Editor’s Note: The Oroville Chamber of Commerce and The Gazette-Tribune sponsored a candidates’ forum last Thursday. Due to the amount of information, we are splitting our coverage over two weeks. This week we bring you Incumbent mayor candidate Ed Naillon. His challenger, Chris Allen, was not in attendance. All candidates were asked to attend and given a chance to introduce themselves and answer a few questions. Next week will present the candidates for hospital commissioner, Oroville City Council and Oroville School Board. Teagan Lavine was the moderator and asked questions from the audience.
My name is Ed Naillon, many of you know me and many of you may have heard of me. I have been here since 1964. My dad worked for the Oroville Transit Mix, hard worker as a mechanic. He went out to John Shaw’s ranch working as a mechanic and foreman out there for many years. So I had the good privilege to grow up on a cattle ranch. My mom as many of you know had a great reputation as a dog groomer, dog breeder for many years from the 1960s up to the 2000s.
They both had fabulous work ethics. I learned that work ethic from my mom and dad I always been very gainfully employed. I’ve always been known around the community to be honest and a hard worker. I went to Walla Walla and I learned how to be a carpenter. I worked there for seven years. I came up here and worked as a carpenter for quite some time and now of course I work at the school.
I started serving the city in 1994 as a planning commission member. And I served in that capacity for about six years. During that time, we went through the entire zoning code, much of that work still exists and is still relevant today. Started serving on the council in 2008 and served on the council until about the end of 2015. Because of illness I took about five months off and started again toward the end of 2015 and I’ve been your mayor for about 10 months.
That’s basically my experience in Oroville. I can relate to just about any profession. I’ve been involved in farming, orchards, the school and technology so I have a pretty broad perspective.
What are your goals for the next term?
My goal personally is to continue my initiative of informing my council. I think any of the council members who are here will vouch for the fact that I kept them very informed so they can make good decisions that represent all of you. It is not really my job to do this, that, or the other thing. It is my job to inform my council, to do the research, to provide them with the tools that they need.
With that being said, our main goal is to provide growth in Oroville through supporting infrastructure, our services, our law enforcement, our fire department, our ambulance services, our streets, our sewers, our water. These things we get to take for granted every day because we have such hard-working people doing it for us. And thank you to all those people that are here that make that possible. I would say that’s my goal to continue all that. We want to take every opportunity to increase our infrastructure capacity currently.
All of these things are a matter of public record, you can see what we’ve been doing. It’s not like I have to make promises about what kind of guy I’ll be. You can look at what I’ve been doing with the council and then you can decide if I’m the guy you want to vote for or not.
Thoughts on improving crosswalks on Main Street (Hwy. 97)?
We have to work with the state on this. We have made some improvements. Recently we put the (crossing) flags back out. I think we have to keep them painted. We’re working with the state on some more potential places where we can. The state wants to make sure we don’t disrupt our traffic too much. But where we do have our crosswalks we want to make sure they’re well painted and well-lit and sensibly placed.
What is the one thing you would change for your budget?
You have to realize we have to work within the constraints that the citizens can support. So we have that as an endpoint. I wish there was more money, but there’s not so I would say efficiency processes. We have to work within the room, right? So the only thing I would say we have to be efficient, look for more grant opportunities. Right now we are creating several plans, our park plan, our sewer plan, our water plan. All of these plans will allow us to apply for grants. We are also working on a facilities plan and when we get that done we will be able to use some of our facilities money which will offload some of our expenses from our budgets so our budgets become more effective. I just want to continue what we’re doing. We have to have our plans in order so we are eligible for outside money to come in. I can’t really tax the people here more, but if I can bring more money in that would be great.
In closing, what an honor it has been appointed by the council for the last 10 months. Man what a learning curve it’s been. And, funny thing in it literally came at a time in my life when I was self-reflecting on what more could I have to learn. I’m done and then Jon (Neal) said ‘hey Ed.’ It took a lot of reflection because I have a lot of connections in a lot of areas in the city and sometimes they can potentially conflict. I thought well, I stand in a position to bring a lot of people together that have struggled to come together in the past. I’m going to do it and thank you for being a part of it, all of you.