Election 2012: The race for … Placer County Supervisor Seat No. 5 | SierraSun.com
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Election 2012: The race for … Placer County Supervisor Seat No. 5

Jenell SchwabSpecial to the Sun

PLACER COUNTY andamp;#8212; Incumbent Placer County Seat No. 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery of Soda Springs is running for re-election against Mark Jonathan Wright, of Colfax, and three others who share the last name Johnson: Jerry Johnson, of Meadow Vista; Richard Johnson, of Auburn; and Gary Johnson, of Colfax.The race could be decided after the June 5 California primaries. According to Placer County Elections, unless one candidate receives 50 percent of the votes plus one more vote, the top two candidates will run against one another in the Nov. 6 general election.Below are answers to a five-question survey, with responses limited to 100 words for each question.

Why are you running?I am running to fundamentally change the broken relationship between the current incumbent supervisor and the local North Tahoe and mountain businesses communities that are struggling to create jobs, expand their businesses and enhance our quality of life.County government should be a partner in working with businesses, not an antagonist. I will change that by providing leadership to challenge the complex maze of obstacles the incumbent supervisor is using to stifle Tahoe businesses from growing their businesses and hiring local workers. I trust local businesses to do what is right for their local customers, the incumbent doesn’t. I will be a Supervisor that works for you, not against you.How does your background and experience make you a strong candidate for this seat?I am the only candidate in this race to bring hundreds of jobs into District Five to work on an environmentally sound project for seniors to retire and enjoy our beautiful foothills lifestyle. My business increased the county’s property tax base by $625 Million, and brought in over $6 Million in annual county revenue for sheriff’s patrols, infrastructure improvements, and parks and open space. I am the only candidate that knows how government and business should interact positively.I’m a successful businessman, law enforcement professional, family man with four children and seven grandchildren, and a andamp;#8220;can doandamp;#8221; guy that solves problems.What do you see as the top issue in this race?The key issue is the failure of county government to constructively advocate growing our North Tahoe and mountain economy so that it can improve resident’s personal financial situation. I hear this complaint constantly.I will change the county’s relationship with local businesses by stopping the intimidating bureaucratic attitude that is hurting local employers and workers. I will advocate for local businesses to overcome their obstacles to creating jobs and expanding business opportunities.A good job, a mortgage that is not upside down, a community not plagued by foreclosures and families leaving, and investment opportunities to grow our local economy are the biggest andamp;#8220;quality of lifeandamp;#8221; issues right now.As a county supervisor, how would you help spur economic growth in the Placer County?Focus on working with local businesses to ensure their key problems with business expansion, job growth, and county government interface are first in line for time, attention and resources. That’s not happening now. Too many special interest groups and unions are taking that focus away from North Tahoe and mountain residents. I will change that.One North Tahoe restaurant owner has been waiting four years for the county to approve his application to expand his outside dining area. Four years! There is no excuse for that.I have enormous faith and trust that North Tahoe and mountain business owners know how to create jobs and increase their customer base. They want cooperation from their county Supervisor, and they don’t have that now. I will change that.What should be done to foster cooperative relationships within the county?We need to change these relationships by changing attitudes. Stop pitting one group against another in creating policy. Work positively with our local residents and businesses to foster a climate of resolution.I will not cave in to out of county labor unions or county public employee unions to inflate our county budget, raise taxes, or burden our children with unfunded pension liabilities. I will get them to cooperate, not antagonize.The incumbent supervisor was kicked off TRPA last year by her supervisor colleagues due to lack of cooperation with stated county policy. I will change that.

Why are you running for this seat in 2012?The state of California is no longer funding many vital services that citizens in the Tahoe area and Placer County expect and deserve. The state is housing convicted felons in our jails, and has pulled back redevelopment funds. In addition, budgets at Caltrans, CHP, CAL FIRE, and Education are going to be severely cut.I want to represent District 5 to make sure our district can maintain the necessary services our citizens require. I have extensive experience in managing tight fiscal budgets, human resources, and complex inter-agency relationships; and feel I am the best qualified candidate for this important office.How does your background and experience make you a strong candidate for this seat?I’ve been an active member of our Placer community for over 26 years. I’ve enjoyed a number of public service activities during and since retiring from a productive career with the US Forest Service, including 20 years as a District Ranger on the Tahoe National Forest. Along with my wife Peg, a Registered Nurse, we’ve raised our family here.I’ve served as a Commissioner on the Placer County Planning Commission for six years. I am familiar with zoning and development issues in all of Placer County, and am comfortable making decisions in a public forum.What do you see as the top issue in this race?The top issue is public safety and infrastructure maintenance and investment. We have to improve our relationships within the Tahoe Communities and neighboring counties. We must improve and develop mutual aid agreements that will fill the gaps created by lack of state and federal funding. Regulations that conflict with public safety and sustainable growth should be addressed and modified where needed.As a County supervisor, how would you help spur economic growth in Placer County?I will increase Business Opportunities in District 5 by emphasizing infrastructure improvements, Tourism, Marketing, and cooperation with Chambers of Commerce, the Resort Association, and business councils from Auburn/Foresthill to Lake Tahoe along the I-80 corridor. I will work to revise or correct out-of-date or unsuitable County ordinances that unduly impact business. My experience as Chairman of the Auburn Chamber Economic Development Committee will be useful in this area.I will also work with State legislators to correct onerous practices like the misapplied ADA regulations that allow the recent egregious legal attacks on small businesses in Placer County.What should be done to foster cooperative relationships within the county?I live in Auburn, our County Seat, and will be working daily to build collaborative relationships with other officials that foster progress toward goals that benefit the entire District. In addition, I feel it is critically important for Supervisors to support and collaborate with other local elected officials because local or county issues seldom occur solely within precise jurisdictional boundaries.I have the experience to solve current problems and the vision to work with others to support the present and future needs in the District.

Why are you running for this seat in 2012?Although a great deal has been accomplished during my first term andamp;#8212; more government transparency, greater community representation and outreach, enhancements to public safety, targeted reductions in County staff and a successful search for a new CEO who will help be a visionary for the County andamp;#8212; there is still much to be done. We have enormous challenges in front of us andamp;#8212; sustainable local economic development, reversing the shrinking permanent population at the Lake, meeting Lake clarity goals, analyzing the pros and cons of proposals like the Olympics andamp;#8212; these are all challenges I look forward to in a second term.How does your background and experience make you a strong candidate for this seat?As a 23 year Donner Summit resident andamp;#8212; situated halfway between the boundaries of the District andamp;#8212; I’ve passionately represented communities from the North and West Shores on the Lake, to the City of Auburn.My first term has proven how diverse our District is and it is my first hand knowledge of our communities, my personal and professional connections in these areas and my commitment to attend local meetings, events and activities, that makes me far and away the most qualified candidate to serve the 5th District. My pledge is to continue listening to, learning from, and serving all our communities.What do you see as the top issue in this race?The most pressing issue County wide is funding unfunded mandates for State compliance with Waste Water Treatment (WWT) regulations and the AB 109 Realignment implementation. Here in the East end of the County our top issue is protecting our valuable natural assets while continuing to have moderate, well thought out development that benefits the population as a whole and also results in a net positive on the health of Lake Tahoe.We need to ensure that all the communities in the District continue to get robust, informed representation andamp;#8212; not just the far west end andamp;#8212; electing someone from the center of District 5 will ensure that.As a County supervisor, how would you help spur economic growth in Placer County?The County has made good advances in reducing regulatory and fee based burdens in the past few years. We expanded opportunities throughout the County for better commercial signage, have reduced or eliminated fees for some permits and events, and have done away with redundant or outdated rules and regulations across departments. The Economic Development Department focused on expanding recreational opportunities here in the east end of the County and has emphasized our varied and important histories andamp;#8212; Wildlife, Indigenous Peoples, Gold Rush, Railroads, Ski Industry, etc. andamp;#8212; as part of a viable and expanding business base. We need to sharpen that focus.What should be done to foster cooperative relationships within the county?We need to work more closely with our local partners within both Counties and the Town of Truckee to identify projects and proposals that support improved regional economic vitality andamp;#8212; without negatively impacting existing residents. Further, I reaffirm my commitment to meet with any and all representatives from our many Special Districts and to work to equitable allocate the assets of the now defunct Redevelopment Agency back to the appropriate Special Districts.

Why are you running for this seat in 2012?I am running for Supervisor because I want to make Placer County a more business friendly county, to be good stewards of our resources, and to protect our property rights.How does your background and experience make you a strong candidate for this seat?I was raised in a family that has run, and continues to run, small businesses. I have worked in large (35,000 plus employees) companies. I am also an engineer by trade, so I know how to look at complex problems and come up with solutions. The qualifications give me a unique perspective.What do you see as the top issue in this race?Personal property rights and also how the North Fork money will used when they come into the county.As a County supervisor, how would you help spur economic growth in Placer County?I would work towards cutting the cost of getting permits, and also helping businesses get permits needed to run their business. For example the Falcon Lodge which has been a part of the community for many years but has since lost its use permit.What should be done to foster cooperative relationships within the county?To foster cooperation in the county, I will foster government responsiveness to the stake holders of the county by being available to meet and talk with the stake holders.

Why are you running?I am running for the Supervisor position in the 5th District because the voters of the District need someone who will devote full time to this position. I am a retired State employee and I have the time to put into this position. I have over 30 year of government experience working for the County and State government. I also have 30 years of military experience with the Air Force and Coast Guard. I have been a School Board member for four successful terms for a total of 16 years. I know how the system works and will get it done.How does your background and experience make you a strong candidate for this seat?My background and experience shows that I am an excellent communicator and possess excellent leadership skills. As a former peace officer I have devoted my life to getting justice for crime victims. As a former elected school Board Member I have experience with state level policy making. My highest priority is to have local, State, and Federal government work harmoniously together to improve our county and protect our residents. As County Supervisor I am committed to ensuring public safety, protecting agriculture, and preserving our environment here in Placer County that makes it such a special place to live.What do you see as the top issue in this race?The top issues I see in this race are the economy and improving our infrastructure. Today our kids are graduating from schools and there are not enough jobs for them. We need to work with our business community which is the background of our economy. As a fiscal conservative I am in favor of less regulation on businesses and lower taxes. I also am in favor of helping students get into the job market by offering them an internship program in the County government so they will gain valuable experience towards their ultimate goal. As a county supervisor, how would you help spur economic growth in the Placer County?I would spur economic growth in our County by helping our businesses and working with the State and Federal government to obtain funds for our growth. What should be done to foster cooperative relationships within the county?To foster cooperative relationships within the County system you need to have communication at all levels of government. You cannot improve anything unless you are willing to devote the time and energy to improving the system. I also believe outreach is important before making and big decisions. As a Supervisor I will ensure that I get input from the community before making any major decisions.


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