Archive for the ‘Politics & Elections’ Category

Contra Costa Television to broadcast local election forums January 21 through March 3

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Contra Costa County voters can watch local “Election Preview” forums on CCTV and the Contra Costa Television YouTube Channel beginning Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. through Election Day. This programming offers Contra Costa voters a chance to be informed on candidates and issues before casting their ballots.

Bob Butler, KCBS reporter, is the moderator for the Measure J, State Assembly District 14 and County Supervisorial District 5 forums.

KTVU’s Claudine Wong will serve as moderator for races including State Assembly Districts 15 and 16, State Senate District 7, and County Supervisorial District 3.

The broadcasts will air on Contra Costa Television (CCTV), Comcast Channel 27, Astound Channel 32, and AT&T U-verse Channel 99. They will also live stream on the County website at Contra Costa County Elections Division partners with the County’s Office of Communications & Media and Contra Costa Television (CCTV), the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, and the League of Women Voters of West Contra Costa.

More information about “Election Preview” is available on the Elections Division website at and the County’s website at


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Antioch School Board again bypasses trustee Sawyer-White for president, Householder loses VP election after abstaining on vote

Saturday, December 14th, 2019

Trustee Crystal Sawyer-White speaks during the discussion on the election of president and vice president at the Antioch School Board meeting on Wed., December 11, 2019. Screenshot of YouTube video.

Third time a female African American trustee was passed over for the position. Racism raised by Householder.

Gibson-Gray elected president on 3-2 vote.

Rocha elected vice president also on 3-2 vote after Sawyer-White declines the position, again and Householder’s nomination fails on 2-2 vote after she chooses to not vote for herself.

By Allen Payton

For a second year in a row the Antioch School Board majority chose to bypass fellow trustee, Crystal Sawyer-White in their election for board president at their meeting on Wed., Dec. 11. Instead, Diane Gibson-Gray was elected president on a split vote with Sawyer-White and Trustee Ellie Householder voting against. Trustee Mary Rocha was elected board vice president, also on the same split vote. (Watch the meeting on YouTube, beginning at the 1:41:00 mark)

Last year Gibson-Gray’s reasoning for not electing then board vice president Sawyer-White to be president was that she didn’t have the necessary experience or knowledge to handle the job. Instead trustee Gary Hack was elected board president, with the support of both Gibson-Gray and trustee Mary Rocha. (See related article) Sawyer-White was offered the position of vice president, again. But she declined. Instead Gibson-Gray was elected board vice president.

This year, the reason given by Gibson-Gray for bypassing Sawyer-White for president was because she hadn’t served as board vice president, even though she had.

This was the third time a female African American member of the Antioch School Board was passed over for the presidency. In 2017, former trustee and then-board vice president Debra Vinson was not elected president in her final year on the school board. (See related article) Instead of running for reelection in 2018, she ran for county school board but was unsuccessful.

The positions of president and vice president are usually rotated among the trustees each year, with each member being given the opportunity to serve first as vice president, then as president during their four-year term. The same occurs on 14 of the 19 city councils in the county with the positions of vice mayor and mayor. However, sometimes power play politics and personal agendas get in the way and school board trustees or council members get passed over.

Gibson-Gray Elected President, Offers Sawyer-White Vice Presidency, Mentoring

Following approval of the consent calendar on the meeting’s agenda and without comment, Rocha nominated Gibson-Gray to be board “chair”. Board President Hack seconded the motion.

Trustee Householder was first to comment.

“I just think that at this point I would prefer that trustee Sawyer-White become the board president, just based on the fact that she hasn’t gotten to be the board president at all, and in the last year she has gone to a ton of different trainings and I’ve seen a huge growth in her knowledge of what’s current in the district, in terms of what’s going on in the state and what’s going on in the county,” she said. “Out of fairness it’s time to give someone else a shot at being in the leadership on this board.”

Householder attempted to make another motion to nominate Sawyer-White, but the current one hadn’t been voted on yet.

“I just thought there would be some consideration. But, I’m not surprised,” Sawyer-White said. “I would at least like Ellie, to nominate her for V.P…. to give someone else the opportunity.”

Gibson-Gray responded.

“Well, last year, in our meeting, I wanted you to be vice president, Crystal, before you left the meeting, because I wanted you to spend a year growing,” she stated. “And I agree with Ellie, you have grown. But there’s a difference. It’s difficult to run the meetings if you haven’t been the vice president. You see that I help Gary all the time. I would like you to be vice president, this year and I would like to mentor you for the presidency, if you’re willing. That’s what I wanted to do, last year.”

“Again, you know, other districts it’s a rotated basis. I’ve been vice president,” responded Sawyer-White. “I hear what you’re saying, Trustee Gibson-Gray. But we’re in the 21st century and I’ve put a lot into this position. It just would be a new direction. People are watching this on YouTube. I’m not surprised. Last year was a little different and I just have a little more chutzpa. That is my suggestion. Ellie, I think she should be vice president.”

“I get the idea that you be the vice president, then you get to be the president,” Householder said. “But…she’s been the V.P. at one point. She’s also completed the governance training and she’s also very, very active in advocating for AUSD at the state level, at the county level. She’s constantly trying to learn. She’s constantly bringing in that new, fresh perspective. I think that she’s extremely qualified to be the president. To say it’s gotta to be next year, well, who’s to say she’s going to run again? Then, she’s not even to have the opportunity because she’s going to term out, next year. I don’t see why we don’t give everyone a fair shot in this district”

“The fact we have a high African American student population, here. I think it would be amazing to have a strong Black woman in this position of leadership for our district,” Householder continued. “We all help each other out so why not just give someone else a chance to be in this position?”

“I’m going to go back to last year,” Gibson-Gray responded. “I wanted Crystal to be the vice president. But she was upset, and she walked out of the meeting. If she had stayed that’s what it would have been. She would have stayed in the vice presidency for one more year and then she would have been moving up. I’m the vice president and you say ‘you should move up.’ I would like Crystal to be vice president. That’s all I’m saying. End of discussion for me.”

Then things got a bit heated.

Householder Injects Racism Into Discussion

“To have one bad day and we’re judging somebody based on one bad day,” Householder responded. “I mean, could you imagine feeling like you’re being attacked for the way that you were born and the amount of melanin in your skin? I can understand why somebody would…”

“I take offense at that,” Gibson-Gray shot back, cutting her off.

“I object to that, Mr. Chair. I object to that statement,” Rocha stated.

“No, I’m saying that’s how she felt and that’s why she left,” Householder responded.

“OK. We have a motion on the table,” Gibson-Gray stated.

“Call for the motion,” said Rocha.

Hack asked for the vote on the “motion for Diane Gibson-Gray to be president for the incoming year” and it passed 3-2 with Householder and Sawyer-White voting no.

Sawyer-White Nominated for Vice President Again, Declines Again

“With that I’d like to nominate Crystal Sawyer-White for the office of vice president,” Gibson-Gray said. Rocha seconded the motion.

“How do you feel about it, Crystal?” Householder asked.

“I think you should have the opportunity,” Sawyer-White said. She then attempted to nominate Household to be vice president, but the other motion hadn’t yet been voted on.

“Again, this is not about leadership. This is about the students,” Sawyer-White said. “I just think once they look at, you know leadership has changed. This really empowers the students. I’m wishing for our graduates, students of color to come back and teach in the district. I have many visions and it’s not about me. So, yes, I’m nominating Ellie Householder.”

“Are you willing to be vice president?” Gibson-Gray asked.

“No, I decline,” Sawyer-White responded.

“The motion dies because she’s not going to do it,” Gibson-Gray said.

Householder Nominated V.P. But Chooses To Not Vote For Herself

Sawyer-White then nominated Householder to be vice president and Hack seconded the motion. Hack and Sawyer-White voted in favor but Householder wouldn’t vote for herself.

“I just figured I would abstain since it had to do with me,” she said. “I’m uncomfortable.”

“It’s OK to vote for yourself,” Superintendent Stephanie Anello shared.

“It makes me uncomfortable,” Householder replied.

With Gibson-Grey and Rocha voting no, the motion failed on a 2-2-1 vote.

Rocha Elected Vice President

“With that I’d like to make a motion for Mary Rocha to be vice president,” Gibson-Grey said. “She has 40 years of experience which includes running meetings of the school board, Roberts Rules of Order, the Brown Act, etc.”

“I give myself a second, I can do that,” Rocha said.

The motion passed on a 3-2 vote with Sawyer-White and Householder again, voting no.

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Supervisor Glover files for re-election to sixth term

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Supervisor Federal Glover. Herald file photo.

Incumbent Supervisor Federal Glover, representing District 5 on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, officially filed for re-election on Monday with the County Registrar of Voters Office.

“I’m so proud of our accomplishments and excited to be applying for a final term to complete the good work we started,” said Glover.

He has been one of the County’s top transportation advocates, identifying funding to improve Highway 4, I-680, and bring BART to Pittsburg and Antioch.

“We’re in the beginning of negotiations on establishing possible ferry service to San Francisco from Hercules, Martinez, Bay Point and Antioch, and I want to see that through completion for the residents I represent,” Glover added.

Other accomplishments that make Glover proud: Bringing the County into a AAA financial rating due to sound budgeting decisions, establishing three Family Justice Centers to support victims of domestic violence, increasing prosecution of human traffickers who kidnap and victimize young women, strengthening the Industrial Safety Ordinance to reduce refinery accidents, and leading the fight to protect open space, our hillsides and maintaining the County’s Urban Limit Line to control growth.

Glover says that making PG&E accountable for upgrading its service, and working with cities to create alternative forms of energy to decrease the company’s issuance of power outages is another issue he is working on that requires more work.

“Supervisor Federal Glover was there for our firefighters and our residents during the massive fires we experienced the last couple of years. We wholeheartedly support Supervisor Glover’s re-election and look forward to working closely with him for another term,” said Firefighter Vince Wells, President of Contra Costa Firefighters Local 1230.

Glover is also endorsed by the Contra Costa Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the Contra Costa Building and Construction Council, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Association, police associations, Congressional, Senate, Assembly and local city elected officials (see partial list of endorsements, below).

“We have a great campaign team and I will raise whatever donations necessary to run a top-notch campaign to the voters of District 5,” Glover added. “This will be my last term on the Board of Supervisors, and I’m excited to complete the projects important to my District.”

Glover’s district includes Martinez, Hercules, Pinole, Alhambra Valley, Briones, Antioch, Port Costa, Clyde, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Crockett, Mt. View, Pacheco, Reliez Valley, Rodeo, Tormey & Vine Hill.

Supervisor Federal Glover Endorsements (partial list)

Congressman Mike Thompson

Congressman Jerry McNerney

State Treasurer Fiona Ma

State Senator Bill Dodd

State Senator Steve Glazer

Assemblymember Tim Grayson

Assemblymember Jim Frazier

County Auditor Bob Campbell

County Tax Collector Rusty Watts

East Bay Regional Parks Director Colin Coffey

Antioch Mayor Sean Wright

Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts

Antioch Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock

Antioch Councilwoman Monica Wilson

Antioch Councilmember Lamar Thorpe

Hercules Vice Mayor Roland Esquivias

Hercules Councilwoman Chris Kelley

Hercules Former Mayor Myrna De Vera

Hercules Former Mayor Sherri McCoy

Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder

Martinez Councilwoman Lara Delaney

Martinez Councilmember Mark Ross

Pinole Mayor Pete Murray

Pinole Vice Mayor Roy Swearingen

Pinole Councilmember Vincent Salimi

Pinole Councilmember Anthony Tave

Pittsburg Mayor Juan Benales

Pittsburg Councilwoman Merl Craft

Pittsburg Councilmember Holland White

Pittsburg Councilwoman Shanell Scales-Preston

Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Assn.

Contra Costa Professional Firefighters Local 1230

Contra Costa Deputy District Attorneys Assn.

Pittsburg Police Officers Association

Contra Costa Building & Constructions

Trades Council




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Neighboring developers win again as judge invalidates Richland’s Initiative for The Ranch development

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Map of area covered by the Richland Communities’ alternative initiative, and The Ranch 1,177-home project that was ruled invalid by a Superior Court judge. Herald file graphic.

By Allen Payton

On Friday, November 22, 2019 Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Edward G. Weil issued the final ruling in the lawsuits brought by Oak Hill Partners and Zeka Ranch against the City of Antioch and developer Richland Communities, that “the entire Richland Initiative is invalid”. Richland Initiative final court ruling 11-22-19

In July 2018 the Antioch City Council adopted a voter initiative sponsored by Richland Communities that approved Richland’s development called “The Ranch”, while at the same time downzoning Oak Hill’s, Zeka’s, and other neighboring properties to just one home per 80 acres. In August 2018, the City Council followed up by adopting a second voter initiative sponsored by environmental groups to limit growth in the Sand Creek Focus Area, the so-called Let Antioch Voters Decide Initiative. Earlier this year, the Court ruled that the City’s adoption of the environmental groups’ initiative was invalid, and ordered the City to put that initiative on the November 2020 ballot. The earlier order also found that Richland’s inclusion of a Development Agreement between Richland and the City for The Ranch development was unlawful and invalid. (See related article).

In the 23-page November 22 ruling, the issue before the Court was whether Richland’s invalid Development Agreement for The Ranch could be “severed” from the initiative to allow the initiative to survive without the unlawful Development Agreement. The Court found Richland’s Development Agreement not to be “volitionally” severable from the rest of the initiative. Because the invalid Development Agreement is not severable from the balance of Richland’s initiative, the bottom line of the Court’s ruling is that the entire Richland Initiative is invalid.

According to the ruling, “The Court of Appeal has described the test for volitional severability as follows: The volitional requirement concerns whether the voters would have adopted the initiative without the invalid provisions.” Because the initiative was adopted by the City Council instead of submitting it to the voters, the Court focused on the “volition” or decision of the City Council in enacting the Richland Initiative. “The Court concludes that it is the volition of the City Council members who voted on the initiative that matters.”

The judge then reviewed the substantial, valuable community benefits promised by Richland in the Development Agreement if it proceeded with The Ranch development. These benefits included at least $1.2 million for improvements to Deer Valley High School, cost free land for a new fire station, land for an East Bay Regional Park trailhead, fees to support Antioch police, and other community benefits. In the absence of the Development Agreement, Richland would not be legally obligated to provide those benefits to the City as part of The Ranch development.

The judge found that Richland’s PowerPoint presentation shown to the City Council, at the meeting where the City Council adopted the initiative, was relevant and persuasive evidence provided by Oak Hill and Zeka.

In that presentation, it showed the Development Agreement included “Communitywide Benefits” such as the $1.2 million for Deer Valley High School facility improvements, and “Public Safety Benefits” such as the annual per home police fee.

The judge determined that “There is no guaranty that a different developer would agree to give the school district as much money as Richland agreed to give, just as there is no guaranty that a different developer would agree to devote 44% of its land to open space and parks, etc.” If the Development Agreement “were not approved, there would be no certainty as to when another willing developer might come along, and no certainty that the new developer would offer the City as good a deal.”

“The totality of the evidence persuades the Court that the Richland Initiative was a package deal, with the City agreeing to certain General Plan and Municipal Code amendments in exchange for the benefits specified in the Development Agreement.”

The judge’s ruling further determined that the initiative “imposed substantial development restrictions on other parts of the Sand Creek Focus Area including those owned by Zeka Ranch and Oak Hill” as part of a package with development of Richland’s The Ranch project. The Court found that those “development restrictions are not volitionally severable.”

Finally, the Court found that the General Plan and Zoning Code amendments that remained in the initiative outside of the Development Agreement could not be considered “standalone benefits independent of the Development Agreement.”

“Why would the City Council have wished to enact these amendments, if the City was not going to receive the benefits of the Development Agreement?” the judge asked rhetorically in his ruling. “This is another factor supporting the Court’s ruling on volitional severability.”

The result of the ruling means Richland must pursue its development through the development process with the City. The ruling also allows both Zeka Ranch and Oak Hill Partners to purse their development projects, as well.

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Antioch School Board places $105 million school facilities improvement bond on March ballot

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Will benefit schools and affect properties in former Mello-Roos District

By Allen Payton

At their meeting on Wed., Nov. 13, 2019 the Antioch School Board voted 5-0 to place a $105 million bond on the March 3, 2020 ballot to pay for improvements to schools in the former Mello-Roos District. The annual cost is estimated at $60 per $100,000 in valuation. So, owners of a home valued at $500,000 will pay $300 per year. Resolution 2019-20-17 Ordering a School Bond Election in SFID No. 2

The bond measure requires a 55% vote of approval to pass and if passed, will raise an average of $7,000,000 annually for 36 years.

“This makes sense. It just makes sense. As a new homeowner I’m a bit scared by the tax,” said Velma Wilson, who was the only member of the public to speak. “I think it’s really good what Antioch High has done with Measure B. So, to see those bonds doing what they’re doing…and our schools with their upgrades, I think this is really good for our school district. Kids like to go to school with good facilities.”

The board also voted 5-0 to approve a resolution creating the facilities district. AUSD Formation of SFID No. 2

The resolution reads as follows:

“The Antioch Unified School District has formed School Facilities Improvement District #2 in the area of Antioch previously impacted by Mello Roos assessments. The Mello Roos District was dissolved in 2016. The Mello Roos Community Facilities Act of 1982 provided funds for the District to build schools during a period of rapid growth within Antioch Unified School District. The Mello Roos assessment helped pay for the construction Carmen Dragon Elementary, Diablo Vista Elementary, Jack London Elementary, Lone Tree Elementary, MNO Grant Elementary, Black Diamond Middle School, Dallas Ranch Middle School, Orchard Park K-8 School, Deer Valley High School, and Dozier-Libbey Medical High School.

This bond measure placed only before the voters in SFID#2 will provide funds to improve and maintain all of the schools within the former Mello Roos area. The funding will be provided over eight years with priorities set by the school board and monitored by an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee.

The Improvements shall consist of projects which: renovate classrooms, update school safety and security systems, improve technology, energy efficiency, upgrade science labs, modernize schools, and repair and replace roofs, and to qualify for state matching funds.

To meet all identified school facility needs, the District may complete projects using a combination of funding sources. These sources may include joint-use funds, contributions, developer fees, state and federal funds and any other available funds.

The specific projects authorized to be financed with bond proceeds are as follows. The projects are authorized to be financed at all current and future sites within SFID#2.

  • Update aging classrooms and District facilities to support high quality instruction.
  • Upgrade electrical, communications, safety and security systems.
  • Replace heating ventilation and air conditioning units as needed.
  • Upgrade plumbing and renovate restrooms.
  • Repair/Replace roofing systems.
  • Repair and replace damaged and uneven paving and concrete.
  • Improve accessibility to sites, classrooms and upgrade playgrounds (ADA).
  • Repair and replace floors
  • Test foundations for seismic standards and upgrade as needed.
  • Renovate, modernize and/or remodel kitchen, food service and multipurpose spaces.
  • Update and improve athletic fields and facilities.
  • Make the necessary changes to improve drainage systems.
  • Update technology infrastructure and computer equipment (paid for within its useful life).
  • Replace old classroom desks, chairs and other necessary furniture.
  • Remodel, replace and refurbish classroom interiors.
  • Replace all exterior walkway damaged canopies.
  • Add exterior lighting to improve campus safety.
  • Reconfigure parking areas to improve traffic flow and student safety.
  • Remove or replace aging portable buildings and classrooms with permanent construction.
  • Install dual pane windows to improve ventilation.
  • Replace underground infrastructure.
  • Install or repair playground equipment and play surfaces and structures.
  • Acquire and/or upgrade fencing to improve school safety.

Other Projects

  • Remove hazardous materials, such as asbestos, lead, etc., where necessary.
  • Address unforeseen conditions revealed by construction/modernization (such as plumbing or gas line breaks, dry rot, seismic, structural, etc.).
  • Other improvements required to comply with existing building codes, including the Field Act, and access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Necessary site preparation/restoration in connection with new construction, renovation or remodeling, or installation or removal of re-locatable classrooms, including removing, replacing, or installing irrigation, utility lines (such as gas lines, water lines, electrical lines, sewer lines, and communication lines), trees and landscaping.
  • Rental or construction of storage facilities and other space on an interim basis, as needed to accommodate construction materials, equipment, and personnel, and interim classrooms (including re-locatable classrooms) for students and school functions or other storage for classroom materials displaced during construction.
  • All work necessary and incidental to specific projects described above, including demolition of existing structures.
  • Paint the interior and exterior of buildings.
  • Repair and replace damaged and uneven paving and concrete.
  • Provide classroom furniture and equipment as needed.
  • Improve school building safety and security.”

A request was made to Superintendent Stephanie Anello for a map of the new facilities district which was not included with the resolution. To see if your property is affected, please check the following report of parcels with streets listed in alphabetical order: Parcels for Proposed SFID 2

Please check back later for updates to this report.

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Canciamilla’s attorney responds to campaign finance violations, FPPC fines

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Joe Canciamilla

Sacramento – The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has announced it will recommend fines for serious violations for former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Joe Canciamilla at its next meeting on November 21st. (See related article)

“Mr, Canciamilla has resigned his position as County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters, so as to not bring undue hardship to the office while this matter is being resolved,” said Canciamilla’s attorney Andy Rockas, of the Law Offices of Andreas C. Rockas in Sacramento.

“Mr. Canciamilla has cooperated with the FPPC, has paid back all disputed amounts, and all fines listed in the proposed stipulation have been paid in full,” said

Rockas, adding that none of the violations involved the use of taxpayer funds, and were limited to campaign funds contributed by private sources.

Rockas added that Canciamilla has taken full responsibility for this situation, is humbled and embarrassed, and hopes the FPPC fines won’t severely overshadow his 46 years of public service to the residents of Contra Costa County.

Some of Canciamilla’s accomplishments throughout his years of service include: Helping to create Contra Costa County’s first Urban Limit Line to control growth; preserving 2,700 acres of park and open space at Cowell Ranch in East County; expanding the County’s Industrial Safety Ordinance to ensure the public’s safety around area oil refineries; and, helping to create Pittsburg Power, making Pittsburg one of the first cities to pursue an independent path to controlling local power and energy.

At its next meeting scheduled for November 21st, the FPPC will take up the violations and proposed fines for Canciamilla and his campaign committee.

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Martinez Planning Commissioner announces campaign for District 5 County Supervisor

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Sean Trambley

Will run against Glover who will seek a sixth term.

On Thursday, Nov. 7, Sean Trambley (Martinez, CA) formally announced his campaign for Contra Costa County Supervisor in District 5 which includes portions of Antioch north of Highway 4. The district also includes Pittsburg, Bay Point, Martinez, Port Costa, Crockett, Rodeo, Hercules, Pinole and numerous unincorporated communities. Supervisor Federal Glover is the current officeholder and when reached for comment he said he was running for reelection for a sixth term.

“Our communities deserve a Supervisor who will show up and work hard for all of us,” Trambley said. “I believe Contra Costa County, with new, active leadership, can offer better opportunities to those hoping to buy a home, start a small business, and provide for their families.”

He’s a public relations consultant and has worked on issues such as affordable housing and open land preservation. In the past he worked in Washington, D.C. as an intern for Congressman George Miller then as an aid for Congressman Dennis Cardoza. He then worked for an organization known as the Democracy Initiative.

A press release from Trambley’s campaign stated, “As a small business owner and native of Martinez, the County seat of Contra Costa, Sean has watched as stagnant leadership has failed to address the challenges holding back working families and young people. Sean’s extensive experience in government, business, and advocacy has given him the tools and understanding to make smart, creative decisions and ensure the County reaches its fullest potential.”

“For too long, the current district leadership has failed to represent working families and has yet to enact a broader set of initiatives that could give our county a stronger footing. Our county must take the lead on the environment, regional transportation infrastructure, and the local economy. My neighbors can’t even get their representative, or his office, to answer the phone, let alone fight for them. I believe we need someone on the Board who will show up. I believe I offer a strong, new voice for our district,” Trambley continued.

The press release further stated, “Contra Costa County is home to more than 1.1 million people, an economic driver that houses much of the Bay Area’s workforce. Yet, it faces a lack of family and workforce housing, an unbearable commute, long-standing challenges for small businesses, mounting homelessness, and a county government that is often too slow to respond.”

Trambley’s campaign will be focused on tackling these growing challenges in close partnership with small business owners, labor partners, community leaders and the residents of District 5.

Trambley has the support of Martinez Councilmember Noralea Gipner, Martinez School Board Member Jonathan Wright and Martinez Planning Commissioner Jason Martinez. He also has the support of former County Clerk-Recorder Steve Weir, who said, “Sean is a new voice for Contra Costa and I’m excited to support his campaign. He is smart, thoughtful, and dedicated to public service. His background in government, business, and advocacy will be a huge asset to the County.”

More information is available at Sign up for his newsletter here.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Former County Clerk-Recorder Canciamilla pays $150,000 fine for personal use of campaign funds

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Joe Canciamilla

By Daniel Borsuk

Former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Joseph Canciamilla, who resigned abruptly on Thursday, Oct. 31st, has agreed to pay the California Fair Political Practices Commission fines totaling $150,000 for the misuse of political campaign funds for County Record-Clerk and as a candidate for Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge, the Herald has learned.

CFPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga informed the Herald on Friday afternoon that Canciamilla has paid the penalties, but the commission will have to approve the payment at the commission’s November 21 meeting in Sacramento.

“He has paid the penalties,” confirmed Wierenga. Attempts to reach Canciamilla at his Pittsburg Funeral Chapel and home were unsuccessful.

The four-person FPPC commission, currently with one vacancy, will consider at a 10:00 a.m. hearing on Thursday, November 21 the following:

“In the Matter of Joseph Canciamilla for Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder in 2014/2018, Friends of Joe Canciamilla for Judge 2012/2014, and Joseph Canciamilla; FPPC No. 17/146. Staff: Neal Bucknell, Senior Commission Counsel and Bob Perna, Program Specialist II. The Respondents were represented by the Law Office of Andreas Rockas and the Law Offices of Wayne Ordos. This matter arose from an audit performed by the Franchise Tax Board’s Political Reform Audit Program. Joseph Canciamilla is the former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, as well as a former candidate for Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge. Joe Canciamilla for Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder 2014/2018 and Joe Canciamilla for Judge 2012/2014 are his candidate-controlled committees. In 2011, 2014, and 2015 Canciamilla used campaign funds for personal purposes which were unrelated to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose, in violation of Government Code Sections 89510, subdivision (b), 89512, and 89513, subdivision (a) (15 counts). From 2011 through 2019 this activity was concealed on campaign statements by other reporting violations including non-reporting and overstatement of available cash on hand, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 (14 counts). Also, in 2011 Canciamilla and his judge committee commingled campaign funds with personal funds, in violation of Government Code Section 84307 (1 count). Total Proposed Penalty: $150,000 — $75,000 (Canciamilla personally) and $75,000 (Canciamilla and his committees).”

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted at Tuesday’s meeting to begin its selection process of a new County Clerk Recorder beginning, today, Nov. 8 with the acceptance of applications and to appoint a new Clerk-Recorder on Feb. 4.

Canciamilla was unavailable to comment for this report.

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