Glover highlights accomplishments this past year as Board Chair for possibly, the final time
By Daniel Borsuk
Water, air quality, transportation and the new Pleasant Hill public library will be top 2018 hot button issues of newly elected Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors Chair Karen Mitchoff. District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond was elected Vice Chair for 2018, in the annual rotation of the board’s leadership.
A supervisor from Pleasant Hill and representing District 4 on the board, Mitchoff said after being sworn into office by Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Jill Fannin on Tuesday, “The new year ushers in a rush of ideas of reflection and projection” as she aims to apply the four key issues during her administration in 2018.
“While I doubt the $3 bridge toll increase will pass, I believe the measure should be placed on the ballot so that the people have the opportunity to vote on it,” she said, who replaces District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg as chairperson.
Concerning water quality issues, Mitchoff said Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion Twin Tunnels project is “going nowhere.” The supervisor added, “This project does not have the funding.”
The supervisor said state and local governments need to come up with more sensible, less costly and more environmentally compatible water projects similar to the proposed Los Vaqueros Reservoir expansion project near Brentwood.
“I’m happy to say it’s been a great year,” said outgoing board chairman Federal Glover of Pittsburg. “We did everything from A to Z.”
One of the county’s major accomplishments has been the continual financial stability, Glover said. “We’ve been financially stable the last seven years,” he said. The county has maintained a Standard & Poors AAA rating an Aa3 rating from Moody’s Investor Services.
Glover was also proud of the work done on the Northern Waterfront Planning Area. “The Northern Waterfront initiative is becoming a reality with new business opportunities,” the supervisor from Pittsburg said.
“It is predicted by the year 2030 some 18,000 new jobs will be created along the waterfront,” Glover continued.
The Northern Waterfront is already being planned to be used for a self-driving car testing site and as a potential public university campus site.
In 2018, the county will break ground to construct a $60 million county administration building to be constructed nearby the existing administration building in downtown Martinez, the county seat since 1850. An additional $40 million will be allocated to build a modern Emergency Operations Center at Glacier Drive in Martinez. The county closed on $100.3 million in lease revenue bonds to construct the new administration building and Emergency Operations Center. The bonds were sold for a 15-year term at an interest rate of 2.387 percent.
During 2017, the board of supervisors were responsible for 35 major achievements, said Glover. Some of those achievements were:
- The appointment of interim District Attorney Diana Becton, who replaced former District Attorney Mark Peterson who was found guilty for misuse of campaign funds.
- Creation of the Stand Together CoCo, a rapid response and community education project to support safety and justice for immigrant families in Contra Costa.
- Ended the year at 83 percent Live Release Rate for all animals at county run Animal Services facilities. The live release rate for dogs and cats was 87 percent, up from 67.17 percent in 2014.
- Contra Costa County Fire Protection District ambulance service performance is now required to arrive 90 percent of the time within 11 minutes and 45 seconds in all zones except Richmond, where they are required to arrive within 10 minutes and 90 percent of the time. District performance has consistently been in the 95 percent range and at time as high 98 percent. This means ambulance response times are much quicker.
- Approved the mixed use Saranap Village Project near Walnut Creek. The project will provide 198 housing units and a significant amount of commercial space.
During her initial year in office, District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood listed a number of accomplishments in 2017 including seeing the opening of a Veterans services office in Brentwood and the start of Tri Delta bus service to the Martinez Veterans Medical Center.
Burgis said she looks forward to a number of accomplishments in 2018 that will benefit East County constituents including completion of work on the Morgan Territory, Byron Highway and Balfour Highway projects and the startup of EBART train service.