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Hughson elects Carr, Beekman to council; rejects new school bond
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Some major changes have hit the small town of Hughson in the past year including the hiring of a new city manager and the removal of three council members through a recall election, but with the preliminary results of the Nov. 2 election it looks like Hughson residents are happy with their present leadership.

Hughson Mayor Ramon Bawanan won in his uncontested re-election bid with 1,332 votes, or 92.89 percent, to 102 write-in votes.

Hughson Council member Matt Beekman won another term on the council with 1,008 votes (35.97 percent) and recently elected council member George Carr, who won former council member Thom Crowder's seat in the August recall election, won a seat on the council with 770 votes, or 27.48 percent.

"I am looking forward to focusing on work, getting back to business and continuing the positive things going on in Hughson," Beekman said.

He said he is very thankful for the opportunity to potentially continue his role on the council and hopes to focus on economic development while giving 110 percent. Beekman has high hopes for Hughson.

Carr is also thankful for the opportunity to serve on the council for the past two months he was elected to serve in the August recall election.

"I am very excited that it appears that I will be able to serve the city of Hughson for a full four-year term," Carr said.

Carr wants the city to focus on getting more grant money to purchase park land and continue to develop parks in Hughson.

Candidates Miguel Oseguera and Billy Gonzales, who also ran in the August recall election, fell short of a council seat. Oseguera picked up 525 votes (18.77 percent), and Gonzales, 474 votes (16.92 percent).

Beekman started his role on the Hughson City Council in February 2009 after he was appointed to take the seat of Gerald Ledermann who resigned from the council on Jan. 26, 2009.

And Carr has taken a recent role on the council on Aug. 30 after winning Crowder's seat in the recall election to serve out the rest of his term, which ended this November.

On Aug. 24 Hughson voters recalled council members Thom Crowder, Doug Humphreys and Ben Manley after they were found to be in violation of the Brown Act, Fair Political Practices and Regulations and the Hughson Municipal Code in a December 2009 Stanislaus County Civil Grand Jury investigation.

The three council members were also accused of planning to terminate former City Manager Joe Donabed before the council voted 3-to-2 to not renew Donabed's contract in May. For the past five months, the City of Hughson has been run by acting City Manager Thom Clark who also wears numerous other hats as director of planning/building and director of public works/city engineer.

The city's new manager Bryan Whitemyer will start Nov. 15 with a full council, including three new faces - two from the recall election and one from Tuesday's election.

Hughson Unified School District voters slammed the door shut on planned school campus improvements when they defeated Measure H. Only 1,480 voters supported the bond measure, or 40.69 percent, compared to 2,157 who said no, or 61.28 percent.

The failure of Measure H means HUSD cannot issue $20 million in bonds to be spent on aging school facilities. Supt. Brian Beck said Hughson High School is in need of modernization of classrooms and restrooms and a new science building. He said most of HUHS buildings are at least 60 years old as the school celebrates its 100th anniversary.