Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza likes to talk about “fiscally sustainable systems” on the campaign trail. As a political catch phrase, it’s not exactly “yes we can.”
But at a time when the state is beginning to turn the corner economically, and the temptation is to spend more rather than plan for the future, we appreciate the wonkish Krovoza’s focus on the long-term health of the budget, education and the environment, particularly water.
We find him to be the best among a field of strong candidates for the 4th District seat in the California Assembly and we are pleased to recommend him to Solano County voters.
Krovoza helped lead Davis through difficult economic times, during which declining revenues forced a 23 percent reduction in the city workforce. He was resolute in trimming the city’s Fire Department staffing levels while actually improving service and response times. He also led a consolidation of upper fire management with the University of California, Davis, which had been talked about since the 1990s. These efforts both put residents first, saving Davis residents hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We need that kind of thinking in Sacramento.
Krovoza’s 17 years as a staff member at UC Davis – where he’s the senior director for development and external relations for the Institute of Transportation Studies and the Energy Efficiency Center – give him a firm grasp of both campus and community needs. He’s knowledgeable about clean transportation and energy efficiency but, better yet, he’s connected to experts who know even more.
His personal interests also are rooted in the environment. He studied natural resources and environmental law, with a focus on water law in particular. While representing the Putah Creek Council, he was the lead negotiator in the historic Putah Creek Accord, which brought seasonal flows back to the creek to sustain fish life. A founder of the advocacy group Davis Bicycles, he restructured AYSO schedules to make it easier for families to bike to soccer games.
It will be no easy task for Krovoza to win a place on the fall ballot by finishing in the top two in the open June 3 primary. Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd has staggering fundraising support in wine country and pro-business backing. Solano County Counsel’s Office attorney Dan Wolk brings name recognition to some parts of the district and is the chosen candidate not just of the state party but of labor groups that are pouring money into the race.
Retired Marine Corps officer Charlie Schaupp, meanwhile, likely will collect the votes of the Republican Party faithful – a significant percentage with so many candidates in the field.
While it’s an oversimplification to say that Dodd is pro-business and Wolk pro-labor, we believe Krovoza strikes something of a happy medium – more fiscally prudent but with stances on many issues, be they social or environmental, that reflect much of the district.
More than that, he brings a base of knowledge about key issues to not just be another “yes” vote. He’ll be a contributor of ideas that could help shape the state’s future. The immense courage he showed in tackling the tough issues in Davis will serve him well as he wrangles with the challenges that affect all of California.
Krovoza says he wants to cap his career in volunteerism and public service in the Assembly. To that we say: Yes, he should.