Editor’s note: This is the last of a four-part series profiling the candidates for Merced County supervisor for District 3.
William Snyder III has a plan to cut county costs, increase revenue and stimulate the economy – but the 50-year-old dairy manager isn’t ready to reveal it.
Snyder is running for Merced County Supervisor in District 3 and said he’ll share his economic plan with the public once he’s elected to the office. One thing he will say is that he doesn’t believe in eliminating jobs to close a projected $9.3 million shortfall in next year’s county budget.
“I think you need to not look at cutting, but working with the employees and asking them how to make it more efficient,” Snyder said. “You’ve got to trust your people.”
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Snyder said he will protect Merced County’s economy by providing incentives to small business owners. Snyder said he’s supervised more than 800 employees and knows what it takes to set and reach goals.
“You’ve got to take care of your taxpayers and protect the businessmen,” he said. “Give them incentives, give them reasons and opportunities every chance you get.”
Snyder said he believes the county can increase tourist activity by doing more to capitalize on assets such as Lake Yosemite and the county fairgrounds. “I believe we can get half a billion dollars into our economy using our resources that we are not utilizing to our advantage.”
Snyder said he supports the Board of Supervisors’ discretionary funds, a $40,000 yearly allotment that can be used for projects within each supervisor’s district.
“That’s what it was for – to take care of areas the county supervisor deems important,” Snyder said. “I’ve seen them use it for a lot of good things. It’s not a misappropriation.”
Snyder’s approach to fighting crime and gang activity consists of creating after-school programs to give youth a sense of validation.
He would also push to require gang members to do more than 200 hours of community service to build positive relationships and find mentors in the community. “You can reduce your gang numbers through positive, uplifting activities and that’s the priority,” Snyder said.
Like his competitors, Snyder believes Castle Commerce Center has untapped potential, but said it hasn’t been used to its full capacity thus far. Snyder said he supports privatizing Castle by taking it out of the county’s hands and allowing master developers to take over.
“Right now, Castle is a haven for ground squirrels and we haven’t had any real progress out there since it closed,” Snyder said. “Businessmen want to make money. They want to grow, they have hunger and motivation. Giving developers a very good financial opportunity to make money and involving the community in those decisions is paramount.”
Snyder doesn’t believe a code of ethics is necessary to govern decisions made by the Board of Supervisors. He said each supervisor knows the difference between right and wrong.
“They don’t need to be told right or wrong,” Snyder said. “We don’t need a code of ethics if we believe and trust in the people we have in office.”
Prior to being elected to the Merced Union High School District board, Snyder’s opponents have taken issue with him trying to remove himself from the ballot in 2012. Snyder acknowledged doing that, but said he had reasons for it.
“I had family obligations that I felt would require more of my time, and that’s why I went to withdraw,” Snyder explained. “Then when the community voted me in, I felt it was my responsibility to put upon myself to do the best job I could.”
Snyder’s term on the school board ends in November, but he hasn’t announced if he will seek re-election.
The primary election will be held June 3. The incumbent, Supervisor Linn Davis, did not return multiple calls to be interviewed for an election profile.