Depending on where they live, Chico-area voters either have a very easy or somewhat tough choice for the Butte County Board of Supervisors.
District 2 is automatic: Jane Dolan. Yes, she is running unopposed, so that would seem a no-brainer. But she can’t win if people don’t head out to the polls to support her, and she deserves support. She has served seven terms with distinction, championing the Greenline, public transportation, neighborhood preservation and other quality-of-life concerns.
District 3 isn’t quite so clear-cut. Its residents are fortunate to have three solid candidates running to replace the retiring Mary Anne Houx. Steve Bertagna, Chuck Kutz and Maureen Kirk are all competent to serve.
Bertagna is an endearing man with a goofy sense of humor. Politically, he’s a staunch conservative who believes that what’s good for business is good for Chico and almost always votes accordingly. That’s his right, of course, and many Chicoans support him, but we believe it too often leads him to ignore the interests of the greater community. As supervisor, he’d surely line up with the conservative majority already there, a group whose disdain for Chico has long been evident, as Houx can attest.
Kutz, a relative unknown despite his family’s long history in the county, has surprised many people with his intelligence, poise and grasp of the issues. But he’s inexperienced and, as a foothill resident, has no base in Chico, both serious limitations.
That leaves Kirk, who we think is the best of the three candidates—as does Houx, who has endorsed her, and Dolan, who clearly favors her. The long-time Chico councilwoman is smart, focused and non-ideological. She studies issues, weighs the interests of all parties, and tries to make the best decision for the good of the entire community, not one interest group. She comes fully prepared to meetings and participates constructively and decorously. Just as important, she is the only one of the three candidates who has pledged to give up her day job and work full-time and exclusively as a supervisor. She will serve Chico and Butte County well.