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Citrus Heights mayor to leave California at end of term: "We're seeing an erosion of local control."

Citrus Heights mayor to leave state once term is up
Citrus Heights mayor to leave state once term is up 02:37

CITRUS HEIGHTS — Citrus Heights Mayor Bret Daniels said he is moving out of state with his family once his term is up in December because of what he believes are too many state mandates coming down on the local level.

"We're seeing an erosion of local control and being able to control our own destiny," Mayor Daniels said. 

Mayor Daniels said it has not been an easy decision to leave a state he calls home but ultimately, he said he wants to raise his daughter in a more conservative, Christian environment that he just does not see in California.

"We just think we need an environment that's a little more towards what our beliefs are," said Mayor Daniels.

Mayor Daniels served on Citrus Heights City Council from 1999-2005 and then from 2016 to today. He said that after over a decade of service, he is moving with his wife and seven-year-old daughter to Corbin, Kentucky.

"California as a state is taking away more and more local control and we don't see that ending, so I just think for her future it would be better to be in another place," Mayor Daniels said.

Some civilians like Daniel Thompson said that local leaders need to lead by example and not leave.

"I feel like you shouldn't desert California," Thompson said. "It's a wonderful place to live. Politics are bad here, but the only way to make change is to stand up and take charge and make change."

Although, the Citrus Heights mayor is not alone. Data from the Department of Finance shows that from 2020 through 2023, California's population dropped by 1.4%. This includes a slight increase of 0.17% in 2023.

Meanwhile, data from Consumer Affairs shows California leads the way in the number of people planning to move to another state in 2024, projecting over 17,000 people plan to move out of state.

"It's easy to become homeless. It's not easy to find a job," said Shannon Buelow, who lives in California. "Being a small business owner for 25 years, I have been taxed to death."

Buelow said she is pretty much ready to leave California herself.

"I would never raise a family here," Buelow said. "My kids are grown, so I did it in a different state."

One of Mayor Daniels' biggest concerns with California is the education system.

"How they are taking away what I will call parental rights and being able to raise your child in a certain way?" Mayor Daniels questioned.

He also said housing is an issue and that more people are starting to live on top of each other, deteriorating the quality of life.

Mayor Daniels said California is too far gone and his time here is up, but he wanted to thank the Citrus Heights community for trusting him.

"It's not a political difference. In my eyes, it's a culture of evilness," he said. "I've done my part and, in the process, hopefully, made Citrus Heights a better place, but I think it's someone else's turn to try and do that."

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