Canciamilla retired on October 31
By Daniel Borsuk
With the clock ticking for the June 2, 2020 California Primary Election, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday set a schedule to appoint a new County Clerk-Recorder by Feb. 4, 2020.
Supervisors voted 5-0 on Tuesday to follow a schedule to select a new Clerk-Recorder to replace Joseph Canciamilla who surprisingly retired on October 31 after serving one year of his second four-year term.
Canciamilla, who is on record as the nation’s youngest elected School Board Trustee when he was elected to the Pittsburg Unified School District Board in 1973 at age 17, was one year in into his second four-year term as County Clerk-Recorder when he announced his retirement.
Prior to his serving as Clerk-Recorder, Canciamilla had served as a State Assemblyman, County Supervisor, Pittsburg City Council Member and Pittsburg School Board Member.
In March 2013, out a pool of 19 candidates Canciamilla was selected by the board of supervisors to complete the term of County Clerk-Recorder Steve Weir, who had resigned after serving as clerk-recorder for 24 uncontested years.
Supervisors were pressed to establish a selection process and agreed to open recruitment on Nov. 8, close recruitment on Nov. 16, interview selected applicants and select a finalist on Jan. 21, authorize County Administrator David Twa to conduct a social media check and a criminal background check of the finalist and to obtain fingerprints and an economic disclosure statement (Form 700) from the finalist. The finalist will be appointed on Feb. 4.
No one spoke in opposition or in favor of the supervisors’ selection schedule, but supervisors spent some time on whether they’d accept applicants from outside the county and whether the county can attract quality candidates from within Contra Costa County or if the pool of candidates should emanate from outside the county.
“We’re going to get good local people,” predicted Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood.
But District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff warned “I’m not going to vote for some who applies for this position and maintains a rental.”
Authorize Byron Airport Development Lease Negotiations
Supervisors gave county airport officials the green light to commence negotiations with Mark Scott Construction, Inc. to negotiate a long-term ground lease and development terms for three acres of vacant land at the north corner of Falcon Way and Eagle Court at the Byron Airport. The item was approved as a consent item.
The Airport Division of the Contra Costa County Public Works Department received a letter of interest from Mark Scott Construction Inc. to lease and develop the property for aviation use.
The business proposal will be presented before the Aviation Advisory Committee, the Airport Committee, and other stakeholders.
Revert 12-Year Housing Action in El Sobrante
Supervisors took the unusual action of unanimously taking a reversion of property designation that supervisors had approved nearly 12 years ago for a five-lot subdivision at Luise Lane at Hilltop Drive in unincorporated El Sobrante.
Since the developer and owner of the project site, Geoghegan Homes, Inc., has not met county requirements of installing road, drainage and other subdivision improvements as of Dec. 4, 2009 and has missed that extended deadline five times, ultimately to April 20, 2019, the county opted to exercise its reversion powers.
Now the property can only be developed into one house containing 7,000 square feet. Furthermore, the developer must go through a new county planning department review procedure, explained Slava Gospodchikov of the Contra Costa County Public Works Department.
The supervisors’ action did not please everyone especially Robert Johannessen, who lives across the street from the subject site and has seen rise of traffic accidents on Luise Lane when motorists take detours off nearby Interstate 80 when the freeway is jammed due to an accident. “It’s not a safe neighborhood anymore,” he said. Johannessen thinks any development on that site, even a 7,000 square foot house, will draw potential traffic problems to the neighborhood.
Other Board Actions
In other business, the supervisors approved five United States Department of Homeland Security Urban Area Security Initiative Grants contracts for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District totaling $408,900. Those contracts include:
- $295,000 for the purchase of a hook lift modular transport vehicle.
- $10,000 for two 8,000 lbs. rated grip hoist rescue units.
- $24,900 for Weapons of Mass Destruction rescue Personal Protective Equipment such as butyl rubber gloves, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosive filter cartridges and adapters.
- $38,000 for search and rescue listening devices; and
- $41,000 for the purchase of two search cameras.