County Supervisors have almost no jurisdiction over city affairs. Other than a few things like Highway 101, and the rare issue of mobile home park rent control, our County Supervisors conduct very little business having to do with the City of Petaluma. Thus, whoever we elect to the 2nd District Supervisor position will not be dealing with Petaluma proper, but will instead be focused on County issues like land use and water supplies.
Who is best qualified to handle these issues? It is interesting to note that in the past 40 years the County Supervisor position has not been held by a rural resident. Although the job requires more than just an understanding of what constitutes pastoral quality of life, it certainly should play a bigger role than it has. As a former Penngrovian, I empathize with the unincorporated’s frustration in not receiving proper representation. County residents often rely on our cities for their livelihood, and in turn contribute through consumer spending, but often get no say in how our city is run. They pay taxes, but when it comes time to have their voices heard, they are often marginalized. These residents often only have the chance to be heard through their district’s county supervisor. In counties like ours, that usually boils down to an elected official from one of the surrounding urban areas, not the rural areas in which these residents live.
There are four candidates vying for the 2nd District County Supervisor position this election. Three are Petaluma City Council members, and one is a rural resident of Penngrove named John King. He is an accountant, businessman, and rancher and seems to be well liked by other rural residence. I look forward to reviewing Mr. King’s website, reading his articles, and researching his perspective on pertinent issues to see if we share concerns facing local government, and the direction I would like to see our community move.
Since I live in the City of Petaluma and am already represented by my city council members, I am leaning towards giving the rural residents a fair shot at being represented by one of their own. As stated in a previous blog (“Vote Your Conscience”), I feel it is part of our duty to help protect minority interests, especially when we are in the majority. I won’t vote for John King just because he represents country ideals, but if he has the qualifications to get the job done, perhaps he deserves a chance to represent his people; the rural residence of So Co South.
Petaluma 360 has a great series covering all four candidates running for Mike Kerns vacated 2nd District County Supervisor seat. Much of the articles’ content is the candidates, in their own words, answering questions, which makes them a must read if you are going to vote for County Supervisor.
For more information on the position of County Supervisor, including meeting schedules, committees and their mission statement, I encourage you to visit their website at http://supervisors.sonoma-county.org/