“The biggest problem we face is lack of money — and that’s not necessarily a huge problem, because people come up with ingenious ways of thinking when money isn’t handed to you,” said Carol Patton, candidate for Placerville City Council. “People travel the nation to visit heritage towns.We have the real deal here and we have to showcase it. We need to respect our past and make changes to keep pace with the future.”
Patton, 54, has lived in El Dorado County since 1980 and raised two children here. Currently an office manager for a financial consulting firm, she owned Placerville Clothing on Main Street for 18 years, was an active member of the Placerville Downtown Association and a Placerville Planning Commission for 11 years.
“I want to make a difference in my community, especially now with a grandson,” said Patton. “Historically, I’ve always been involved with city projects and local government in Placerville and I enjoyed it immensely. When I closed my business in 2011, I took a step back for a while and found I really missed being involved.”
One focus for Patton, if elected to City Council, will be how to raise sales tax revenues in the city. “We live and die with sales tax revenue. What is critical is the character of Placerville — how we encourage big retailers to come to Placerville and yet not end up looking like everyone else.” Patton says there are under-utilized areas all over the city that could be used for big retailers.
Her wide range of connections made over the years through her business background, membership in a variety of organizations, such as the Sierra Business Council, the Placerville Area Convergence Team and Community Pride and through living in Placerville are what Patton believes she brings to City Council. “Connections are critical in a small town and I don’t think the people running against me have near the depth in that regard.”
Patton, a former landscaper, spearheaded the popular dopwntown hanging flower basket project, working to plant the baskets hanging throughout downtown, organizing fundraisers to build the baskets and getting them put up and watered during the hot summer.
While not a fan of the Hangman, Patton believes that businesses should do what they want to do. “But the Hangman is a sign and they should apply for a sign permit like any other business.”
She continues to be a proponent of the Clay Street Bridge/roundabout project and her history with the development of the project goes back 15 years to its beginning. “People never really got to see the project and all the funding components that supported it.”
Patton does not believe the homeless encampment, Hangtown Haven, should be a government responsibility. “Historically, churches and different social organizations took in the homeless and I believe that’s who should take care of the problem. The city has some responsibility and it’s admirable that it’s involved, but the solution shouldn’t be government-driven.”
“The people of Placerville — and the Hangtown Creek are Placerville’s greatest assets,” said Patton. “I would love to see the creek daylighted and open to the public. Maybe businesses could see the creek as a benefit instead having their backs to it.”