By Tony Lopez

LOOMIS (CBS13) – There was a Town Hall showdown on Tuesday in sleepy little Loomis, now wide awake with political intrigue.

The drama is over a newly elected council member Dave Wheeler, who won in a landslide, but the mud is waist deep.

“The opposition that lost, I think they’re grasping at straws,” Wheeler said. “It’s really sad to me that they would attempt to usurp the voters’ rights.”

Wheeler is also the fire chief of the Loomis Fire Protection District. Some say that’s a potential conflict.

“I think it is clearly illegal,” Gary Bliss said.

Bliss is the incumbent beaten by Wheeler. He denies this is a case of sour grapes, but he has plenty of skeptics.

“We the people soundly, by large number, put Mr. Wheeler in office,” one woman said at Tuesday’s meeting. “We are tired of your personal agendas being more important than we the people.”

Wheeler’s supporters pointed out that the fire district isn’t connected to the town but an independent agency.

No action was taken amidst the debate after the council backed off on threats to seek input from the attorney general but encouraged private citizens to do so if they wish.

Wheeler said that won’t happen and he told us that he plans to take his seat on the council and keep his fire chief position.

He denied he’s trying to have the best of both worlds and told the council what he told us – that he’s not budging.

“Dave Wheeler will serve on the town council,” he said at the meeting. “The voters selected Dave Wheeler to do so.”


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