Rick Anderson and Steve O’Bryan plan to pull papers this week to run in the Nov. 2 election.
Anderson, who was first appointed to the board in 1996, said there are still issues he wants to see through, and he doesn’t see being an incumbent as a disadvantage. “I think we have a great board that works well together,” he said. “I’ll continue to listen, as I have in the past.”
O’Bryan agreed and pointed to the board’s success in balancing a limited budget with few layoffs and program cuts.
Supporters of Jeff Sloan, who was removed as principal of Marsh Junior High School amid district accusations that he mismanaged student body funds, have blasted the board and Superintendent Scott Brown for what they see as a mean-spirited vendetta by an administration jealous of Sloan’s success with kids.
But so far no one from that group has stepped forward as a candidate.
O’Bryan said the Marsh controversy made him more, not less, inclined to run again. “My re-election would be an opportunity for the silent majority to speak out,” he said.
Butte County tea party: Just two weeks after the Butte County Board of Supervisors turned down a proposal to let voters decide on a half-cent sales tax hike to fund public safety programs, the issue will reappear on the board’s agenda. Like last time, the initiative will require four out of five votes to make the ballot. But unlike last time, the money will be legally dedicated to funding police and firefighters and will take a two-thirds voter majority to pass instead a simple majority.
The two holdouts last time around, Paradise Supervisor Kim Yamaguchi and Richvale Supervisor Curt Josiassen, both of whom are loath to raise taxes, are still wary about the current proposal, with Yamaguchi telling reporters that he doesn’t necessarily believe the dire predictions of local police and fire chiefs, who have warned the board in recent months that their budgets are stretched to the point where they will soon be able to provide only the most basic of services.
Josiassen, contacted by phone Wednesday, said he has not seen the newest proposal and thus hadn’t made up his mind about it yet. His decision, he said, would hinge on three items that the last proposal failed to address: a shorter sunset clause that would end the tax increase before the next board election; a legal mandate that the tax would only be used for public safety; and a state budget in place that would clear up whether or not the tax was really necessary.
Josiassen said he voted against the last proposal because he felt the state was passing the burden of such decisions to local governments.