Wednesday, October 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Our view: Choose Krovoza for Assembly

By
From page A6 | May 29, 2014 |

The issue: Beronio for judge, Oakley for clerk, Neustadt for schools post

Are you sick of the District 4 Assembly campaign yet? Yes, we are, too — and we’re sure our postal carriers are as well.

In a hard-fought primary race that has seen more than $1 million in independent expenditures spent just this month, Bill Dodd and Dan Wolk continue to fend off accusations as Joe Krovoza and Charlie Schaupp try to get their messages past the clutter.

Krovoza, Davis’ mayor, is our choice for your vote on Tuesday. 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.

He brings a base of knowledge about key issues and will not just be another “yes” vote in Sacramento. He’ll be a contributor of ideas that could help shape the state’s future. And 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.

Our choices:

Davis City Council: Rochelle Swanson, Robb Davis

California Assembly, 4th District: Joe Krovoza

Measure O, city of Davis half-percent sales tax increase: Yes

Measure P, city of Davis water rates initiative: No

Yolo Superior Court judge: Janene Beronio

Yolo County clerk/recorder/assessor: Freddie Oakley

Yolo County superintendent of schools: Sam Neustadt

YOLO COUNTY VOTERS have the rare opportunity this spring to elect a Superior Court judge who has spent the past 25 years basically doing the job already. She is uniquely qualified for the job she seeks.

Court Commissioner Janene Beronio has the support of every sitting and retired judge in Yolo County, as well as many practicing attorneys and every law-enforcement organization in the county. We can see why.

Since her appointment as commissioner in 1989, Beronio has undertaken numerous assignments, from traffic, juvenile and family court matters to misdemeanor and felony criminal proceedings. As a judge, she would enjoy a wider range of authority, such as presiding over felony trials, which comprise a significant portion of the court’s calendar.

Her calm demeanor, agile mind and extensive knowledge are mentioned time and again as skills needed on Yolo’s bench. We join those who know her best and recommend her election as a Yolo Superior Court judge.

FREDDIE OAKLEY is the right person to fill the newly created position of Yolo County clerk-recorder-assessor. With a background that includes 20 years in management in county government — including 11 years heading the elections office — Oakley has the requisite experience and demonstrated management skills to lead the newly combined county clerk/recorder’s office and assessor’s office.

In her time as clerk-recorder and registrar of voters, Yolo County elections have run as smoothly as any in the state. Her office has consistently been ahead of the curve when it came to dealing with the almost constant changes in election law, as well as the technological changes that have revolutionized how people vote in this country.

Whether it was vote-by-mail or electronic vote-counting machines, she has been able to move at just the right pace to ensure accessibility to the voting public and protect the integrity of the process.

Which is why we believe she can handle the $20 billion in property that the assessor’s office deals with on top of her existing duties. As recorder, her staff already handles real-estate transactions (things like sales, liens, purchases and easements), and while the newly consolidated departments will bring substantial extra work, Oakley has demonstrated the ability to adapt and meet similar challenges. She’ll be an asset at the combined department, and bring good value to Yolo County.

FOR THE POSITION of Yolo County superintendent of schools, we believe the best choice is Sam Neustadt, currently assistant superintendent for Solano County. A 20-year Yolo County resident and veteran K-12 educator, he has risen through the ranks of public education, including stints as an elementary teacher, principal and administrator in the state Department of Education.

The county’s Office of Education has a diverse set of responsibilities. It runs special-education services, as well as educating students who’ve been expelled from schools around the county and those in Juvenile Hall. In addition, it maintains fiscal oversight of the local school districts, vetting their budgets for compliance with a multitude of regulations.

Neustadt’s years as an educator and administrator are just the sort of preparation one would wish for this job. The alternative-education programs are complex and unique, requiring an experienced, steady hand to deal with them. He’s overseen educational staff and come up with the intricate budgets an education department needs.

Experience matters for this position, and Neustadt has it.

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