What is a supervisor?


The Danville Express and San Ramon Express will host a debate for District 2 supervisor candidates on April 26 from 6-8 p.m. Two of the three candidates will discuss important issues related to Contra Costa County and the San Ramon Valley, but many residents may be asking the same question: Exactly what is a supervisor?

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is a five-member group tasked with overseeing different areas, or districts, within the county. The recently redrawn District 2 encompasses Danville, San Ramon, Alamo, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Canyon, Saranap and part of Walnut Creek. Gayle Uilkema, who will retire in January 2013, currently represents the area.

Contra Costa County is home to approximately 1,030,000 people and over 23,000 businesses that are served by 19 cities and more than 250 special districts. District 2 is the second largest in the county with 218,917 residents as of the 2010 Census.

"Supervisors make decisions on many subjects -- from the management of social programs to service decisions. We also make land use and environmental decisions that affect the quality of life of all Contra Costans. Each Supervisor also has areas of particular interest," Uilkema said on her website.

Along with supervisors John Gioia, Mary Piepho, Karen Mitchoff and Federal Glover, Uilkema is tasked with appointing most county department heads and creating officers, boards and commissions as needed. The supervisors also oversee the operations of various departments.

The Board of Supervisors also has financial responsibilities, including adopting an annual budget, sponsoring an annual audit of all county accounts, books and records, as well as awarding all contracts exceeding $25,000. The board also provides for the compensation of all county officials and employees.

Additionally, supervisors are tasked with acting as an appellate body for planning and zoning issues. Recently, the board denied a resident group's appeal to revoke the land use permit for Alamo's Fire Station 32.

The Board of Supervisors hold regular weekly meetings at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the County Administration Building (651 Pine St., Room 107, Martinez). All meetings are open to the public. Applications for personal subscriptions to the weekly board agenda may be obtained by calling the clerk of the board at 335-1900.


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Posted by Hal Bailey
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 31, 2012 at 7:20 am

Thank you, Jessica, for introducing the importance of our voting decision for supervisor. The diversity of roles is more that politics and depends on diversity in capabilities, background, and experience. District 2 voters are fortunate to have a choice for supervisor not offered districts 3 and 5. We can hope voters will take time to consider district 2 candidates and bring our area's intelligence and independence in our representative to the CCC-BOS.

Best wishes,


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Posted by Tena
a resident of Montair Elementary School
on Apr 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

Did I miss where this was going to be held on April 26th? I can't seem to find it in the article.

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Posted by Jessica Lipsky
a resident of Danville
on Apr 2, 2012 at 10:35 am


The debate will be held at the San Ramon Community Center on Alcosta Boulevard; the address (12501 Alcosta) is listed on the flier that is attached to this story.

Please visit our Facebook page for more event information: Web Link

Jessica Lipsky

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Dear Editor,

Please feature that Facebook information on your site for those who do not participate in Facebook or Twitter.

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Dear Editor,

"What is a supervisor?" indeed is the question. In our district 2, there appears to be separate definitions for Lamorinda activists among the Democratic Party. Primary focus is on activists' social agendas rather than our corridors primary interests in public safety, government communication, environment (open space) and infrastructure, traffic and transportation and economic development and jobs creation. Sadly, Tomi van de Brooke has been defined as a women's rights activist with little focus on the primary specifications of our county supervisors' job descriptions.

Even today, Tomi is presenting her new-found liberal agenda at the Alamo Women's Club with pro-choice being her campaign's main message. Certainly, we can all recognize the rights of women to choose how to treat their bodies, but does such one-dimensional campaigning have major appeal to the majority of voters, Orinda to Dougherty Valley?

It would be interesting for your readers to provide posted or email opinions to you for your further story consideration.

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Posted by Candace Fan
a resident of Danville
on Apr 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I must admit that I am coming to this debate with a bias. I am already a fan of the Town of Danville, who's current mayor is Candace Andersen. I've lived here for nine years now, and feel that the interests of the majority are actually represented, not the vocal minority. I appreciate that the Town has carefully maintained urban limits, and would love to see the county do the same. I also respect Candace's stated intention of reviewing county finances and the pension obligations we have created.

For me, a track record counts. I think that Danville is a terrific place to live, and I believe Candace to be partially responsible for that. She is a level-headed consensus builder, and CCC could use her as a supervisor!

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School

on May 30, 2017 at 11:01 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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