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David Oro

David Oro

City of American Canyon

Councilmember David Oro, appointed to the City Council a year ago, has launched his campaign for the November election in the hopes of retaining his seat.

Voters in American Canyon will decide on two council seats this year, along with a host of local and regional initiatives.

Oro was appointed last February by the council to fill out the remaining term of Belia Ramos, who left to join the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

He announced his bid for his own term on social media, and has launched a website to raise money and inform voters about his platform.

“One year ago I was appointed and took an Oath of Office,” Oro wrote in a Facebook post. “It has been an honor to serve on the American Canyon City Council and help drive this City forward for our citizens. My goal was and continues to be ‘getting things done.’”

City Clerk Suellen Johnston said Oro has opened a campaign account, making him the first candidate to do so.

The seat held by Mark Joseph, who has served on the council since 2010, is also up for election. Joseph told the American Canyon Eagle in December that he intends to run for a third term in office, but has not yet launched his campaign.

The official filing period for City Council races begins July 16.

Before deciding on council races in November, American Canyon voters will vote in June — and by mail only for the first time — on a host of issues ranging from higher bridge tolls to fund transportation projects to restrictions on cutting down oaks trees for winery expansion.

Regional Measure 3 will ask voters throughout the Bay Area to approve hiking bridge tolls by $3 over time to raise millions of dollars for large infrastructure efforts, including those in Napa and Sonoma counties that might be of interest to American Canyon commuters.

The measure would increase tolls on the Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Antioch, San Francisco-Oakland Bay, San Mateo-Haywood, Richmond-San Rafael and Dumbarton bridges by $1 in 2019, 2022 and 2025.

Funding from Regional Measure 3 could go towards a new intersection at Highway 29 and 221 that would eliminate traffic signals and replace them with an overpass and two roundabouts to improve the flow of traffic.

Local transportation officials also say the ballot measure could help finance a costly plan to elevate portions of Highway 37 to avoid future flooding from sea level rise in the coming decades.

Interim City Manager Jason Holley has said Regional Measure 3 could help American Canyon build new turn lanes at Highway 29 intersections in the city to help with traffic problems.

Voters may also help decide three seats on the Napa Valley Unified School District Board of Education come November — assuming there’s an election.

In 2016, five of the seven seats on the NVUSD school board were up, but only one of them (Area 5 covering southwest Napa) drew multiple candidates. The other four seats — including Area 4 covering American Canyon — went uncontested, resulting in those elections being cancelled and the sole candidates taking office.

This year, Areas 1, 3 and 6 are up for election. Area 1’s seat is currently vacant, Area 3 is represented by Thomas Kensok, and Area 6 by Robb Felder.

If those seats result in competitive elections, American Canyon voters will participate in them because board trustees are elected at-large.

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American Canyon Eagle editor

Noel Brinkerhoff has been editor of the American Canyon Eagle since 2014. Prior to that he covered state politics in Sacramento for the California Journal.