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Newcomer talked out of running for Ripon council
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Educator Shane Smith is on the ballot for the Nov. 4 vote for Ripon City Council election even though he says he has been talked out of running because he is relatively new to the community.

Smith, 30, is as a Christian school teacher, a coach and has a strong regard for family, and is currently working toward his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.  Being new to Ripon he wanted to make a positive difference for youth in a town much like the one he called home while growing up.

Smith has thrown his support behind candidate and former council member Mike Restuccia for three-man City Council that includes his own non-candidacy. 

But what if he were to win one of two spots since his name is still on the ballot? His name is actually on top of the list of candidates appearing on the  ballot?  When he decided to withdraw, it was too late for his named to be removed. 

“If I received the votes (without campaigning) I would do it,” Shane quipped.

He said the issue he was having with running for council was whether he could totally commit to the responsibilities of the office while he was so busy even though he isn’t married and doesn’t have any children to demand his attention.

He is currently teaching at Modesto Christian after earlier teaching at Turlock Christian. His classes in Modesto include AP U.S. History, and being Social Studies chair, having been head football coach and athletic director in Turlock. He is now the quarterback coach at Modesto Christian High School..

“Football is my hobby. I went to Texas Christian University (TCU) and I try to get to as many games as I can,  taking a red-eye flight — baseball and basketball much the same,” he said.  “But, I love TCU football.”

Shane added that he likes to read political as well as history books, and stories on national politics and local politics as well. The book he is currently reading, “Who Killed Patton?”

He originally settled in Modesto but after talking with a fellow teacher who lived in Ripon, he checked out the community immediately realized it was much like his hometown of Pinbrook, TX, where his dad was a police officer.

“Ripon really reminds me of that town — really safe and where you would like to bring up a family,” he said. “The thing that hit me most about Ripon is that people are spending their money elsewhere. The downtown should have more businesses, more shops. New businesses  coming into town would spark the economy.”

“One of my biggest concerns is that the kids don’t really have a place to hang out after school from Ripon High School and the junior high level. They need to be close to home and not go elsewhere,” he said. 

Smith said he is concerned that kids today are too immersed in technology and don’t take time to personally socialize with each other or with adults. 

“Our youth are really being set up to fail with the technology of today,” he said. “This is huge.”