Mayor looks beyond Danville | May 1, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - May 1, 2009

Mayor looks beyond Danville

Arnerich positioning himself for state seat

by Geoff Gillette

The landscape of the California political scene continues to shift as candidates line up in the wake of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher's (D., 10th) appointment to the Secretary of State's office.

With Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D, 15th), Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D, 7th) and California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi vying for Tauscher's congressional seat, Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich is positioning himself to fill the vacuum if one of the two state legislators wins the 10th District post.

Arnerich said he made the decision to seek the state level post based on the state's current fiscal situation and the belief that he can help steer California through its current economic woes.

"In working with all the other elected in the cities and seeing what they're doing," he explained, "my frustration level with what is happening at the state is at the point where I want to fix this. And I know people say it's hard to do. But it's time."

The Danville Mayor, a Democrat, said that he has spoken with both Buchanan and DeSaulnier as well as U.S. Jerry McNerney (D., 11th) and he's gotten positive feedback.

"Some people are saying, 'Wow, I always knew you'd do this.' I never thought I'd do this," he said with a laugh.

The 14-year veteran of the Town Council points to the frugality that they've developed over the years in Danville as an indicator of what he could bring to the table in Sacramento.

"Danville has a very tight budget, we're the most cost effective city around. That forces a lot of discipline on you," he said.

Although the Town Council is non-partisan, Arnerich is a Democrat setting himself to run for seats that are currently Democrat held. He said that partisanship should not stand in the way of getting problems solved.

"Here in Danville, we don't say, 'that's a liberal pothole' or 'that's a conservative pothole,' we say 'that's a pothole, now let's fix it.'"

Arnerich said that he is pleased with the work he's done as a Town Council member, but feels that the timing is right for him to look at problems on a higher level.

"Danville is in great shape. I originally ran because it was a mess financially," he said. "Its leadership was replaced, we got a new city manager and a new city attorney. And it works. We have all the right people."