By Veronica Hampton
Diane Burgis became a new member of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, and re-elected Supervisor Federal Glover was voted in as Chair of the Board for this year, during the board meeting on Tuesday, January 10. During the procedures, Glover announced this will be his last term on the board.
The meeting began with the presentation of colors by veterans groups from Pittsburg and Martinez. Oakley veteran, Randy “Smitty” Smith, led the Pledge of Allegiance and county Senior Deputy Administrator Julie Enea led in the singing of the National Anthem. Re-elected District 2 Supervisor and out-going Chair for 2016, Candace Andersen opened with an inspirational thought for the day by Michelangelo.
“The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it,” she said.
Former Congressman George Miller administered the oaths of office to both the new and returning Supervisors, Burgis for District 3 Supervisor, Andersen who was re-elected without opposition and Glover who began his fifth term as District 5 Supervisor.
Burgis, a long time resident of the county, was welcomed to the board and paid homage to her alma mater, saying “Go Bulldogs” and then thanked her family for their support. She expressed her eagerness to start working with the board and introduced members of her staff, stating she is confident with their help and support they can “help Contra Costa meets its full potential.”
Burgis recognized her predecessor, Mary Piepho, thanking her for her encouragement, saying they share the same goals for Contra Costa County.
“In my district, I want to grow our economy while protecting our natural resources, including our precious Delta, provide quality public service, [and] protect the most vulnerable amongst us, while practicing fiscal responsibility and prudence,” Burgis stated.
In her outgoing remarks as Chair, Andersen thanked the board, staff and family for their support and hard work during her term. She stated she is “grateful” to be reelected and welcomes collaborating with Glover, in his new role as chair, and with Burgis, as well as the other supervisors.
“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues, both new and old as we continue to serve Contra Costa County,” she said.
Anderson hopes that the county’s past accomplishments can continue to produce new accomplishments for 2017. Focus will continue on the research and resources for mental health for county inmates.
“Next Saturday, Board and County Members will travel to Sacramento to attend the Stepping Up Summit, to look at Best Practices on this issue,” Andersen shared. “With the reopening of Pittsburg Fire Station 87, focus will continue on reopening station 16 in Lafayette. The County will continue to further their alliance with AMR and continue to work on faster medical emergency response times.”
Anderson was presented a gift of appreciation by Glover and the board and he thanked her for “making a solid voice for Contra Costa and for handling difficult decisions with style and grace.”
County Clerk Joe Canciamilla swore Glover as the new Board Chair and District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff as the new Vice Chair of the Board for 2017.
In his remarks, Glover announced “that this will be his last term, but it will be his best term.” He said he will continue to strive to make “one Contra Costa County,” and to maintain the county’s AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s. Focus will continue on developing employment opportunities.
Four years ago, Glover asked the Board to look into the revitalization of the northern waterfront in the county as a means of employment opportunities. He will continue to pursue that but also as a means of goods movement.
“Revitalizing the waterfront will not only continue to bring us opportunity for job development but also open up an infrastructure that hasn’t been used in our waterway that will go good for goods movement that will allow us to continue roadwork that is so important,” he stated.
Glover hopes that this will eventually lead to other routes created within the state and other opportunities surrounding the Byron Airport. He then thanked the board, county and his family for their support during his term.
Glover reflected on his past health issues and thanked the county and board for their support during that time. He also thanked Miller and Canciamilla as inspirations and mentors in Glover’s political career.
Both Mitchoff and District 1 Supervisor John Gioia welcomed back their fellow board members, and Burgis, offering well wishes to each other for the New Year. Both thanked their staff for their continued support.
Mitchoff recognized the new library opening this year in Pleasant Hill. Gioia reiterated the county’s success with the AMR alliance and faster medical response times. The Board joined together to sing Happy Birthday to Gioia and wished him well. Mitchoff stressed the importance of encouraging people to run for office. Contra Costa County is one of the five counties, out of the 58 in the state, which have a female majority on their board.
“It is not a bad thing to put good people in office,” she stated.
During Public Comments, Marianna Moore, Director of the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign to End Poverty in Contra Costa thanked and congratulated members of the Board but also thanked Burgis for acknowledging her goal to protect the “most vulnerable amongst us.” Moore stressed the need to work together as the fear of the negative impact that will affect the county’s budgeting and programs, when the new federal administration takes over. She stressed the need to create a sense of safety throughout the county and to continue to work as one Contra Costa County.
Debbie Toth, CEO of Rehabilitation Services of Northern California, which operates the Mt. Diablo Center for Adult Day Health Care, spoke after Moore and “echoed her sentiments” citing her major concern for the increase in senior homelessness, “that is the greatest number in poverty” and will continue to increase.
Pest Detection Specialist for Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture, Lindsay Skidmore of Lafayette, requested that when the labor contract between Local 1 and the County is reviewed, the A-2 medial plan not be removed. Currently the new contract will not have this, leaving many without a subsidized health care plan, causing a negative impact on the income of many.
A motion was then passed to approve Glover’s nominations of Board Members to be appointed to various county committees and regional boards and commissions.
The meeting was adjourned in memory of former Danville Mayor Richard Waldo, and Richard “Brad” Nail, the former Director of Economic Development of Pittsburg.