Four of the five hopefuls for the Clovis city council met at a forum Monday morning. The city hosted the event at the Senior Center. While not a debate format, the candidates answered questions one at a time addressing subjects as how to improve the economy, how to handle an unpopular development project to how to prevent crime.

Clovis residents will vote for three council seats. Unlike Fresno and other cities, all of Clovis’  council seats are voted at large. That means all voters in the city can can choose the candidate. In Fresno, there are seven distinct districts. Only voters in that particular district are allowed to vote.

The Clovis city council has been one of the most stable legislative bodies around. Thus, it is rare this March 7 election that two of the three seats available do not have an incumbent. However, Of the three seats, two are for the full four-year term and one is to fulfill the remaining two years of Harry Armstrong’s term. The longtime councilman retired at the end of last year. The other seat was vacated by Nathan Magsig, who won election to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

Only two candidates are running for the two four-year positions. Lynne Ashbeck, a council woman since 2001, is poised to be re-elected. Vong Mouanoutoua is a city planning commissioner and longtime resident.

The only actual competitive election is for the two year seat. Paul Soares, who is the CEO of Camarena Health, appeared at the forum with Drew Bessinger, a retired Clovis police captain, who has served as an interim chief for other Valley cities. Aaronjack Perry is the third person to run for that seat. He was invited to the event but declined because of a time conflict.

The candidates kept a positive town, and frankly all had similar visions for Clovis. Mouanoutoua spoke about his experience as a Hmong immigrant and how even he is included in the “Clovis Way of Life.”

Watch the videos, broken down by each round of questioning.

Opening statements:

What does the city of Clovis do well? What can be better?

What are top economic priorities?

What is your message for senior citizens?

How do you decide how to vote if there was opposition to a development project?

What are your inspirations?

What are your budget priorities?

How do you envision the relationship between council and the administration?

What are the responsibility of residents to prevent crime?

Closing statements

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