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Volunteering Professionals Race For Third Sacramento Council Seat


Two men with volunteer experience are running to represent Sacramento City Council District Three.

Both Jeff Harris and Cyril Shah have worked and lived in the city for the majority of their lives.

Harris is a general contractor and is on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Shah is a financial advisor . He says the council must address the city's problem of growing retirement fund debt.

"There's no easy answers. But, I have the experience and the ability to ask the right questions and at least get us on the right path."

Shah is on the American River Flood Control Board. He supports the arena project as does Harris.

Harris says the arena's value is in the development it will spark nearby.

"It's the development money coming into town. We can work on K Street, hopefully it will move into the River District, jump start the Railyards."

Harris says parks, pools, police and fire are his priorities. He says funding solutions to homelessness now will make the city more efficient.

"I feel it's costing us a tremendous amount of money to do the daily revolving door of moving homeless people to shelters, to jails."

Shah also lists police and fire as  priorities and says the council must address the city's growing retirement fund debt. He also wants to create a small businesses roundtable.

"I want to make sure that locally-owned small businesses get their fair share of the economic benefit of the downtown revitalization."

Shah says the city council is the next step on his path of service on boards and commissions.

"It's been a progression of getting involved and giving back and volunteering in any way that I can."

Harris says chairing the committee that created the city's sales tax measure, Measure U, opened his eyes to the possibility of running for city council.

"The thing is, in participating in the process, I felt like, OK, I'm effective at this. You know, I have a voice in changing policy for the city. Why not go for it?"

Both men say they believe the proposed McKinley Village development in East Sacramento lacks proper access.

Sacramento's third city council district splits the city in half and runs from Truxel to East Sacramento. The seat was vacated by longtime council member Steve Cohn.

Seven people ran for the seat in the June primary. Harris and Shah finished one-two in that race to qualify for November.