Solano County

Spering, Bertani spar over fighting crime

By From page A3 | April 19, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Pam Bertani says statements by incumbent Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering show he doesn’t care about crime in Fairfield – while Spering counters that the city councilwoman’s criticism reflects her desperation after failing to deal with crime in Fairfield.

Bertani and Spering are among four candidates on the June 3 ballot for the 3rd District supervisor seat that covers most of Fairfield and about half of Suisun City.

Bertani stood Friday across from the Solano County Government Center and said Spering had remarked at a Wednesday campaign forum, “If I cared about crime in Fairfield, I would run for City Council.”

“You’ve got to come out of the glass building,” Bertani said, “and into the community.”

“We need the brilliant Board of Supervisors to care,” she said.

Spering said his political opponent is misstating the point of his comments about crime, an issue he said Bertani pledged to address in Fairfield when she campaigned for the City Council in 2011.

“She’s abandoning the promise she made when she ran,” the county supervisor said.

“If she thinks the county can solve her crime problems, she should run for sheriff,” Spering said.

The county supervisor said Bertani is on the defensive because people are asking her why she’d leave the City Council if crime in Fairfield is her concern.

Steven Lowe, a businessman, and Michael Oman, a builder and investor, who are also running to represent the 3rd District as county supervisor, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Bertani said Friday she had to hold on to her seat at the campaign forum after Spering’s comments.

“Someone saying it’s not their responsibility is unacceptable,” Bertani said.

A total of 25 shootings, she said, have happened this year in the 3rd District and the county has partners it can work with to develop jobs that will help reduce crime.

County government involves more than big deals for big developers, Bertani said.

“This is about real life and people dying,” she said of crime. “I won’t stop talking about it until there is action.”

Larry Bluford, head of the Christian evangelical ministry The Harvest Unit Gathering Souls – know as Operation THUGS – spoke Friday before Bertani and said caring about the community should be automatic for a leader.

The Rev. Sam Morris of the BayNorth Church of Christ in Fairfield followed and said, “Pam Bertani has a core set of values.”

“If you don’t value your community,” Morris said, “you don’t value the people.”

Spering said he doesn’t take issue with religious leaders’ interest in the county supervisor election.

“If the pastors want to get involved in politics,” he said, “they certainly have the right to do this.”

Timothy Gonzales, director for the North Central region, including Solano County, of the Service Employees International Union Local No. 1021, was among people present when Bertani spoke Friday.

“We’re here for you,” he told the county supervisor candidate. “You can count on us.”

A friend of labor is a friend of ours and we’ll do what we have to for you to get elected, Gonzales said.

Spering responded that SEIU does not support him.

Fairfield Mayor Harry Price, a Spering supporter, said of the county supervisor and fellow City Councilwoman Bertani: “Both of them are seriously committed to making this city and county much safer.”

He declined further comment.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 53 comments

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  • If Pam abandons Fairfield 2 years in, how long will she be a supervisor until the union tells her to run for another officeApril 18, 2014 - 6:56 pm

    I want supervisors handling County business and Council members handling city business. Is Pam saying that the city is unable to handle its crime problem and needs the county Sheriff to take over police duties? This is what happens when the union pays for a candidate that doesn't understand elected roles. Pam is making the entire police department look bad by saying they can't handle the crime problem. Our city can thrive if our elected officials were focused on the city and not on the next position the union wants them to run for. I hope everyone that voted for Pam to serve for 4 years remembers that she only wants to do half the time.

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  • mescApril 18, 2014 - 7:01 pm

    We've seen Vallejo fall down the gutter when Unions cost them 70% of their tax money and now Pam wants to do the same to us? BANKRUPT the City of Fairfield and Solano County? No thanks.

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  • Mr. RealityApril 19, 2014 - 8:40 am

    Well mesc, maybe you should look at the Unions that cost the city the most by far. That would be Fire & especially Police, Mrazs & Moys main campaign backers. The cost to the city is astronomical when it comes to wages & retirement. Yet council failed to address these problems. FEA (SEIU) gave up the most in personnel, wages, retirement & healthcare. It was police & fire cost that did the most damage to Vallejo as it still continues to do so here in Fairfield. Have you seen PD’s new MOU? Only thing that saved Fairfield (& PD from concessions) was the 1 cent sales tax. I think it's safe to say that Pam has done little for Fairfield as a whole.

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  • CD BrooksApril 19, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    Mr. Reality? THE Mr. Reality?

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  • Mr. RealityApril 19, 2014 - 4:18 pm

    Reality, what a concept....

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  • mescApril 19, 2014 - 2:00 pm

    Please do not ask me to be silly and choose between the worst of all evils. "but look at what they gave up" is not the way to view this. I am more concerned with the city heading towards bankruptcy than I am with which union was a percentage point more or less at fault. I believe we need to vote out anyone and everyone who cannot or will not take proper control of the situation. I support our police, fire and all employees in the duties of the jobs and being paid to work. I do not support anyone robbing the city aka taxpayer with greed. Vote to correct problems not maintain them.

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  • Mr. RealityApril 19, 2014 - 4:13 pm

    You are more concerned with the city heading towards bankruptcy? Really? Then you should be more concerned with the high cost of "safety's" retirement & how little they contribute. And that "high" 1 cent sales tax has an end date. As far as choosing the lesser of two evils Bertani & Spering fit that bill.

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  • John MrazApril 18, 2014 - 7:23 pm

    I have served on the City Council with Pam Bertani for almost two years. Unfortunately, she has no idea and has done nothing to decrease crime in Fairfield. Our gallant police are doing a great job in Fairfield and Pam's desperate actions and words demean their excellent work. She should be ashamed of herself. One of her closest cohorts is a convicted felon. It's time that she changes her signs from saying " community first" to " Pam First."

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  • Mr. RealityApril 19, 2014 - 9:09 am

    "Police are doing a great job here in Fairfield, really Mraz? You don't get out much do you? Have you read the newspaper lately (or for years)? Fairfield has the highest number of cops on the force lately then they have ever had in the past. These are actual cops, not budgeted unfilled positions. Council cut those as PD's concessions towards the General Fund savings in the beginning. Didn’t council budget 16 positions after that just so they could cut them & show Fairfield that PD was making cuts & saving money!? Those budgeted unfilled positions were a great overtime slush fund responsible for some cops making yearly wages pushing the mid $200k, remember!? I think it's safe to say that Fairfield has not got its money’s worth for your pampered PD.....

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  • Larry D. Bluford, jr.April 19, 2014 - 6:28 pm

    John Mraz, so you take a shot at me saying Pam's closet cohort is a "convicted felon". It's not any secret nor do I keep it secret. What's your point in bringing that up? This convicted felon is doing more for this city than many of you "elected officials". You want to throw stones at me for trying to make a change in my community? Come out of your glass house and roll your sleeves up and get out and help us. I'm not your enemy. I'm doing my best to make this city a better and safer place. For you to bring up my past was a direct attack toward me. But you know what I hope those who read these comments know that yes even a convicted felon can change his life thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So I will pray for you and pray for this city. I will pray especially for the leaders of this city. For Spering to say he doesn't care about the violence in this city is very very sad. Pam does more than anyone on that City Council. She has been with me cleaning, painting, going to meeting after meeting, helping Operation THUGS get in front of the decision makers of this city. I love that lady and I love her heart cause she is REAL. Can't say that about all of you. But I get it...politics. Maybe this convicted felon should consider running for City Council.

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  • https://www.google.com/#q=hats+off+to+larryApril 19, 2014 - 6:36 pm


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  • Mr. PracticalApril 19, 2014 - 6:37 pm

    Larry, challenging John Mraz on public service would be a mistake. You can disagree with his politics if you like, but his tenure of public service is unquestionable, both public and private. Once you've got 40 years serving the community then you might have enough credibility to make that challenge.

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  • Larry D Bluford JrApril 19, 2014 - 7:20 pm

    40 years of serving the community or occupying a seat and or position? What has he done?

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  • Mr. PracticalApril 19, 2014 - 7:37 pm

    Police officer, council and protecting families as a business person. I'm sure you know that but maybe feel what you do is a much bigger contribution?

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  • Larry D. Bluford, Jr.April 19, 2014 - 8:25 pm

    Police officer? Big deal that was his job? What he do so great as a police officer? Nothing. Protecting families? What families or is that just a general statement. I'm not impressed at all. All police officers aren't in it to serve their city. They are in it for a pay check. So just because someone holds a position doesn't mean they are doing anything with it.

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  • Mr. PracticalApril 20, 2014 - 5:45 am


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  • CD BrooksApril 20, 2014 - 5:46 am

    Mr. Practical, ditto!

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  • long time residentApril 19, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    Mr. Practical, there are some that didn't think much of him has a police officer including some fellow officers and don't think much of him as much of a council person. I'll even throw in as a person. Sorry, no one gets a free pass especially with his mouth.

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  • Convicted FelonApril 19, 2014 - 8:34 pm

    I don't even remember him as a cop and I was in the streets doing all kind of thing.

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  • Larry d blufordApril 19, 2014 - 7:38 pm

    I'm not afraid of challenging anyone and just because he's held a position means NOTHING to me. To even mention of me means that somehow I got his attention. The things Operation THUGS have done surpass the superficial things he's done. Yeah so you donated a dollar here and there . Anyone can do that especially when you can write it off. We are on the front lines making a difference. Whether you like it or not we are here and isn't going ANYWHERE. To be honest I believe people like Mraz are threatened by people like me. I can pop up out of nowhere and have more of an impact in 4 days than he has done in 40 months. Go in parkway, Crowley Lane, Phoenix drive, who is John Mraz I bet no one would know who he is. But you ask who knows Operation THUGS they will know who we are becuz we ARE making a change.

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  • Mr. PracticalApril 19, 2014 - 7:45 pm

    If you believe those endeavors are superficial I'm glad you're not guiding my children.

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  • Larry D. Bluford, Jr.April 19, 2014 - 8:32 pm

    Endeavors? It was his occupation. If you are police, you police. Doctor you see patients. If you're a writer you write. Thats their job and what is expected of them or they lose their job. It's nothing special to do what you are getting paid for. Do something you don't get paid for, then talk to me. One's motivation to continue doing is a paycheck. It moves my heart when people love others with no agenda. Was he a good cop, I don't know, that is not what I'm concerned with. I'm not concerned with his past even though he seems so concerned with mine. I'm concerned about what he is doing TODAY not the past 40 years. That' means NOTHING to me or anyone else.

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  • TiffanyApril 19, 2014 - 10:15 pm

    That's right Larry. More work done for the community by unpaid people who have a heart for the people. Out there rolling up the sleeves and getting the hard work done. Awesome award from the Red Cross for your work in the community last year by the way. Oh and the ability to pick up a phone and have a team ready in minutes to make things happen. That comes from, trust, building relationships, and that oh so elusive trait that a lot of polititions lack INTEGRITY

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  • Hmm...April 19, 2014 - 6:49 pm

    Larry D. Bluford, I am glad you found the Lord and have changed the way you impact the community. However, I would bet your current actions have not made up for your past actions. I assume being a convicted felon makes it impossible for you to be on Fairfield's City Council, as well as voting, owning a gun, serving on a jury, serving in the military, being a teacher, being a police officer, and many other things that are reserved for us law abiding citizens. Please continue to do your best to help our community, I am for it... and Parkway Gardens needs all the help it can get. However, the best thing this city can do is remove as much of the general section 8 housing it can and replace it with age restricted (over 55) section 8 housing.

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  • Larry D Bluford, JrApril 19, 2014 - 7:17 pm

    Wrong I CAN vote and CAN run for office and as soon as I get my bachelors degree in September I'm going to apply for a pardon. God can open doors no man can close.

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  • Rich GiddensApril 19, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    I believe you are acting in good faith and deserve a break. You have earned recognition along with advancement of your cause and organization. Perhaps we should take a second look and cast the animosity out of our hearts. We are all upset with the present unacceptable situation and circumstances. Now we must come together to change things. You should be number one for an executive pardon and all decent Community Leaders must endorse that end by petitioning Governor Brown. You have more influence over youth at risk then I do by virtue of who you are and your unique life experiences. I commend you and my prayers are with you Larry.

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  • AdelarosaApril 19, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    I think you all that are judging Larry are a joke. Instead of judging him why not try and do even 25% of what he's done for the community. It's amazing that he's doing so much more for ff than you guys in those comfy counsel seats.... I vote for YOU Larry.

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  • Barack ObamaApril 19, 2014 - 10:00 pm

    Supervisor spering is a close personal friend of mine and his main concern is helping all the people in his community. Keep up your support of Jim and god bless the united states of America. .

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  • TREApril 18, 2014 - 8:47 pm

    Is It possible people can use another persons name to reply to this page???? If not, these upcoming elections are gonna get interesting, personal, and very BRUTAL!!!! LOL!!! MAYBE NOT LOL!!! We wil see!!!!!

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  • Christine in FFApril 19, 2014 - 6:41 pm

    Yes, it is possible and done all the time! Be careful about you read and believe!

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  • SteveApril 18, 2014 - 10:04 pm

    If Ms. Bertani really cared about solving crime in Fairfield, she'd stay right were she's at and do what she promised. She' apparently has little concept about what a Supervisor does or what district she would represent. Has she uttered the words "Suisun City" or " unincorporated area" in this entire campaign? That's in the third district too. Maybe she should pay them a visit. See what they're about.

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  • Mr. PracticalApril 19, 2014 - 6:11 am

    Steve, good points. My opinion is she is in way over her head on this one.

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  • https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=the+peter+principleApril 19, 2014 - 6:49 am

    Yup, I say amen to every comment in here. If she actually got elected after not even completing a single term on the council it would be another example of the, "Peter Principle."

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  • SteveApril 19, 2014 - 9:38 am

    Yep. I re-read the article. She states the county should stop worrying about big deals for big developers. Measure T requires city centered growth. Big development occurs in the cities under which the Board of Supes have no control. My opinion? She doesn't care what a Supervisor does, she cares what a Supervisor position pays. And she will use anything, including the sad stories of those shootings to get there.

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  • Salty DogApril 19, 2014 - 7:01 am

    Every one has to remember that Pam Bertani received and collected $15000.00 from the Service Employees International Union Local No. 1021, for her campaign. That is about 60% of the total she has collected. All from one source I wonder what she will owe to the union leadership and what it will cost the taxpayers of fairfield and Solano county.

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  • mescApril 19, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    Agreed. I trust no one who is the pocket of any union. She should be working for us but photo ops and union calls are about all I've seen of her.

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  • Mr. RealityApril 19, 2014 - 3:49 pm

    Well mesc, remember that when you see who is donating to Mraz's, Moy's & Timm's up coming council run.

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  • Salty DogApril 19, 2014 - 7:13 am

    I wonder just how many shootings have taken place in Fairfield in the 2 years that Pam Bertani has serviced on the city council.

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  • Anne GriffinApril 19, 2014 - 8:41 am

    I was especially surprised by Pam Bertani's arrogant attitude when she ran the first time for city council in 2009. She tried to use some school district issues as a need for change in the city. Unfortunately, she didn't have her facts straight, particularly about the state of school district finances. She tried to claim that budget cuts had closed some school libraries, when that was not even the case! I felt her campaign was an opportunistic attempt to assert herself into the political scene. She lost that election, but won the next one in 2011, making great promises to help Fairfield. So, now she decides to run for County Supervisor against, certainly one of the best Supervisors this county has had and one who didn't abandon his city after only two years in office! Hah! I'd say "Good Luck" on that, but I wouldn't really mean it. Common sense says vote for Jim Spering for Supervisor in the 3rd district.

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  • JBApril 19, 2014 - 9:43 am

    SEIU owns Pam. Pam is only in it for Pam. She is not committed to the people of Fairfield. She wants out because she can not do her job. Look at the amount of shootings that occurred since she has been in office. Send Pam back to Oakland where she belongs.

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  • Mr. RealityApril 19, 2014 - 10:17 am

    Well if I where FEA/SEIU I would ask for my money back. No different to Moy & Mraz having police & fire unions in their back pockets. If you ask me I can't think of any council member I would keep & that goes for supervisors as well.

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  • Rich GiddensApril 19, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    Why just those 2? Why not the 2 businessmen? Shouldn't Government be run efficiently? I don't want Spering or Bertani! The frontrunners should be Oman and Lowe---and not Spering or Bertani! I will concede you this----Pam Bertani is far more attractive and pleasant to look at then Spering is!

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  • Suisun cityApril 19, 2014 - 4:39 pm

    I will cast my vote foe Jim Spearing

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  • marshaApril 19, 2014 - 9:53 pm

    Spering was mayor of Suisun city in the 80's. when Suisun was one of the worst cities on the planet. Now its one of the best, not many cities can claim that title, and he was at the helm. As a supervisor their jobs are not to micromanage cities, that's what city council members are for. How dare Bartoni disrespect this living legend.

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  • Rich GiddensApril 19, 2014 - 7:14 pm

    Riverboat Jim Spering likes that welfare and illegal alien underclass that's causing all the trouble. So does Pam! Vote for Oman or Lowe.

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  • SalApril 19, 2014 - 10:24 pm

    Why would Pam, if she cares for the city, abandon her council post, half way through her pledge, for a paid position, unless she is selfish and greedy, and power hungry? What has she done in the past two years?

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  • AndreaApril 20, 2014 - 11:17 am

    Pam is a liar. She works against not with people. What has she done for FF? She needs to go back to Oakland.

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  • BJApril 20, 2014 - 12:21 pm

    So heres my question: Pam says she wants to control crime in FF and that the present authorities are all no good, does that not include her as a member of the city council? And if she admits to being inept, why is she: leaving her job mid way?

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  • SalApril 20, 2014 - 6:52 pm

    So Pam says the city has done a piss poor job controlling crime, and she is part of that outfit, and now wants us to vote her into a supervisory position,so she can continue to do nothing, and be paid? And blames Sperring for not keeping FF safe? And wants a promotion? Is she doing drugs?

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  • Mr. PracticalApril 26, 2014 - 7:52 am

    I received Bertani's campaign mailer yesterday. I seems that she was challenged to gain endorsements from people who actually live in District 3. Also found it interesting that she the main photo in the piece was taken on the Suisun waterfront. I have never seen her at any Suisun event. Might have been the first time she's been here.

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  • CD BrooksApril 26, 2014 - 8:00 am

    Good morning Mr. Practical! Have you noticed and I could be mistaken here, but I believe there are zero supporting comments for Ms. Bertani on every single article concerning here candidacy? Yeah, probably not a good omen! ;)

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  • Mr. PracticalApril 26, 2014 - 8:06 am

    Morning CD! Yeah, except for Bluford who seems to work as hard at tearing down the contributions of others as he does boasting about his own efforts. We went to the North Bay Food & Wine Jubilee last night. Pam was one of the few "community leaders" that was not there to support Solano County's premiere charitable event.

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  • CD BrooksApril 26, 2014 - 8:12 am

    Mr. Practical, agree about Bluford. HA! Imagine that, Bertani not showing!

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