DJ Becker/The Madera Tribune
Council Member Will Oliver speaks to a group of his supporters Friday at Fastway Chicken at the kickoff for his reelection campaign.
Madera City Council Member Will Oliver, District 3, kicked off his campaign to seek his seat for a second term at a Saturday morning event held at Fastway Chicken on North D Street.
Oliver, 31, will be running against Madera native Steve Montes, 35, who recently filed papers and announced his intent to challenge Oliver for the council seat in the November election.
The event was attended by about 50 supporters and well-wishers from the city, including Madera County Supervisor Robert Poythress, Madera County Assessor Gary Svanda, Madera County Economic Development Commission Director Bobby Khan, all Oliver’s fellow City Council members, and numerous business leaders, who characterized and touted Oliver as hardworking, knowledgeable and “the real deal.”
Promoting a platform of jobs and economic development, Oliver said things were improving for Maderans but hard issues remained. “Like not walking away from the downtown corridors,” he said.
“Securing, expanding opportunities and providing jobs and services for our residents,” said Oliver. “Leveraging dollars from the state. Expanding state Route 99 (to three lanes). Addressing the challenges of housing and the homeless in our city. But progress takes patience and hard work. We also need to embrace our differences and show up.”
Oliver said he had learned and experienced a great deal on how things worked locally in the last three and a half years while serving and on the council, and he was proud of their recent accomplishments.
Oliver has also received the endorsement of the Madera Police Officers Association and the local CalFire firefighters group.
“We have now reduced or waived fees for the downtown development business incentive program. Have a rental (inspection) ordinance that will help end squalor in some of our multifamily housing units,” said Oliver. “We have (clarified and) restricted the future spending of Measure K tax money for councils to come,” among many other improvements.
According to his biography on the City of Madera website Oliver says he is a third generation Maderan with family roots in the community for more than 100 years. Between 2004 and 2005, he was student body president of Madera High School. Oliver attended the Craig School of Business at California State University, Fresno (CSUF) where he earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration.
He attributes his upbringing, great teachers and early involvement in community projects such as the City of Madera Youth Center Advisory Committee and participation in Vision Madera 2025 meetings as spurring an interest to give back to his community through public service.
In November 2015, Oliver was among 28 state and local elected officials invited to meet with senior administration officials while participating in the White House Policy Leaders Convening in Washington D.C.
Oliver currently works for the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) as a business support manager and leads a team committed to providing advocacy, outreach, and support services to area businesses to foster job retention and business expansion.
Prior to the Madera City Council and EDC, Oliver worked as a staff assistant to United States Senator Barbara Boxer from 2008-2012, where he gained an understanding of federal issues and the legislative process.
Oliver currently serves on or has served in the past on the following boards and programs:
Community Action Partnership of Madera County.
Madera Vision 2025 Oversight and Implementation Committee (2005-2011).
City of Madera Community Development Block Grant Review and Advisory Committee (2010-2013).
Madera Sunrise Rotary Club.
Friends of the Henry Madden Library Board of Directors.
Red Shoe Society for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley.
To follow or participate in the Oliver campaign on Facebook search for “councilmanwilloliver” or visit www.willoliver.org.