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Uecker seeks four more years on Ripon Council
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RIPON - Dean Uecker is working hard to hold on to his Ripon city council seat, vying against three other hopefuls for two open seats in the November 2 election.

“I feel I am the right guy for the job and I have been a Riponite for some 40 years.  I’m just one of the good old boys who care about Ripon.  I have an office here and I’m always accessible and I support Dan Prince (for council).  He’s a good friend of mine,” the councilman said.  “Most people are just not as accessible as I am, except maybe for Dan Prince.”

Uecker said he is looking forward to the next four years, saying half of a public servant’s initial term in office is a learning process.  “You get to learn the ropes and now you get a better feel for it, and I think I can do more.”

The first-term councilman said he is “open minded” adding that he likes to listen to people.  He said he can do things that will help the city and bring other businesses into the community.

“With the times as they are now, we need to think about being more user friendly.  Why not, if we have to forgive, or stretch things out as with permits or things like that, we need to do something about bringing new businesses into town by whatever means it takes,” Uecker said.

He noted that he has been very closely associated with the police department and their people having been on a ride-along with Chief Richard Bull some time ago.  Uecker said he has been endorsed for council by the Ripon PD.  

“I ran on public safety four years ago and that is still my basic philosophy – public safety, street safety, and I would really like to see a lot of our money spent on our old streets in Ripon than some of these projects we’ve done in the past that were voted on before I was in council,” he said.

Uecker added that it’s not that the projects were bad, but like the Jack Tone project – “which is a very beautiful project” – but it was a perfectly good road.  “You’ve got roads in the older parts of Ripon that are just horrific. I would like to see more concentration on fixing those roads.”

The city councilman was ired about a letter that was published last week in the Ripon Record that charged that he was following the San Francisco Giants playoff game during the candidates’ night in the city council chambers.

“That’s pretty upsetting to me – it really doesn’t bother me – but what bothers me is that it was written about (council contender) Carolyn Jensen.  When people are writing articles about you – you as a candidate have probably seen it or know something about it – it was about that candidates’ night ‘when you were looking at the scores’ – I never did look at the scores,” Uecker said.

He explained that his phone will not give him the scores, adding that somebody had told him what the scores were at that time.  

“It’s offensive to me that somebody would outright lie that that’s what we were doing.  Of course, I am a Giants’ fan and I care about the game.  I actually think what happened was that somebody was there that told me the score, so I made mention to that fact and they alluded that was what I was doing,” Uecker said.

He said he talked to another candidate about the published letter and asked if it was really a bad thing because the Giants were winning and Ripon is a Giants’ area.  “Maybe we will get all the Giants’ votes and it may not be a bad thing per se,” Uecker chuckled.

“The fact that it is a lie is offensive, because I would not allow any of my constituents to write anything bad about anybody else if I knew about it. But Carolyn was there – she knows we weren’t doing that,” he said.  “She was sitting right next to us  and I never took my phone out of my pocket.”