Oakley Mayor Doug Hardcastle to challenge Piepho for County Supervisor

Doug Hardcastle

Doug Hardcastle

By John Crowder

Oakley Mayor Doug Hardcastle has decided to run for Supervisor in District 3, the seat currently held by Supervisor Mary Piepho. He sat down with Herald Staff this past week to answer questions about his candidacy.

Why are you running for Supervisor?

As a taxpaying citizen, I’m very concerned about what is going on financially in Contra Costa County, right now. Over the last few months we’ve seen tremendous controversy generated with some of the Supervisors voting themselves large raises, a decision that was only rescinded after intense public pressure was brought to bear. On top of that, there have been questions concerning the car allowance. Controversies like these cause people to lose faith in their government. We need people of integrity to lead our county, and people who know me, and have worked with me, know that is a quality that I possess.

At the same time, these issues, voting raises for themselves and such, have been distracting from more serious, and very pressing matters. The East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District is one example. We’re down to a handful of firefighters responsible for hundreds of square miles, now. There doesn’t seem to be any solution in sight.

Yet, the County has a budget of $3.6 billion. Imagine if you were able to cut back only 1%. That would free up $36 million, money that could be used, for example, to ensure adequate fire protection.”

What philosophy would guide your legislative decisions?

I’ve already mentioned integrity. That means putting the good of the citizens of the county above other concerns. It means that, as Supervisors, we can’t be guided by the latest polls, or worries about how our personal, political futures will be impacted. We have to be willing to takes stands, and to do what is right.

Equally important is using common sense. When an issue is brought forward, we need to weigh the costs and the benefits, and think about the unintended consequences of our decisions.”

What do you believe are the most important issues facing the County at present?

The biggest issues all revolve around financial matters. It’s all about the money. Unfunded retirements is probably the most important of these that needs to be faced.

The safety of our citizens is another concern. As I mentioned earlier, the fact that we are not adequately funding what is needed for public safety is a major concern. We need to make sure that we have enough firefighters and police officers to do the difficult, and often dangerous, jobs that we ask them to do. We need to make sure that they have the right resources, the equipment they need, to do their jobs.

We also need to make sure that we are maintaining our transportation infrastructure. In Oakley, where I’m currently on the City Council, we’re spending a good deal of money on street maintenance at the moment. This is money that’s well spent. It’s a lot cheaper to maintain our infrastructure on a regular basis, than it is to let it go and then have to replace it.”

What is your previous political experience?

I served on the board of the Ironhouse Sanitary District for twelve years. During that time I was involved with the building of a new water treatment center. It was a long process. As board members, we had to ensure that state regulations would be met, and we had to obtain funding. We lobbied Sacramento on behalf of the District. I’m proud to say that the treatment center came in ahead of schedule, and under budget.

More recently, I’ve been a member of the Oakley City Council. Here, I’ve continued to watch out for how taxpayer’s money is being spent. One example is the construction of the fountain. Staff originally came in with cost projections of well over a million dollars, but we sent them back to take another look, to consider other bids, and ended up saving over half-a-million dollars on that project alone.

Also in Oakley, we’re transitioning from a contract with the Sheriff to our own police department, a move expected to save the city about $800,000 per year.

One of the things that I think is very important is accessibility. Once a month I set up a table in front of one of our local supermarkets, Raley’s, Lucky, or Grocery Outlet, and spend Saturday morning meeting with members of the public. I call it, ‘Mayor at the Market.’

People in town also know that, as a local businessman, they can find me here at my business, whenever we’re open. I’m always happy to speak with my constituents about their concerns. If they raise a question, or have an idea, I go to the city staff member responsible for the area they’ve addressed, and make sure they get an answer.

I do my best to be accessible, approachable and accountable.

I also serve on the East County transportation boards including Transplan, the State Route 4 Bypass Authority and the East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Authority, for which I am currently Vice Chair. I also serve on the county Mayor’s Conference.

What else have you been involved with in your community?

I was involved with the local chapter of the Lion’s Club for twelve years, having served both as President, and as Chaplain. I’ve helped out at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for the last ten years. I’m also active in the local Chamber of Commerce and served as Vice President for two years. Most recently, I volunteered at Stand Down on the Delta, an event held to help homeless veterans in need.”

Is there anything else you’d like the voters to know about you?

I’ve been in Contra Costa County my entire life. I was born in Martinez, and lived there and in Concord, while growing up. I graduated from Ygnacio Valley High School. I spent two-and-a-half years in the army as the crew chief of a Chinook helicopter.

I’ve been married to my wife, Lyn, for 43 years, and together we’ve raised two children, a son and a daughter. We have four grandchildren. We’ve been in Oakley for 35 years.

I attend Golden Hills Community Church, and have been in their choir for fourteen years. Really, I’m the most blessed man I know.”

the attachments to this post:

Doug H City photo

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply