Candidate profiles: Candace Andersen

Danville Mayor hopes to clinch 2012 supervisor race

Danville Mayor Candace Andersen decided to run for District 2 county supervisor because of concerns surrounding Contra Costa's fiscal situation. With over 21 years of experience, Andersen said she wants to ensure the district is led by someone with local government expertise.

An attorney with a degree in public policy, Andersen has over ten years experience serving on city councils and has sat on more than 30 commissions and committees within the county. She currently sits on the Central Contra Costa County Transit Authority (County Connection) and Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, among several others.

"I've been watching for several years as (the county has) dealt with serious pension issues and a serious, in my mind, under-prioritizing of public safety," she said. "It's important to me that someone who has council experience be elected."

One of the most important issues facing the county is pension reform and modifying vested benefits that are unsustainable, she said. More than 37 percent of the county payroll goes to pensions, Andersen said, and the county uses a 7.75 rate of return for investments when it should be utilizing a 6 percent rate.

"Right now they're underfunded $1.1 billion. There's a huge gap in what is not funded right now and it is very disconcerting how we're going to make up that difference," Andersen said. "Looking at the retirement age, how the county calculates returns and a catastrophic change in markets….It's coming up with new ways of looking at how we're going to fund it."

Andersen said she would collaborate with other supervisors, workers and unions to find solutions to the pension issue. Additionally, Andersen wants to prioritize public safety countywide. In the town of Danville, which contracts with the county for Sheriff services, a 7 percent increase in cost per officer will likely lead to the town having one fewer officer on patrol.

"We are losing a lot of officers because they are lowest funded officers in the area. You have both a numbers issue and a pay equity issue, but when you have criminals that are getting away with small crimes like breaking into a car, into a house…they get emboldened, and what is to stop them from committing a more serious crime?" Andersen asked.

The District Attorney's Office isn't able to prosecute as many cases and is losing deputy district attorneys to better paying areas, Andersen noted. Part of her public safety platform would include giving the Sheriff and District Attorney additional funds (though the board is already in the process of increasing funding to the Sheriff) to run its respective offices more efficiently.

"I believe countywide people want to have a safe community and it's important to me that the Board of Supervisors continues to prioritize safety," she said.

In addition to pension reform and public safety, Andersen promises to provide support for businesses and increase job creation by streamlining the county process for permitting and implementing innovative programs. She pointed to several local programs, such as Danville's business concierge service and the iGATE initiative, that have made marked economic development.

Andersen is endorsed by retiring District 2 Supervisor Gayle Uilkema, County Sheriff David Livingston, District Attorney Mark Peterson, San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson and frormer Assemblywoman Lynne Leach, among others.


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Posted by Shirley Meloy
a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

Knowing that pension reform is a priority and that Candace Andersen has ten years experience on city councils and more than 30 commissions and committees within the county she has my vote.

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Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:34 am

Anybody but the present collection of political hacks!

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

Really? Political hacks? You mean the ones that have lowered the County’s 30 year accrued debt from 2.6 billion down to 900 million in just a few short years?

You mean the ones that were elected and in most cases re-elected by the people of this county?

Maybe you should get off your "Duffy" and pay closer attention. Just sayin'...

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Posted by Danville
a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

As Mayor, she has done absolutely nothing to stop the illegal housing development that will greatly impact traffic and the environment between Diablo and Green Valley Elementary school. If we can not trust her to stop this illegal housing development in Danville, why should we expect her as Supervisor to stop similar illegal housing developments in our County?

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Dear Gina,

Your sponsored commentator, Informed Resident, is providing a false picture of the debt obligations for Contra Costa County based on a rate of return on pension investments that cannot be realized. Clearly, Candace recognizes such "slight of hand" and the need for real debt obligation numbers based on real earnings rates.

And Gina, that is a story worth reporting fully separate from the district 2 and 3 campaigns. Your readers need to know the potential debt obligations due to pensions and the political workings of CCCERA.

There are plenty of news services' resources available to you to report.

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I am sorry to inform you but YOU, and/or Candice cannot argue with the facts and figures that the CAO’s office puts out on the county’s debt. The only “sleight of hand” is in your head. The facts and documents speak for themselves. I have directed you to them at least once. If you cannot precess them, I cannot help you.

I guess you would have us believe that YOU (an avid blogger of political attacks), or Candice who has questionable experience, knowing more than the chief financial advisors and administrators that work on the financials for a living? Sorry but I don’t buy into your qualifications or your assumptions.

So how does one qualify for making the kind of statements that you do? Osmosis maybe? Hal, less than 60 days ago, the report was published-if you or Candace missed that, then neither of you should be commenting on it without reading it. To do so only makes you both look foolish.

Debt obligation is very similar to a home mortgage. Are you angry at your neighbors for having a balance to pay off on their 30 year mortgage debt? Yet you seem to want to vilify the situation-probably because you don’t fully comprehend it. Claiming that Candice does, it just plain disingenuous.

I am sure if the Danville Express decides to follow up and “report” on it, you will then in turn vilify their reporting methods (or did YOU plan to be the “news services” resource?) You have become predictable in your bias Mr. Bailey so why don’t we just save you the trouble.

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Gina, more sponsored political preference?

Just when you had succeeded in engaging readership with balanced candidates' profiles your sponsorship of unsupported claims by Informed Resident deny you the benefit of credibility for your profiles. A sequence of debt analysis done for Cal State and our county retirement programs have repeatedly illustrated that budgeted earnings rates are not real in the investment markets. The most recent studies discuss higher risk investment to maintain an earnings rate over 7.5% and the various default risks the cause those real rates to be <7% and closer to 6%.

Beyond district 2 campaign contents, State campaigns are identifying this issue for all levels of government as state, county and local debt impact. So again, this is a newsworthy story that should not be limited to discussion of one race and one candidate.

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Hal, more accusations? Throwing another fit? Why am I not surprised?

So you actually want people to believe that an analysis by students from Cal State, go beyond the facts and figures from the audited report itself. Not only that, you are now throwing apples in with oranges. It just doesn’t make sense, now does it? You do realize that the County’s report has to adhere to strict governmental accounting standards.

“2012 Other Post Employment Benefit Plan (OPEB) Valuation Report is required per Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statements 43 and 45 to be completed, by a County the size of Contra Costa, every two years.”

This is good news –so it is odd that you are fighting it. You don’t work for the Contra Costa Times editorial board do you? Maybe it is time for you to take a breath and appreciate all of the hard work the BOS and CAO have done to reduce over 30 years of accumulated debt. My guess is that you are throwing figures around and trying to compare interest earnings to what you (personally) could achieve. The fly in your ointment is that you don’t have millions (or billions) to invest, nor the financial background or expertise to get the returns. No offence Hal, but I would not take investment advice from you, a group of Cal State students or worse….Dan Borenstein. It appears the County doesn't either and they are making huge progress.

Consider getting involved, going to a meeting or even contacting them directly. Simply blogging hearsay will never boost your credibility and only serves in an attempt to confuse the very people you are claiming you want to educate.

Sorry again Hal, but you just don’t get to make the rules. It is not about political preference, it is about reliable sources.

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Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Candace Anderson is focusing on the biggest issue facing our county, and that is pension reform. And for that she will have my vote as well. The other "indicator" is to see which candidate the public employee unions support, and then pick a different one. (And I'm not being facetious....)

I'll be interested to see if Daniel Borenstein (CC Times) has any comments on the county board candidates, as his articles on pension reform over the past years have served greatly to educate the public on this critical issue.

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm

@ CR Mudgeon;

Interesting dilemma that you have then.

Candace is supported by 2 Contra Costa unions. The DSA (deputy sheriffs) and the DA’s association.
So either she is talking out of both sides of her mouth or she has you fooled.

If you haven’t figured it out, Borenstein plays on ignorance as well. No offense but, it looks like it worked.

Be careful of what you read in the CCTimes. Remember they just got caught red handed for plagiarism by the LA Times!
Web Link

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Apr 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Is it crazy to say that I just don’t trust anyone in politics?

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Dear Gina,

As you sponsor Informed Residents' random prespectives and references it must become obvious that little presented has content either as a reliable reference or as reality within the will and interests of Contra Costa voters. Given enough space on your forum your sponsored commentator will defame any and all in disagreement with evidence and detailed presentation.

Again, a small social news media site without journalistic credentials, as is EMCEB, beyond Dolores' expertise wants to sponsor attacks on Dan Borenstein and the research credentials of BANG and their partner news services? You might wish to stick to attacking the HAL out of locals and conserve your remaining reputation for EMCEB. It just doesn't play among "very savvy senior professionals" as residents of your readership area.

Your future is very much at stake!

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Posted by DP
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Candace's son Steve once dumped an extra large bucket of popcorn on the kid in front of him at a showing of Jurassic Park 3, and for this incredible act of offspring-heroism she gets my vote for sure.

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Posted by FanDanville
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

I'd like to vote for the person with the most ability for the job. And with the political/value system to accomplish the end result/goals that I'd like to see for our area.
The words sound good "I'm for pension reform." But those words can mean a lot of things.
Can anybody tell us what she's really about!?!
What my question would be is, with having 21 years of government experience under her belt already, what pension reform has she already accomplished (or similar cuts in run-away government costs).
Does she really have the talent and ability to accomplish correct pension reform?
(And what type of "pension reform" is she really talking about? What is her pension reform going to look like? )
(Is it going to end up costing more money and establishing higher base salaries for local government positions--that is thereafter used to justify higher employee benefit packages between the different local cities?)

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Posted by FanDanville
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2012 at 11:29 am

I would have the same question of Tomi.
What type of pension reform are you talking about?
Have you gotten it done before?
How are you going to get it done?
I'm tired of "Obama-type" political campaigns. I'm going to accomplish "Change."

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm


The bigger question could be, can she work with others. Remember who ever gets elected is only one member out of five.

It wont matter what her stand is, if she cannot work with the rest of the board. Just remember, 4 to 1 votes don't change policy....

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2012 at 12:04 pm


If you didn't already know, quite a lot of pension reform has already occurred in the County system in the last few years. One new board member is most likely not going have a huge effect on the overall direction-especially a new member.

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Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Pension reform is a major issue cause it takes a huge chunk from the country budget and taxpayers money. What about "spiking"? I don't think CCCounty union members have eliminated that sweet deal perk yet. When county employees make more than those in comparable jobs in the private sector and work less hours and days, something is wrong with the system. The insiders know it, yet most in the public sector are just waking up to the reality of how we have been getting hosed or soaked however, you want to call it. I will vote for anyone who has a practical, no nonsense viewpoint and is willing to fight the Goliath of government and unions. Candace Anderson so far is the best candidate.

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Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

She lost me, forever, when she misused her Mayoral title on a pro-Prop 8 website. Not town business (nor did it carry the town, eventually).

For the record, had she signed in her capacity as a voter, that would be a (very important) policy disagreement. Misuse of her title also strongly suggests both too-flexible ethics and too-shallow analysis.

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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2012 at 11:43 pm

@ Louise;

You might be interested to know that the "spiking" that was at issue was from two Fire Chiefs locally (San Ramon and Orinda/Moraga). However the FACT that was left out, by Dan Borenstein of the CCTimes, is that neither was employed by the County. That is right and 100 percent factual.

You see, both the San Ramon Fire Distric and the Orinda/Moraga fire district are BOTH Independent Special districts. independent Special Districts are completely separate from the county, and operate much like a city does. There are approximately 40 +/- of these independent districts locally. The County has NO say over their governance as they are represented and governed by there own elected board of directors.

As far as the County is concerned they have already taken measures to address spiking. If you have been watching the meetings over the last two years you would know this. If you haven't, now you do.

Lastly, I would not be so quick to compare public to private when it comes to retirement, wages or spiking. To do so would be cherrypicking, because I for one would point out that many "chiefs", General Managers and CEO's of private companies get pensions that dwarf that of the public sector. Further the many that work in select jobs (real estate, business, developers, technology, etc.,) have not done so bad in their day. In reality it goes both ways....

Back on the subject of Candace, perhaps the question you should all be asking is how good of a job has she done in her years on the council of managing the salaries in Danville. Salaries are available on the town's website. If you are concerned about huge salaries perhaps look into the city manager(s) compensation which I believe is close to 300k. Pretty outrageous for a small town like Danville. I recall San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson suffering some serious political fallout for allowing his city managers salary to get so excessive.

On that note, when it comes to experience and dealing with unions...just how many union employees does Danville employ? I dont think they do, bit IF they do; Does the Mayor/City council deal with them directly. Unlikely. This would be a responsibility of the city manager and not the role of the council itself.

No offense but I watched Candace become unhinged in the CCTimes editorial interview. A union would eat her alive.

On the bright side the county has its own negiotators (not Supervisors) that deal directly with the unions and a separate retirement board that deals with pensions.

Hopefully this will get you thinking.

Like this comment
Posted by Tami
a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2012 at 6:42 am

You wouldn't vote for her if you saw the way she poorly treated an employee in a Danville store last year...... It was very icky. As if she was better than the rest of us. Never get my vote, as simple situations like that show your true colors. get over yourself, it's Danville, not New York city.

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