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.
Pam Bertani considers herself ready to move from the Fairfield City Council seat she won in 2011 to the Board of Supervisors.
“What I see in my years on the City Council is there’s a serious disconnect and lack of leadership on issues that affect this county that people care about,” Bertani said.
She mentioned the growing homeless population, safety concerns and the state of the economy. She doesn’t see herself better positioned to address such issues on the City Council, as some have suggested.
“I’m not leaving Fairfield,” Bertani said. “This is about Fairfield, this is about Suisun City, this is about Solano County.”
Being on the Board of Supervisors means she would be able to do more, she said.
Bertani said crime is going up. She links this in part to the economy and sees the county as being able to take such steps as beefing up the Workforce Investment Board and making more day care available so people with children can work.
“Desperate people do desperate things,” Bertani said. “As long as we have the highest unemployment rate in the Bay Area, things are going to keep happening.”
Solano County’s unemployment rate has hovered around 8 percent in recent months but dropped to 7 percent in April, still the highest in the nine-county Bay Area, though lower than Central Valley counties and the state.
Bertani said that, if elected, she’ll work to do away with the Board of Supervisors’ longevity pay and $10,400 annual auto allowance. Board members get this money in addition to a $96,085 annual salary.
“We can’t afford the perks,” Bertani said. “We just can’t.”
Bertani grew up in Oakland and says the person she most admires is her mother – “who loved us unconditionally, sacrificed to send us to college and led by way of example to show us the power of love and family.”
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.