Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Ripon has faced numerous challenges of keeping people safe and businesses afloat.
"It's an awkward position. You want to support businesses but at the same time you have the state and county telling you what you can and can't do," said elected leader Leo Zuber.
He's seeking re-election to the Ripon City Council, and is among the five candidates seeking three seats in the Nov. 3 general elections.
"We need to maintain the quality of life we have in our community and see that several projects that have been started are brought to satisfactory completion," he said.
Included is the Stockton Avenue Rehabilitation Project. At a cost of $4.1 million, this project is near and dear to Zuber and will be paid via eligible funding sources such as Regional Surface Transportation Program and Measure K Renewal.
"It's taken six years to accumulate the funding," he said, praising staff for their dogged efforts.
He's been part of the community for over 40 years.
A graduate of UC Davis, Zuber was the longtime Superintendent for the Ripon Unified School District.
Prior to 2012 — his first year of being elected to the Council — he was involved in numerous community and regional endeavors such as the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, Ripon Art League, Lion's Club, and Altamont Commuter Express (board of directors).
Besides the Stockton Avenue Rehabilitation Project -- construction is set to begin this fall —Zuber has been working to secure funds necessary to rehabilitate and repair several other streets in town.
He'll continue to support the development and establishment of policies to help businesses and boost commercial growth.
"Over the years, the focus of city government has moved from residential development to supporting commercial development," Zuber said.
He added: "Policies have been adjusted and so have the fees associated with commercial development -- creative ways have been utilized to support new businesses that want to come to Ripon."
And then there's the Ripon Multi-Modal Station.
"Completing the Ripon train station as part of ACE's extension of train service to Ripon and other towns to the south of us will provide easier access to Bay Area resources like work, airports, and sporting or cultural locations without having to fight the traffic gridlock on the Altamont Pass.
"A significant portion of the funds has been secured. I want to make sure the rest of the funds are obtained and the station is completed on schedule," said Zuber.