need to recognize our responsibility to recharge the aquifer so we are prepared to deal with drought and years of low rainfall.
The city of Hanford needs to invest in its recreational opportunities for its citizens. I'm talking about developing specific goals that would encourage opportunities for our youth to be involved in something other than a gang lifestyle. These decisions can only be made by an individual or group of individuals who are committed to solving this issue. Being a father of a ten-year-old son, I understand the dangers that are lurking out there and will lead the discussion and push the issue of developing the opportunities for our youth. I would invest more resources in programs such as the Hanford Police Department's PAL (Police Activities League) program. We must give the youth of our community opportunities to be around positive role models and positive influences which will lead them away from gang influence.
I was born in Hanford, and graduated from Hanford High School in 1985. I am of the third generation of family which first settled in the Hanford area in the 1930's. For nearly 25 years I have worked as a pest control professional in various aspects of the business. I am fiscally conservative and believe government should always do more with less. I am an outspoken individual who believes in open discussion and public participation. I'm also a consensus builder and can get along with my fellow Council members even when I disagree with the position they may be taking. The Hanford City Council has been extremely dysfunctional over the last four years. Hanford and our district is in desperate need of positive, strong leadership. While out walking the district I constantly hear from people of their desire for change and the need for a good person to step forward and make positive changes. I believe I am that person, I'm from Hanford, I'm for Hanford.
Age 67
Residence Hanford, CA
Family Married, father of four
Education College, California Vocational Credential
Occupation HVAC Vocational Instructor/ City Councilman
Public service experience Hanford City Council, Hanford Planning Commission, Hanford High School Joint Union Board, Chair of Kings County Action Organization
Facebook/Social media
Challenge number one for the City of Hanford is ensuring public safety. As an expanding city it is vital that we continue to increase fire and police protection in our growing community. A second important challenge for Hanford is the continued development of our downtown district. We need to create additional funding for the preservation of historical buildings by focusing on additional parking, lighting, and fee reductions. A third challenge facing Hanford is the budget. We have a growing city and the budget is limiting us from keeping up with city repairs and additional infrastructure. I will work with developers and agencies in seeking grant funding while cutting red tape and zoning costs to seek new revenue. We must explore all available options such as seeking state and federal aid.
Agriculture is the heart of our Valley. The drought is forcing us to rethink our current watering methods. We need to educate and encourage our community to use different irrigation techniques such as drip systems, as well as alternative landscaping and native drought resistant plants for our city parks and residences. Education on various government rebate programs will help offset the financial strain on individual homeowners as they make changes that will help save water. I voted no on raising water rates in Hanford because I feel that punishing the people with taxes and fees is not the answer. We must adopt a new way of thinking regarding water usage.
The strategy we need to take as a community must involve partnership with parents, community leaders, and local law enforcement. Job training for future employment and financial aid for higher education along with local recreational activities all play a part in keeping youth out of gangs. We need to be vigilant with the gang problem by evaluating what is working and what is not working as well as listening to the youth and community. As an experienced children’s minister, I have seen children seeking acceptance and value in the wrong places. It takes leaders in our community spending time with the youth and letting them know they are valued. We must encourage interests in positive programs and developing future skills.
As a long-time Hanford resident, I am invested in this town and have the experience as a long time community leader. I have volunteered with various organizations and programs, working with the youth individually, promoting positive opportunities, education and job training. My experience also includes vocational teaching within the prison system, so I know the challenges firsthand facing our youths. When we faced budget woes, I voted against raising taxes, and instead worked toward ballot measures that gave the citizens their own choice. Additionally, I voted against the raising of water rates and zoning and business application fees. Any spending that I have been a part of while serving on Hanford City Council the past four years has been a joint effort with my fellow council persons and we have maintained a budget consistently in the black. I consider myself a public servant and look forward to continue working together to make Hanford a safe, strong city.