Dick Spotswood: Now political focus shifts to 2014 supervisors races
WHEN the last person cast his or her vote in Tuesday's election, one political season came to an end and the next one opened. Starting today, contests for the 2014 June primary election are under way. The marquee races are for two seats on Marin County's five-member Board of Supervisors. This marks the first day that Carol Brandt and San Rafael Councilman Damon Connolly are on the hustings, actively campaigning for a supervisorial seat. The big question is whether Adams will try for a fourth four-year term.
Expect her decision by Christmas. It's possible that Adams, a Ph.D. in nursing in her private life, will retire. She may instead urge her top administrative aide, Susannah Clark, to go for the soon-to-be $107,000-a-year job.
Next June also sees a race is the Novato-based 5th District between the incumbent, Supervisor Judy Arnold, and Marin real estate agent Toni Shroyer.
Arnold is the most effective politician on a county governing board where talent in the political arts is in short supply. She faces a competitive contest against Shroyer, whose enthusiasm and drive could power North Marin's electrical grid.
Issues include affordable housing, the supervisors' "community service" fund, the county's unfunded public employee pension debt and county government's $30 million software fiasco.
Shroyer, Brandt and, to a lesser extent, Connolly, will be running against a Marin establishment that supports all five incumbent county supervisors. Arnold and Adams, if she runs, will be financially backed by public employee unions, developers and larger business interests.
The dilemma Brandt, Shroyer and Connolly face is marshalling resources to mount effective efforts. It takes at least $100,000 for a winning campaign.
Some are skeptical that neighborhood associations, community-oriented environmentalists and individual homeowners will pony up significant financial contributions to make the challengers' campaigns successful. Their uphill task is to prove them wrong.