Vice Mayor &
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Mayor Gary SoisethTerm Seated: 12/09/14
Mayor Gary Soiseth was elected to serve a four-year term as the 22nd Mayor of Turlock on November 4, 2014. In addition to being a third-generation family farmer, Mayor Soiseth is the Regulatory Administrator of water and energy policy at the Modesto Irrigation District.
Mayor Soiseth's vision includes protecting businesses and farms from residential encroachment, setting conditions for business expansion and relocation into Turlock, and enforcing clear growth patterns that protect-not jeopardize-prime agricultural land.
Mayor Soiseth has taken the lead on two important issues to Turlock: transportation and drinking water. Mayor Soiseth serves as Turlock's representative and the Vice Chair of the Stanislaus Council of Governments, the body responsible for countywide transportation needs; the Chair of the Stanislaus Regional Water Authority; the Vice Chair of the Stanislaus County Mayors’ Selection Committee; and as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Water Council.
As a former adjunct professor at California State University, Stanislaus, Mayor Soiseth is also committed to strengthening the relationship between the campus and city through events like Warrior Wednesday, a new tradition that opens up Turlock's downtown to returning students each fall. Additionally, Mayor Soiseth has donated his salary to the newly created Mayor's Award for Public Policy, an award that encourages local CSU Stanislaus students to investigate and solve pressing policy issues in the Turlock region. The last two recipients have tackled the efficiency of current and planned bus routes throughout Turlock and “bridging the gap” between the campus and the community.
Before his election, Mayor Soiseth lived and worked in rural villages throughout Afghanistan as the Director of Economic Growth for the United States Army (2012 - 2013) and a United States Department of Agriculture Senior Advisor in Southern Afghanistan (2009 - 2011). Mayor Soiseth was awarded the U.S. Department of the Army's Superior Civilian Service Award, NATO's Global War on Terrorism Award for Civilian Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Distinguished International Service Award, and the U.S. Department of State's Meritorious Honor Award.
Before his time in Afghanistan, Mayor Soiseth worked in the White House, the Association of California Water Agencies, and the United States House of Representatives under then-Congressman George Radanovich.
Mayor Soiseth holds a Master of Public Policy degree in agriculture and water resources from Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy in Washington, DC and the Indian Institute of Management in Gujarat, India; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley with highest honors and distinction.
When not playing with Dash, Mayor Soiseth’s new rescue dog from West Virginia, he enjoys working with his father on his almond ranches in both Turlock and Ballico, California.
Councilmember Amy BublakDistrict 4
Term Seated: 12/09/08
Amy Bublak is currently serving her third term on the Turlock City Council, having been first elected in 2008.
Amy's government philosophy is based on the idea of a cost-effective and efficient government that meets the needs of Turlock residents. Long an advocate for increased budget accountability, Amy was instrumental in the decision to reduce City Hall's operating debt by pre-paying City pension commitments, resulting in over $600,000 in annual savings throughout the next decade.
Amy has worked tirelessly with Mayor Gary Soiseth to bring transparency to all City operations, from a line-by-line analysis of the annual city budget, to creating clear accountability measures for each department's project schedules, to scrutinizing all city-contracts for outside services.
Amy places a great emphasis on public safety, focusing on the rebuilding of Turlock's police department's most crucial functions, including the reinstatement of the K9 unit, the Street Crimes Unit (known now as the Community Outreach Response and Engagement Team), and the increased number of officers on patrol. Amy is also an advocate for the fire department, making sure they receive the frontline equipment needed, investigating options to replace malfunctioning equipment and engines, and advocating for a fully staffed ladder truck by the end of 2017.
Amy also focuses on quality of life issues, specifically supporting “Turlock's Diversion Program,” which works with Turlock's homeless population to abide by local laws while also delivering them the services that they need. While tackling homelessness in an innovative way, it's this same spirit that led Amy to create the “Turlock Partnership Incentive” program. Since July 2011, 45 new small businesses have opened in Turlock using this program and other cities have modeled this unique opportunity.
Amy's long history of community involvement and public service didn't start on the Council. In the fall of 2006, Turlock Mayor John Lazar appointed Amy to the City Planning Commission where she worked to ensure responsible growth during the nation's economic recession. In 1990, Mayor Curt Andre appointed Amy to the Arts Commission. Before this, Amy was a two term Student Body President at the California State University, Stanislaus where she led innovative projects and created “Good Neighbor Day,” a collaborative effort between students, faculty, staff and the City of Turlock concentrating on the restoration of public parks, painting of the Tything Place, and planting trees throughout the community. In 1989 Amy was given the Key to the City of Turlock for her efforts with” Good Neighbor Day” from Mayor Brad Bates.
A police officer of 23 years for both Modesto and Richmond, California, Amy is the former President and board member of the Modesto Red Cross. As a Councilmember, Amy has served as Vice Mayor for three years; Turlock's representative to the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo); Turlock's representative to the City-County Liaison Committee; and a Council representative to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) review committee.
Amy attended California State University, Stanislaus where she earned an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice and a Masters in Public Administration and Urban Government from San Francisco State University. A Stanislaus State Athletic Hall of Fame member, Amy has a passion for activities which help young people become productive members of society.
Amy came to Turlock in 1983. Amy is married to Dr. Milton Richards, the retired Athletic Director at Simon Fraser University (Canada) and California State University, Stanislaus.
Councilmember Bill DeHart Jr.District 3
Term Seated: 12/14/10
Bill DeHart was elected to Turlock City Council in the November 2010 General Election. His family relocated to Turlock in 2002, which has been home since. His election to the Council was another step in his lifelong commitment to service by “giving back” to country and community.
Bill completed his undergraduate work with a B.A. in History and a minor in Elementary Education from Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. Upon graduation, he reported to active duty and served with the United States Marine Corps as a commissioned officer for nearly twenty years – 8 active and 12 reserve - as a helicopter pilot and airborne Marine.
Following his active duty military experience, Bill joined his father's printing business and held roles in management, ownership and direct sales from September 1978 through March of 2008.
Bill has enjoyed countless hours in youth activities with Church Youth Groups from elementary school children through high school youth, coaching youth sports from Little League through Junior High aged teams and wherever he has lived, served his local church in leadership positions.
Bill joined the staff of Covenant Village of Turlock team in April of 2008. He has served as the Director of Marketing, and most recently as the Director of Church Relations and Community Outreach (Development).
Bill and Cheryl, his wife of nearly 43 years, have two adult children and six grandchildren.
Vice Mayor & Councilmember Matthew JacobDistrict 1
Term Seated: 12/09/14
Vice Mayor Matthew Jacob is a natural leader and dynamic member of the Turlock community who strongly believes the city’s best days are ahead. He continually brings fresh perspective to City Hall with a steadfast focus on increased standard of living, government transparency, public safety, economic development, and a strong fiscal discipline.
Vice Mayor Jacob was elected in Turlock’s last citywide Council race in the 2014 Gubernatorial Election. On that same ballot, Turlock voters approved a districting measure which caused him to be retroactively assigned to represent District 1. Through an appointment by Mayor Soiseth and the unanimous confirmation of the Turlock City Council he assumed the position of Vice Mayor in 2017.
Vice Mayor Jacob is a lifelong resident of Turlock and proud TCHS alumnus. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy, concentrated in Domestic Poverty Alleviation Policy, from the University of California, Berkeley with additional studies at both Stanford University and Peking University in Beijing, China.
Vice Mayor Jacob currently represents the City Council on a number of committees, including: League of California Cities Central Valley Executive Committee, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Committee, Community Development Block Grant Selection Committee, League of California Cities Environmental Quality Committee, City/County Liaison Committee, and the Economic Development Work Group. Past appointments have included: League of California Cities Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee, Annual Audit Oversight Committee, Internet Presence Committee, and the Signage and Visibility Subcommittee. Throughout a variety of committee assignments over the years his many contributions have provided a lasting benefit to the City of Turlock.
Prior to his election in 2014, Vice Mayor Jacob served as a member of the City of Turlock’s Economic Development Task Force. Additionally, he was appointed to serve as a Board Member of the Equal Rights Commission by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors. Once elected to City Council he had to step down from the County Commission in order to avoid potential conflict due to overlapping jurisdictions.
Throughout his entire term, the Vice Mayor has maintained an ‘open door’ policy. Inspired by a strong belief in the importance of civic engagement and equity of accessibility to elected officials, he gladly takes on every constituent appointment request. To schedule an appointment, you may contact the City of Turlock’s Council’s office at 209-668-5540.
Councilmember Gil EsquerDistrict 2
Term Seated: 12/13/16
Councilmember Gil Esquer was elected in the November 2016 General Election to District 2. He is a lifelong resident of Turlock and a graduate of Turlock High School and obtained an A.A. degree from Modesto Jr. College.
Mr. Esquer being a lifelong resident of District 2 has an understanding and passion of issues facing the District, formerly referred to as the West side. He vows to be an advocate and an active voice in enhancing City services to the residents of District 2. Gil pledges to work simultaneous with residents and the community as a whole to achieve results in his position as the first elected Councilmember for District 2.
As an active community member, Gil volunteers his free time with many community organizations varying from the Turlock Jaycees (CA Jaycees, U.S. Jaycees, and United States JCI Senate), Knights of Columbus, Sacred Heart Church, Salvation Army and We Care of Turlock. On a national level, Gil participates in fundraisers for non-profit organizations including Muscular Dystrophy, March of Dimes and the Ronald McDonald House.
Councilmember Esquer is the eldest of six children, all still located in the Turlock Area. He and his wife Rosa have been married for 41 years and have one daughter.
* Term will expire following the City Council's confirmation of the official results of the November election.