Tag Archives: johannessen

West Sacramento gets new vice mayor, or ‘mayor pro tem’

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (right) is sworn in for another two-year term at the helm of the City of West Sacramento. (Photo & info from AL ZAGOFSKY/copyright News-Ledger 2014)

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon (right) is sworn in for another two-year term at the helm of the City of West Sacramento. (Photo & info from AL ZAGOFSKY/copyright News-Ledger 2014)

NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 24, 2014 —

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon was sworn in for another two-year term last Wednesday by Kryss Rankin, City Clerk. Cabaldon easily won re-election during the November local ballot.

Also reelected last month were city council members Mark Johannessen and Chris Ledesma, who each earned another four-year term from local voters.

Johannessen finished up a stint as ‘mayor pro tem’ last week. The council selected Chris Ledesma (whose face can be seen above, just left of Cabaldon) as ‘mayor pro tem’ for the coming year. It’s essentially a vice mayor’s post.

In West Sacramento, the mayor’s position is a two-year, separately-elected position. The other four members of the council receive four-year terms. Every two years, two of those seats go up for reelection.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Johannessen: excited about streetcar, striving to be accessible

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 29, 2014 —   EDITOR’S NOTE: During every West Sacramento election campaign, the News-Ledger invites every candidate to sit down for an in-depth talk on the issues.  This interview completes our series on November city council candidates. We’ve already brought you a look at Chris Ledesma and Jeff Lyon. Candidate Nancy Heth-Tran declined to be interviewed.

MARK JOHANNESSEN: seeking another term on West Sacramento's City Council. (News-Ledger file photo)

MARK JOHANNESSEN: seeking another term on West Sacramento’s City Council.
(News-Ledger file photo)

By Steve Marschke News-Ledger Editor Mark Johannessen is happy with the way things are going in West Sacramento, and he’s asking voters for another four years on the city council. “We’ve got a lot of unfinished business,” he told the News-Ledger this week. “We have the streetcar project we need to keep focused on, we have the transition of the Pioneer Bluffs we need to keep working on. The Washington neighborhood is going to be coming in fast, particularly with the streetcar coming in. . . and we’re going to have to continue to work with the port.” On the topic of the Port of West Sacramento, he added, it has been a good move leasing the whole troubled operation to SSA Marine: “We were bleeding before they came in, and now we’re in the black.” Johannessen, a family law lawyer, settled in West Sacramento in 2000 after what he calls a “nomadic” international career. He grew up in San Pedro and Redding, earning a college degree from Chico State and an MBA in taxation at Golden Gate University. He then worked for Price Waterhouse in accounting and went to law school. Price Waterhouse sent him from Newport Beach to Amsterdam. Then Johannessen sought out something even more foreign than Amsterdam: “I sent a resume to every law firm in Japan,” he recalls. “I got a job with a Japanese law firm and moved to Tokyo. . . Amsterdam is foreign, but it’s really kind of European. Japan is really foreign – you get off the plane and can’t read a thing.” But he discovered that “after six years or so out of the country, you kind of lose your base.” So he moved back to Sacramento and opened a general law practice – “whatever came through the door.” He transitioned into family law in 1993. Shopping for a new home in the region, he found West Sacramento in 2000. Johannessen now lives in the Gateway subdivision in Southport. “My wife is a forensic pathologist and my daughter is a UC San Diego student,” he said. “I wasn’t originally planning on running for anything at that point,” Johannessen remarked. “After a couple of years, I became involved with the Chamber of Commerce as a board member and also helped start the Neighbors Fair, a cultural fair that we did for eight or so years, and helped start the West Sacramento Community Theater, and just generally doing community benefit work in West Sacramento.” “Then I decided that if you want a seat at the decision-making table, you’ve got to run.” Johannessen, age 58,  lost his first bid for city council, in 2004, but won in 2006 and was re-elected four years later. Among the things he’s excited about is the Sacramento-West Sacramento streetcar project, which is slated to start in the next few years with a spur across the Tower Bridge to West Capitol Avenue. “I think the streetcar is going to be huge,” he commented. “One of the things I would like to see is wireless streetcar technology. We’re going to have a fuel cell public fueling station on South River Road. If we could get hydrogen-powered fuel cell streetcars that don’t need overhead wires, we could potentially get them as far as this Nugget shopping center,” Johannessen commented, gesturing around the parking lot near the site of this Southport interview. “Once you have that, you have a basic park-and-ride situation. If you want to go to (the new Sacramento arena), or you want to go to midtown, or you want to get to the airport when they have light rail out there, you come to this parking lot and park here.” Johannessen is also enthusiastic about the “Code for America” project coming to West Sacramento and the region, with the goal of providing programmers to help create new city government efficiencies through data and software. The councilman is himself handy with digital media. One example of a project that Code for America could tackle: “When you ship with UPS, you go on the UPS website and it shows exactly where the package is, and when it checked in and when it checked out. What if you did something like that with building permits, so you know exactly where that document is and have links to the appropriate documents?” Johannessen said he is supportive of the city’s major development plans so far – such as the master plans for Southport, the Bridge District and the Washington neighborhood. He does have some quibbles, but is hopeful that any planning glitches get fixed as time goes by. For example, Southport has been designed as a community of several distinct “villages”: “One of the things about the village concept is you have to make sure you put the shopping centers in the village centers, and that hasn’t happened.” But it probably will for future villages, he said. And Johannessen has been leading a “stakeholders” group tackling the issue of the homeless population in West Sacramento (see the related article in today’s News-Ledger). The group has come up with a strategic plan. “It’s pretty modest,” said Johannessen. “It’s not about ending homelessness, it’s about reducing the impact of the homeless on neighbors and helping some folks that are homeless. . . We’re doing a 120-day trial period to locate housing for 71 (homeless) folks in West Sacramento. We’re looking at different spots to do this with supportive services and. . . get them straightened out and then provide more permanent housing for them. It’s only 120 days, it’s a pilot program.” The housing project won’t make the city a “magnet” for the homeless, he believes. “The list is already closed for housing,” said Johannessen. “Anybody who comes into West Sacramento is pretty much subject to zero tolerance – move on. We don’t want to be a magnet.” In this council race, Johannessen faces fellow incumbent Chris Ledesma and challenger Jeff Lyon. Voters are asked to pick two on Tuesday. Johannessen has endorsed Mayor Cabaldon and said that he supports Ledesma, although the two are competitors in the race and he has given no endorsement. Johannessen believes he knows what it takes to serve on the council. “You’ve got to be engaged in the community,” he said. “People view you as the valve between them and the city. You have to be accessible and you have to answer your calls.”   Do you like what you see here?   You can support local journalism, support this website, and see all the News-Ledger’s articles every week! Subscribe to the News-Ledger newspaper. It’s only $20 per year within West Sacramento – once a week, delivered to your mailbox.   You can even try it for free for two months if you live in West Sacramento. Just send your name and mailing address to FreeTrial@news-ledger.com (offer open to new subscribers in West Sacramento ZIP codes 95691 & 95605). Copyright News-Ledger 2014

News nuggets: West Sac tower wins award, two local teachers are in trouble

 FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — JUNE 18, 2014

News briefs from West Sacramento and the region:

Following an unsuccessful primary election in the State Assembly race, West Sacramento city councilman Mark Johannessen has thrown his support to formal rival Steve Cohn, a fellow Democrat and a member of the city council in Sacramento.

Cohn and Kevin McCarty (also a Democrat and a Sacramento city council member) will face off for the District 7 runoff in November.

Cohn was scheduled to be at the West Sacramento Farmers Market last Thursday, greeting local voters alongside Johannessen, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, city councilmen Bill Kristoff and Chris Ledesma, Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas (from West Sacramento) and former supervisor Mike McGowan of West Sacramento, according to Cohn’s office.

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CalSTRS building under construction in 2008 (News-Ledger photo)

CalSTRS building under construction in 2008
(News-Ledger photo)

The West Sacramento waterfront tower of the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) has won a “TOBY Award” from The Building Owners and Managers Association in the Pacific Southwest region. The region includes California, Nevada, Hawaii and greater Phoenix.

The 2009 building is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as “LEED Platinum,” reaching the highest level of sustainable construction. The 13-story tower houses the member services center and administration for the retirement system, reports CalSTRS.

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A pair of teachers are in legal trouble in separate incidents.

Media reports say Wesley Cuong Trang was arrested after a Saturday night driving incident in Sacramento in which his car allegedly hit several bicyclists. The incident on L Street happened after Trang apparently had a confrontation with cyclists while he was changing a flat tire, which Trang believed had been slashed.

Trang is a teacher at the Yolo Education Center (a public alternative high school) in West Sacramento.

The event occurred during midtown Sacramento’s “Second Saturday” event, which draws many cyclists.
Meanwhile, other media reports say a special education teacher at the Delta Elementary Charter School in Clarksburg faces charges for allegedly stealing students’ prescription medications from a locked cabinet on campus, say various media reports.

The teacher is Sheri Laverne Haselhuhn of West Sacramento.

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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