FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s 3rd District is centered on Fairfield and Suisun City, covering much of those two cities, but also extending across rural Suisun Valley and into parts of lower Green Valley.
Four people want to serve the citizens of the district on the Solano County Board of Supervisors. They are competing in the June 3 election, with a November runoff possible if no candidate can get at least half of the votes.
Incumbent Jim Spering is being challenged by Fairfield City Councilwoman Pam Bertani, Michael Oman and Steven Lowe. Issues during the campaign have ranged from economic development to crime to redeveloping the Solano County fairgrounds.
Jim Spering has been a mainstay of local political life for 28 years.
He got elected Suisun City mayor in 1986 at a time when he managed a local paving company and served until 2006. Then he moved to his present position on the county Board of Supervisors.
As Suisun City mayor, he pushed to put virtually the entire city within a redevelopment district in 1989. The city used anticipated, future tax revenue to float bonds. It then tore down a high-crime area of fourplexes called the Crescent neighborhood, built a public marina and replaced deteriorating waterfront buildings.
He has been active in transportation issues and has been a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission since 1987. His transportation priorities have ranged from widening Highway 12 to four lanes within Suisun City 20 years ago to widening Highway 12 to four lanes in Jameson Canyon today.
On the Board of Supervisors, he was active with the 2008 General Plan that updated the county’s growth policies and has pushed for the Solano County fairgrounds renovation with a mix of public and private investments.
Along the way, he has faced critics – Suisun City unfairly forced out old businesses from the redevelopment area, the fairgrounds project could be a boondoggle that leaves taxpayers on the hook. He has never shied away from responding to critics at public meetings.
Spering at the beginning of the campaign addressed why he wanted to run for a third term. He rattled off a list of projects he’s interested in: Promoting agritourism in Suisun Valley, renovating the Interstates 80 and 680 interchange, having the counties and cities work together to improve the economy, improving paratransit service for seniors and people with disabilities and more.
“They are things that are all projects in progress that we’re trying to wrap up,” Spering said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.