Tag Archives: board

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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