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 firstname.lastname@example.org.