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Mike Doyle, candidate for Danville Town Council photographed in Pleasanton, Calif. on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (Jim Stevens/Staff)

Danville leaders deserve credit for austerity that enabled the town to provide consistent service levels while many communities made severe cuts.

The town has been insulated in part because it contracts for many services and does not participate in traditional pension programs that financially squeeze most local governments.

All six candidates running for three seats on the Town Council in the Nov. 6 election support preservation of the current management system. However, they differ over growth issues.

They all agree that the county's urban growth boundary should be respected and development should occur within those lines to encourage infill development.

But they disagree on a key project known as Magee Ranch, a plan for 70 homes on about 410 acres of land zoned for agricultural use. Some residents say it should be put up for a vote under a growth-control measure voters passed in 2000.

The city says it can't legally do that. But residents could eventually collect signatures to force a ballot vote if they dislike the city's ultimate decision on the project.

While this project has become a key campaign issue, we think it's a premature battle. Hence, our endorsements include candidates on both sides, candidates we believe will best preserve the city's fiscal approach.

To us, Councilmen Newell Arnerich and Mike Doyle have shown strong long-term financial leadership. Retired business executive Bob Nealis brings critical financial acumen that will help preserve the town's budget integrity.