FAIRFIELD — Supervisor Linda Seifert will continue wielding the gavel at Board of Supervisors meetings during 2014.
Her peers on Tuesday chose her as chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors for 2014. That’s the third straight year, the longest period a supervisor has held the position in at least a couple of decades. The board at one time had a policy of rotating the position.
“I want to thank you for your leadership,” Supervisor Jim Spering told Seifert. “You have led this board through some very difficult times.”
Seifert said the Board of Supervisors has five members with five different points of view. Yet, she said, people would be hard-pressed to find instances over the past year where supervisors didn’t work to find common ground.
Supervisors chose Supervisor Erin Hannigan as vice-chairwoman and Supervisor John Vasquez as chairman pro-tem.
Then supervisors gave their comments for the coming year. They talked both about optimism because of the improving economy and the need for caution with the budget amid lingering economic uncertainties.
“We don’t want to get complacent,” Spering said.
Supervisors thanked county officials for the work they do. Seifert said the officials never look at the clock to see if it’s time to go home.
Supervisor John Vasquez also thanked rural Vallejo-area resident Donald Tipton for holding supervisors’ “feet to the fire.” He later extended the comment to Suisun City resident George Guynn. The two often question board policies during public comments periods.
Guynn in the following public comments period noted Vasquez and Vasquez’s brother are in a legal dispute over the Vasquez Delicatessen business in Vacaville, as news accounts have reported. Back taxes are owed and Vasquez should go to Tax Collector Charles Lomeli after the meeting and write a check, Guynn said.
Seifert started to gavel Guynn down, saying public comments forum is only for issues within the purview of the Board of Supervisors. Guynn said that tax collection is within the board’s purview and what applies to citizens applies to supervisors.
Spering said “the speaker,” meaning Guynn, has a double standard and that elected officials also have the right to due process in court. This is a complicated issue, he said.
“Understand the issue before you start judging people,” Spering told Guynn. “Get the facts. Know what you’re talking about before you get up and start accusing people of things.”
Thomson expressed disappointment with personal attacks on elected officials. He talked about addressing issues. In turn, he said, the board needs to be more lenient with some of the public.
Seifert said she tries to act consistently when running meetings and that issues of a personal nature are not policy matters within the purview of the board.
Vasquez took the small controversy in stride. This is a business matter between two brothers that he’s put in the hands of the court. He’s met with the tax collector to understand the importance of the nonpayment of the taxes, he said.
“It is a (news) story,” Vasquez said. “Obviously, none of us want to read anything that’s not positive about us. But’s that’s all right.”
With that, the board got back to the business at hand. That included deciding which supervisors would be on what regional and local boards and committees. There are more than 50 such boards and committees.
Such discussions some years have gotten competitive, with supervisors vying to get the assignments that they wanted. But supervisors on Tuesday quickly divvied up the assignments without a word of protest.
Seifert will again be on the Association of Bay Area Government board, with Hannigan her alternate. The association last year worked on the regional Plan Bay Area growth plan.
Spering and Vasquez will remain the board’s representatives on the county Local Agency Formation Commission. The commission oversees annexations.
Among other major assignments, Spering will sit on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District board, Solano Transportation Authority board and Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Thomson will sit on the Delta Protection Commission and Solano Economic Development Corp. board. Hannigan and Spering will sit on the Solano 360 committee looking at county fairgrounds development.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.