Supervisor race: Candidates differ on key issues


Voters have a choice in the Nov. 2 runoff for the District 3 San Mateo County supervisor's seat, as evidenced by the candidates' differing views on key questions they faced at an election forum Sept. 28 in Redwood City.

The candidates were asked their positions on the proposed building of a community for 25,000 people on the Cargill salt flats in Redwood City, and whether it is appropriate for other cities to express their views on the proposal.

Former sheriff Don Horsley said he would wait to get information from an environmental impact report on the project, but that the development "is essentially a Redwood City issue."

Candidate April Vargas, a small business owner and resident of the coastside, said she is opposed to any kind of development on the Cargill lands, which she said are prone to liquefaction. "Traffic is already very congested," she added. "It's appropriate for everyone to speak up on this issue."

The candidates were also divided on the question of whether supervisors should run in district elections, rather than county-wide, as they do now.

Ms. Vargas said she is a "strong proponent" of district elections because of the difficulty of running county-wide -- trying to reach 400,000 voters -- and the necessity to raise a lot of money to do so. "Money tends to corrupt the process," she said.

Mr. Horsley said he favors county-wide elections because supervisors need a county-wide perspective on major matters such as criminal justice and health care, but he did think the Board of Supervisors should have put the question to the voters.

Asked about the advantages and disadvantages of a candidate being a county government insider or outsider, Mr. Horsley said his long service in the county has given him the experience to know how to work with cities on regional matters, including lowering the crime rate. "I've never been a part of the good old boys' network," he said.

Ms. Vargas said her relative outsider status would provide new leadership in a county with an "entrenched power structure" where new board members are often appointed and incumbents are rarely defeated. The budget, she said, "is crying out for new leadership." The annual deficit could reach $150 million by 2014 unless a "course correction is made," she said.

The forum, organized by the League of Women Voters of San Mateo County, was held at the Redwood Shores Branch Library in Redwood City.

In the June election for this District 3 supervisor's seat, none of the five candidates received the necessary majority -- 50 percent of the vote, plus one vote -- to be elected. So, the top two vote-getters, Mr. Horsley and Ms. Vargas, are in a runoff in the Nov. 2 election.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by A concerned neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm

What? Building a new Foster City east of 101 is a "Redwood City issue"? How come the project is touting its supposed benefits all throughout the county? Tens of thousands of new cars on 101 at Woodside and Marsh, and nobody but Redwood City can have an opinion?

If the county wanted to pave over Edgewood Park with housing, would that just be a "county issue"? I mean, seriously.

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2010 at 5:49 am

Don Horsley says "I've never been a part of the good old boys' network,"

You be the judge, Look at the Advisor Board for Service League of San Mateo County

Web Link

Its time for honesty in San Mateo County

I am voting for April Vargas,

Like this comment
Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Ms.Vargas has a grander scheme involving the failure the COUNTY has had from leadership from the "top on down".
San Mateo does not suffer anything involving major daily crime as in Oakland and the East Bay, and he does not appear to be concerned with the corruption right within our grasp with city officials in most every district of San Mateo including our own police departments and right within the walls of Redwood City where most of our records are handled or not.
Cities like Half Moon Bay are already climbing on the election bandwagons of those to help them out of debt which was cause mostly by members who were elected to office by their own.
The same goes for the richer cities like Atherton, and Menlo Park. It is an embarassment any way one looks at the past 10 years.
I am voting for April Vargas who seems to know the concerns of our biased power structure.
So many citizens want leadership, but the most active people on these online paper websites are politicians of one kind or another and that bothers me enormously, in view of how our country is also being run in the same manner.

Like this comment
Posted by BigBob
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Interesting read on Mr. Horsley from a few years back:

Web Link

Not part of the Old Boy's network indeed

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 7:28 am


Thanks for that article it gives a lot of the Historical background of the politics of San Mateo County.

The Clerk to the Board of Supervisor's used to be an appointed position until the Horsley incident (face to face meetings with the Supervisors to discuss his wife's employment.) Currently the County Manager is the Clerk.

Mike Nevin was Supervisor for 12 years, He also was Indicted for voter fraud in SF before he became our Supervisor. He is currently Director of Service League of San Mateo County.

Web Link

Don Horsley says "I've never been a part of the good old boys' network,"

You be the judge

Like this comment
Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Oct 6, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Don Horsley says "I've never been a part of the good old boys' network," This is a partial endorsement list.

County Board of Supervisors
Hon. Mark Church
Hon. Rose Jacobs Gibson
Hon. Carole Groom
Hon. Adrienne Tissier
Hon. Mike Nevin (Ret)
Hon. Fred Lyon (Ret)
Hon. Mary Griffin (Ret)
Hon. John Ward (Ret)

Public Safety
Carlos Bolanos, Undersheriff,
Ronald Brooks Capt.
Loren Buddress, Chief Probation Officer (Retired)
Chuck Calderhead Redwood City Police (Retired)
Louis A. Cobarruviaz, Redwood City Police Chief
Jerry Cohn, Chief Deputy Coroner,
Graham “Des” Desvernine, Former FBI agent,
Stuart Forrest, Chief Probation Officer,
Jim Granucci, Director, Forensic Laboratory
Tim Guiney, Former Broadmoor Police Chief
Frank Hedley, Former San Bruno Police Chief
Tom Hitchcock, Brisbane Police Chief
Eric Jorgensen Pacifica Police Department (former)
Robert Lotti, Colma Police Chief
Greg Love, Broadmoor Police Chief
Wesley Matsuura Lieutenant, sheriffs office
Don Mattei, Belmont Police Chief
Gary McLane, Former Daly City Police Chief
Bob McNichol, Former Hillsborough Police Chief
Glenn Nielsen, Atherton Police Chief (former)
Matt O’Conner, Hillsborough Police Chief
Don O’Keefe Half Moon Bay Chief of Police
Dave Parenti, Broadmoor Police Commander
William Pedrini, Former Assistant Sheriff
Garrett Pene Millbrae Police Department
Mark Raffaelli, Former So. San Francisco Police Chief
San Mateo County Deputy Sheriffs Association
Trisha Sanchez, Assistant Sheriff,
James Saunders, Pacifica Police Chief

Labor Unions
San Mateo County Labor Council (COPE)
United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 101
Redwood City Police Officer’s Association 
San Mateo County Deputy Sheriffs Association
Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 467
Atherton Police Officers Association
San Mateo County Fire Fighters Local 2400
San Mateo Police Officers’ Association Local 507

County Elected Officials
Hon. Greg Munks, Sheriff
Hon.  Robert Foucrault, Coroner
Hon. Tom Huening, Controller
Hon.  Jean Holbrook, Superintendent, Office of Education
Hon. Keith Sorenson Former District Attorney

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After experiencing harassment, owner of Zareen's restaurants speaks out about Islamophobia, racism
By Elena Kadvany | 28 comments | 7,867 views

Good News: The New Menlo Park Rail Subcommittee Hits A Home Run
By Dana Hendrickson | 12 comments | 1,680 views

Premarital and Couples: Tips for Hearing (Listening) and Being Known
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,231 views

Two degrees can do all that?
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 755 views

Tame, Maim and Claim the Wild Sea Vegetable
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 212 views


Register today!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More