GREENFIELD, Calif. - It is a small town with big drama in City Hall. Right now there are two active lawsuits against the City of Greenfield, Mayor, and two councilmembers.
One of the defendants is current Mayoral candidate Lance Walker. The lawsuits were brought by former City Manager Jamie Fontes and City Planner Mic Steinmann. The city recently fired both men.
Walker says he can't comment on the issue other than to say, if elected, unity is his top priority.
“There is no “I” in team. What I would like to do is unite the council,” Walker tells KION.
Candidate and Mayor Pro Tem Avelina Torres says she was against the city hall shakeup.
“I think it’s too much for our city to have to deal with right now. I know people say well we’re going to
move on. We’ll move on. But really? How are we going to move on with the lawsuits people are bringing to our city,” Torres said.
Businessman and former councilman Raul Rodriguez said he's sure the council had their reasons, but there is still dysfunction. He believes his experience means he's the right man to get things back on track.
We as a city council and mayor, not only do we provide leadership for the city and the vision, but we also
provide the environment so that city staff can work at their best,” he said.
Speaking of business, business is booming in Greenfield. Walker says 'bring in the big box stores.'
“I think if we brought the stores in people would come - from King City, Soledad, Gonzales - and our
people would show here,” Walker said.
Rodriguez wants not only stores, but more housing. The question is going to be how much will be allowed.
“We’re going to have to work with the developers and allow as much housing as possible,” he said.
Meeting Torres at the new Starbucks, the dirt now means development full steam ahead. She wants affordable housing for families and says the city can worry about handling potential traffic troubles later.
“I know for fact national brand stores won’t come to our city if we don’t have enough rooftops," Torres said. “I don’t think a city should stay small because you’re worried about the traffic.”
Where you see a split among the candidates is with the cannabis industry. Rodriguez and Torres have been in favor of weed sprouting in town.
“It’s out of our hands at a certain point, but I’m happy with the way it’s working,” Rodriguez said. Torres says “what other business would want to come in and give our community so many jobs?”
But Walker prides himself on being the only candidate in the race to have voted against it. And aside from not liking the smell and parking, he says the industry hasn't been as advertised.
"1.7 million, not even half of that," Walker said. "It's all been broken promises. Whether it fixes itself in the future, I don't know."