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Newcomer Thuesen runs for CPCSD board

By From page A1 | October 10, 2012

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JOE THUESEN, 39, of Cameron Park is running for Cameron Park CSD. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

Describing himself as “the guy who nobody knows,” Joe Thuesen has thrown his hat in the ring to run for a board position on the Cameron Park Community Services District.

A 911 Dispatch Operations Supervisor for a Sacramento regional 911 center, Thuesen, 39, is married with four children. A previous resident of Elk Grove, he and his family moved to Cameron Park three years ago. “We fell in love with it. This is our home and this is where we want to stay,” he said.

While he has never served in public office before, Thuesen believes he is well qualified for the job because of his more than 12 years of experience as a dispatch supervisor. “I have experience with the fire department and EMS and a big part of CSD is safety,” he said. “I understand more about fire services than other board members because I work with fire personnel on a daily basis. I can speak their language and understand their concerns. I know their operations.”

His education also helps. Thuesen said he has a masters in public administration as well as a law degree. He said the combination of education and work experience “help me to understand the reality of government and actions that go on and their purpose along with public recreation and other aspects of community service.”

If elected, Thuesen said he would have two priorities. One would be to ensure that  safety is the district’s number one priority and that the fire department is fully funded. The second would be making sure the district has a balanced budget and its fiscal house is in order.

“The biggest threat is the amount of revenue we have coming in,” he said. “The economy still hasn’t turned around and the amount of property taxes continues to slide and decrease. We need to remember it’s taxpayer money and it needs to be spent wisely. That’s the main threat. It’s a big one and will not go away any time soon.” Thuesen said his previous budget experience comes from working as a public employee.

Thuesen said he has attended some board meetings and has also reached out to critics of the board. “Their concern that the fire department was not fully funded and that savings were rolled back into the general budget needed to be validated,” he said. “That money should have stayed with the fire department.”

Saying he has cringed at some of the comments made during board meetings he’s attended, he said, “We do have freedom of speech and I defend it as a former Marine Corps veteran. But it’s not appropriate to gang up on people.
“We need to follow the golden rule and bring a level of professionalism to public meetings since they are for everyone not just a few people. We need to follow Roberts Rules of Order, parliamentarian procedures, and follow the policies that are in place to ensure that we have a good open dialogue that is not a yelling match or someone cursing or something that is not appropriate.”
Describing himself as a passionate and optimistic individual, Thuesen says he is having fun running for office because it gives him a chance to talk to people about the district and its function, where their tax dollars go, and to also get feedback from residents.
“Some people are very happy with the services,” he said. “They say let the board and  general manager do their job, get out of their way, and let them do what we pay them to do. Others are a little dissatisfied and want more services and safer parks. Generally I believe we are doing a good job but could always do better. We need to continue to create programs that are responsive to the needs of the community.”
Asked about the continuing problem of generating enough revenue for the Community Center, Thuesen said, “The world is an oyster and we just need to go out and grab it. The Community Center just needs to be opened up. It’s a pearl that just needs to be discovered. So I believe the opportunities are endless. Other communities don’t have the beautiful center we have that we can market and use to bring in more revenue. There are great opportunities out there and they will continue to be for us as long as we keep our fiscal health in order.”

Noting why residents should vote for him, he touted his wealth of experience in being with the fire service for over 12 years and his education and knowledge base. He said while other directors would have to learn about the fire department, he already brings that knowledge with him. “That sets me apart from other candidates,” he said. “I also have four kids and am very involved in CSD events. It impacts me what they do just from a personal point of view.

“The reason I’m running is to provide the experience I have and to share it. I run because it’s just like my job, it’s helping people. That’s why we were put on this earth — to help others. God says it is our duty to help others and I want to put the service back into community service. There’s no hidden agendas. No one is pushing me to run. There is just Joe doing what he thought was best for the community and making it a better place for our children.

“I’m convinced we will have a good election, a good turnout, and as a director I will be able to bring some of that optimism forward.”

For more information about Thuesen’s campaign, go to his Website at electjoe.net.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

 

Dawn Hodson

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