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Post-election results, & comments from the local candidates

NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 11, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

The ballots are in, and there are no significant changes in local results since the News-Ledger posted early vote counts on its website on election night, June 3.

Oscar Villegas successfully fended off a challenge from fellow Democrat Norma Alcala and will keep his seat on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

West Sacramento City Councilman Mark Johannessen did not make the runoff in the race for the District 7 seat in the California Assembly.

The election did not feature any West Sacramento city council or school board races.

Some key local results:

Villegas defeated Alcala 61.5 percent to 38.5 percent in the local supervisor’s race. Villegas earned 2,670 votes and Alcala had 1,668. Turnout in the district is listed as 23.1 percent.

OSCAR VILLEGAS: Just earned a full term as Yolo County supervisor following a recent interim appointment by Governor Jerry Brown (News-Ledger photo)

OSCAR VILLEGAS:
Just earned a full term as Yolo County supervisor following a recent interim appointment by Governor Jerry Brown
(News-Ledger photo)

Villegas told the News-Ledger he took the win as an affirmation by the voters.

“I think they want to see the work I’ve been doing carried on at the county level,” he commented. “They know I understand the needs of the community. They understand that I recognize the need for social services, health services, mental health systems, and the criminal justice system.”

Villegas works part-time for the state board of state and community corrections. He was challenged in the race by Norma Alcala, a local business owner.

Alcala provided an emailed statement after the election in which she thanked supporters for their help.

NORMA ALCALA: Argued that Clarksburg and West Sac deserved a ‘full time’ supervisor, and county board needed a woman’s voice (News-Ledger photo)

NORMA ALCALA:
Argued that Clarksburg and West Sac deserved a ‘full time’ supervisor, and county board needed a woman’s voice
(News-Ledger photo)

“Running for supervisor provided me with a tremendous opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in the district,” she also said, in part. “I wish Mr. Villegas the best, and I ask him to know that many fine people have placed their trust in him.”

Alcala carried precincts four and five in West Sacramento – much of the area just north of  the barge canal – but Villegas carried the rest of the city’s votes. The supervisor’s district does not include a slice of northwestern West Sacramento, and does include Clarksburg.

In District 2, including Winters and part of Davis, Don Saylor ran unopposed. Matt Rexroad ran unopposed in District 3 (Woodland).

JUDGE OF THE YOLO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, DEPT. 3:
Janene Beronio defeated three competitors, earning 12,380 votes (or 53.5%). Beronio is currently a commissioner for the court. Second place in the race was John P. Brennan, with 17.1 percent of the vote, followed by Larenda Delaini of West Sacramento with 15.1 percent and Fredrick Cohen with 14.3 percent.

YOLO COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Jesse Ortiz edged out Sam Neustadt 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent (11,548 votes to 10,833). Ortiz carried the votes in every West Sacramento precinct.

COUNTY CLERK/RECORDER/ASSESSOR
Incumbent clerk/recorder Freddie Oakley, who oversees the elections department as part of her duties, defeated challenger David Schwenger 67.1 percent to 32.9 percent (15,381 to 7,540).

OTHER YOLO COUNTY RACES:
District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Public Guardian/Administrator Cass Sylvia and Sheriff Ed Prieto all ran unopposed.

MARK JOHANNESSEN (News-Ledger file photo)

MARK JOHANNESSEN (News-Ledger file photo)

CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, DISTRICT 7:
West Sacramento’s Mark Johannessen (currently on the local city council) came in fourth among a field of five. Democrats Kevin McCarty and Steve Cohn finished on top and will proceed to a November 4 runoff. They’re both members of the Sacramento  City Council.

McCarty placed first with 34.7 percent of the vote (13,187 votes), followed by Cohn at 28.7 percent, Republican Ralph Merletti at 15.2 percent, Democrat Johannessen at 12.4 percent (4,733 votes) and Republican Oliver Ponce with 8.9 percent.

Johannessen told the News-Ledger that campaigning for Assembly was an “interesting” experience.

“I was able to reach out to a lot of areas in the (Assembly) district that were very similar to West Sacramento,” he commented.

But he said it was tough to make headway in a campaign with low voter turnout and “no burning issues,” and he waged an uphill battle for name recognition against the winners — fellow Democratic city councilmen over in Sacramento.

“In West Sacramento, we’re viewed very well as a community,” he said. “But the council doesn’t really have personalities (perceived) very separate from the council. We kind of act as a unit. In Sacramento, you have council districts.  People tend to know the name.”

“People tended to vote the names they knew, even if they didn’t know about the person.”

Johannessen’s seat on the local council comes up for election again this November — and he intends to run for another term, he told the News-Ledger.

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 6
Democrat Doris Matsui, the incumbent, came in ahead of Republican challenger Joseph McCray, Sr., with 73.2% of the votes (43,312 votes) in this primary. McCray earned 15,876 votes for 26.8 percent. Both will move on to the general election in November.

GOVERNOR’S RACE
Democratic Governor  Edmond G. “Jerry” Brown earned 54.3 percent of the vote in the open primary, and will face second-place finisher Republican Neel Kashkari (19.4 percent) in the November primary. If Brown is reelected, he will be the first California governor to earn four terms.

For detailed results in state contests, go to http://vote.sos.ca.gov.  For a breakdown on Yolo County races, visit www.yoloelections.org.

 

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Villegas keeps seat; Johannessen falls short in bid for Assembly

City Council Member Mark Johannessen will not be in the November runoff election for State Assembly (News-Ledger photo)

City Council Member Mark Johannessen will not be in the November runoff election for State Assembly
(News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — JUNE 4, 2014 —

Election results are still unofficial, but there have been no major changes in local results since the first votes were counted last night. Oscar Villegas successfully fended off a challenge from fellow Democrat Norma Alcala and will keep his seat on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

West Sacramento City Councilman Mark Johannessen did not make the runoff in the race for the District 7 seat in the California Assembly.

The election did not feature any West Sacramento city council or school board races.

Some key local results:

NORMA ALCALA believed the Yolo Board of Supervisors needed the perspective of a woman and Latina, but fell short on yesterday's ballot  (News-Ledger photo)

NORMA ALCALA believed the Yolo Board of Supervisors needed the perspective of a woman and Latina, but fell short on yesterday’s ballot
(News-Ledger photo)

YOLO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, DISTRICT 1 (Clarksburg and most of West Sacramento):

Villegas defeated Alcala 61.5 percent to 38.5 percent. Villegas earned 2,670 votes and Alcala had 1,668. Turnout in the district is listed as 23.1 percent.

In District 2, including Winters and part of Davis, Don Saylor ran unopposed. Matt Rexroad ran unopposed in District 3 (Woodland).

JUDGE OF THE YOLO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, DEPT. 3:

Janene Beronio defeated three competitors, earning 12,380 votes (or 53.5%). Beronio is currently a commissioner for the court. Second place in the race was John P. Brennan, with 17.1 percent of the vote, followed by Larenda Delaini of West Sacramento with 15.1 percent and Fredrick Cohen with 14.3 percent.

YOLO COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

Jesse Ortiz edged out Sam Neustadt 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent (11,548 votes to 10,833).

COUNTY CLERK/RECORDER/ASSESSOR

Incumbent clerk/recorder Freddie Oakley, who oversees the elections department as part of her duties, defeated challenger David Schwenger 67.1 percent to 32.9 percent (15,381 to 7,540).

OTHER YOLO COUNTY RACES:

District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Public Guardian/Administrator Cass Sylvia and Sheriff Ed Prieto all ran unopposed.

CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY, DISTRICT 7:

West Sacramento’s Mark Johannessen (currently on the local city council) came in fourth among a field of five. Democrats Kevin McCarty and Steve Cohn finished on top and will proceed to a November 4 runoff.

McCarty placed first with 34.6 percent of the vote (11,804 votes), followed by Cohn at 28.4 percent, Republican Ralph Merletti at 15.2 percent, Democrat Johannessen at 12.9 percent and Republican Oliver Ponce with 8.8 percent.

U.S. House of Representatives, District 6:

 

Democrat Doris Matsui, the incumbent, came in ahead of Republican challenger Joseph McCray, Sr., with 73.4% of the votes (38,349 votes) in this primary. McCray earned 13,914 votes for 26.6 percent. Both will move on to the general election in November.

GOVERNOR’S RACE

Democratic Governor  Edmond G. “Jerry” Brown earned 54.5 percent of the vote in the open primary, and will face second-place finisher Republican Neel Kashkari (19.0 percent) in the November primary. If Brown is reelected, he will be the first California governor to earn four terms.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Villegas believes he’s right for the Yolo board of supervisors

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 28, 2014 —

  Last week, the News-Ledger brought you an interview with Norma Alcala, who is running for the Yolo County Board of Supervisors. This week, we offer this chat with Oscar Villegas, who hopes to keep that seat.
  This race is part of the June 3 ballot.

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

“This job is not one you can just sort of stumble into,” Oscar Villegas told the News-Ledger on Saturday. “You really need to understand the issues, the personalities, the different government components and the complexity of the issues. My ability to ‘not complicate the simple issues’ and to ‘not simplify the complex issues’ is important.”

OSCAR VILLEGAS (News-Ledger photo)

OSCAR VILLEGAS
(News-Ledger photo)

Villegas, took a seat on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors this year to represent Clarksburg and most of West Sacramento in “District 1.” It was a governor’s appointment, made to fill a vacancy made when Michael McGowan moved on to other things.

Villegas feels he’s made a good start on the board, and deserves to be re-elected on Tuesday’s ballot.
Challenger Normal Alcala, a fellow Democrat, has criticized Villegas for “double dipping” as both a paid full-time county supervisor and full-time employee of the state. But Villegas told the News-Ledger he is no longer a full-time state worker.

“What I’m doing right now is working part-time for the state, and full-time for the county,” he commented. “I don’t see myself increasing my time with the state.”

“I also have two full-time staff in my (board of supervisors) office.”

Villegas has always lived in West Sacramento. He grew up in the Bryte neighborhood in the city’s northwest, attending local schools and then Christian Brothers High School. He earned a degree in criminal justice from Sacramento State.

He said he has volunteered his time coaching Little League and soccer, working with Meals on Wheels and being civically involved. Twenty-two years ago, he married Katie Villegas, who is now a member of the local school board and the executive of the Yolo County Children’s Alliance. They have two kids and live in Southport, “a mile south of the Pheasant Club.”

“I have always been active,” said Oscar Villegas. “My first date with Katie was actually walking precincts for (Yolo Sheriff) Bob Martinez. I said, ‘What are you doing Saturday,’ and she said, ‘nothing.’ I said, ‘Great, I’m walking precincts – why don’t you join me?’”

During college in the 1980s, Villegas said he was doing school projects on the issue of whether what was then “East Yolo” should become a city. He looked at the government studies and reports, concluding it should.
It did, actually. The neighborhoods of “East Yolo” became West Sacramento in 1987.

Villegas eventually served on the city’s planning commission (he was appointed first by Wes Beers and then by current mayor Christopher Cabaldon), and then served as a city councilman for 13 years.

“We’ve worked very well together,” he said of Cabaldon. Villegas has not, though, endorsed council colleague Mark Johannessen in Johannessen’s current run for state assembly.

Villegas now works as a field representative for the state board of state and community corrections, working with local governments helping to train corrections personnel.

That job meshes a bit with one of Yolo County’s big current issues, called “realignment.” That’s a move by the State of California to move some state prisoners into local jails, and let some prisoners out of jail under supervised programs. It’s meant to combat state prison overcrowding. Villegas said Yolo County is doing an effective job so far trying to manage this process and prevent some of these released prisoners from re-offending.

“Our communities cannot afford to find out that the policies the county has instituted have not worked, and we have this perpetual recidivism, and it’s unsafe,” he commented.

To that end, Yolo needs to study which classes of prisoners need to be targeted for services and support to prevent them from committing new crimes.

“Now, you have the sheriff, the D.A., the public defender, the probation department and the cities all working together to figure out how you are going to manage this population if more people are going to be let out into our communities rather than in jail. . . What are the best chances to provide those programs so they don’t recidivate and cause new crimes?”

Villegas said he is opposed to the governor’s “tunnel” proposal for the water system. But does he have a favored alternative?

“Storage is a big (alternative), and there is no question there is a need statewide for water, and for a better way to manage our water,” he answered. “I don’t know if there is any one option right now that is going to serve everyone’s needs.”

Yolo County’s government is now recovering from drastic budget cuts during the recession. That trimmed county services.  He’s cautiously optimistic things are now on the mend.

“One of the things it’s easy to forget is that one of the county’s core responsibilities is being that safety net for when people are struggling for whatever reason,” said Villegas. “Whether you’re in need of mental health services, or substance abuse help or job search services – there’s a range of things that happen in the course of your life.”

“I know, because my family had to use it when my father was laid off from the railroad,” he said. “It was a struggle for my parents. I remember specifically having to use food stamps to purchase our meals at the end of the day. I want to make sure that. . . people know we’re here and (help) as easy to access as possible.”

Villegas said he supports the county’s policy goals of preserving agricultural land and trying to avoid development on the acres that separate Yolo’s individual cities.

“That’s the culture and philosophy of the board, but it’s tough,” he said. “It’s not easy to do that. But I agree, that’s certainly the right policy and I certainly subscribe to that.”

So far in his shortened first term, Villegas feels he has brought a “pragmatic” approach to the Yolo board of supervisors and that he’s “been embraced” by his new colleagues. He feels that it has helped that he already had a rapport with various leaders in the region.

  “To be able to pick up the phone and talk to a supervisor in Sacramento or a supervisor in Solano County, or the mayor of a city here in the region is how you get things done,” said Villegas. “I feel very confident I can pick up the phone and have that conversation.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Chamber installs new officers; Kristoff to get ‘lifetime achievement’ award

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 15, 2014 —

The West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce will install a new board of directors at its annual installation dinner, held this year at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow (Jan. 16)  in the civic center galleria.

Marty Swingle of Capital West Realty is the 2014 chairman of the board of directors.

At the dinner, the Chamber will also honor several people and companies.

BILL KRISTOFF: West Sacramento's longest-serving city council member will receive a 'lifetime achievement award' from the local Chamber of Commerce tomorrow  (News-Ledger photo)

BILL KRISTOFF: West Sacramento’s longest-serving city council member will receive a ‘lifetime achievement award’ from the local Chamber of Commerce tomorrow (News-Ledger photo)

“Businessperson of the Year”: Chris White, California Fuel Cell Partnership/Capitol Bowl.

“Business of the Year”: The Burton Law Firm.

“West Saramentan Lifetime Achievement Award”: Bill Kristoff (a city council member).

“Volunteer of the Year”: Chris Jarosz, Broderick Roadhouse.

“Ambassador of the Year”: Michael Brady, CSQHA Architects.
For information on the event, call 371-7042.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Mike McGowan to step down as supervisor, accept governor’s appointment

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 13, 2013 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Michael McGowan, one of West Sacramento’s preeminent ‘pols’ since becoming the city’s first mayor in 1987, will leave elected office next month.

He has been appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as deputy director of strategic planning and policy at the state department of motor vehicles.

MICHAEL McGOWAN: Currently a Yolo County Supervisor, he has served as West Sacramento's first mayor and is now immediate past president of the California State Association of Counties (courtesy photo)

MICHAEL McGOWAN: Currently a Yolo County Supervisor, he has served as West Sacramento’s first mayor and is now immediate past president of the California State Association of Counties (courtesy photo)

“My last board of supervisors meeting is December third and my first day at the new job is the fourth,” McGowan told the News-Ledger.

After serving on West Sacramento’s first city council starting in 1987, McGowan was elected to the Yolo County Board of Supervisors in 1993. He has served the 1st District (Clarksburg and most of West Sacramento) since.

He believes the county to be in “sound” shape with a great staff.

What will he do at the new job?

“My role is probably more akin to being a special assistant to the director,” he told the News-Ledger. “One of the things I know I’ll be doing right away involves the ‘undocumented drivers’ legislation that the governor approved into law. That will undoubtedly require some programming challenges. How is it going to work in different parts of the state, or with local sheriff’s departments?”

The new post pays about $125,000 annually. The remainder of McGowan’s board term (which ends in January, 2017) will be filled by an appointment by the governor.

McGowan told the News-Ledger he does not yet know if Governor Brown will seek his input on filling the new vacancy on the board of supervisors.

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Turned down by West Sac school board, language charter school will appeal

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 17, 2013 —

A proposed charter West Sacramento charter school will appeal to the Yolo County Board of Education after being denied a charter by the school board of the Washington Unified School District.

The staff of Washington Unified School District opined that the school was unlikely to succeed partly due to a lack of understanding of school finance.  The school has appealed.

[adrotate group=”9″]   The Northern California Language Academies project will be on the agenda for 3:35 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at the county office of education, 1280 Santa Anita Court #120 in Woodland.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2013

 

Kirby-Gonzalez wins board seat

SARAH  KIRBY-GONZALEZ: She's a teacher in another district, Southport resident, parent and the newest member of West Sacramento's school board (News-Ledger photo)

SARAH
KIRBY-GONZALEZ:
She’s a teacher in another district, Southport resident, a parent and the newest member of West Sacramento’s school board (News-Ledger photo)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — FEB 5, 2013

West Sacramento voters today used an all-mail election to fill the last year and a half of a vacant four-year seat on the local school board.

The Yolo County Elections Office has released the preliminary results of that vote, and the apparent winner is Sarah Kirby-Gonzalez, a teacher in the Folsom-Cordova school district. The early count credits her with 2,573 votes, or 50.7 percent of the vote.

She is followed by Francisco Castillo, an official with the StudentsFirst reform organization, who has 1,315 votes (25.9%). The pair campaigned heavily and with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations. Kirby-Gonzalez drew support form teachers’ unions, and Castillo from StudentsFirst and charter school advocates.

Finishing up the field:

Linh Nguyen, 738 votes (14.5%)

Katherine Gales, 252 votes (5.0%)

and Nicholas Turney, 200 votes (3.9%)

Kirby-Gonzales will fill the last year and a half of the four-year school board term vacated by Sandra Vargas on the Washington Unified School District board of trustees.

More in the next edition of the News-Ledger.

  UPDATE, MARCH 6, 2013: The Yolo County Elections Department has updated the results and made them “final and official.” Sarah Kirby Gonzalez was credited with a victory over second-place Francisco Castillo by 51.2% to 26.1%.

  Voter turnout in West Sacramento was 5,520 out of 23,141 registered voters, or 23.9%.

  For the full vote tally, visit the Yolo County Elections Department page here.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013