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District 2 candidates talk politics, personal beliefs at supervisor debate

Original post made on May 2, 2012

On April 26, the Danville Express hosted a community forum and debate for Contra Costa County District 2 supervisor candidates. The debate, which featured two of three candidates for the Board of Supervisors, highlighted the differences between Candace Andersen and Tomi Van de Brooke.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 10:58 PM

Comments (29)

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

Candace Andersen is the right person with the right experience for this important elected position. Election Day is June 5th. Please vote for Candace.

Posted by Wiser Owl
a resident of Danville
on May 2, 2012 at 11:02 am

Candace Andersen has done NOTHING as Mayor, or city council member, to prevent the Magee Ranch illegal development. This illegal development will make traffic for parents and students near Los Cerros Middle School, Green Valley Elementary School, Monte Vista High, and Diablo even worse and more unsafe, not to mention ruining the pristine environment.

"Wise Owls" will lose their trees and homes, while Mayor Andersen spends all of her time putting up campaign signs for Supervisor.

"Wiser Owls" will NOT vote for Candance Andersen.

Posted by tom
a resident of Danville
on May 2, 2012 at 11:05 am

just what we need...anderson wants to raise sales tax dont we have enough tax

Posted by Goose
a resident of Danville
on May 3, 2012 at 12:17 am

So how do they feel about the upcoming ban on foie gras?

Posted by [removed}
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2012 at 6:43 am

Dear Editor,

We should examine the funnier side of our local politics by looking to issues of great importance to regional humorists:

1. Should Hap Magee Park be replaced with an upscale Wal-Mart?
2. Should it be illegal to have a home less than 35 feet tall?
3. Should we have rapid transit between Alamo and Byron?
4. Should Danville Blvd be four lanes, each going in a different direction?
5. Should we judge candidates only on height or who has the most signs?
6. Should we have only one district and supervisor in Contra Costa County, or do we?

Or is there more important, possibly entertaining, criteria?

All the gang down @ODDs, a Saloon for Fools
High above the Hotel Snaysmuth
The Village at Stone Lake CA 94507

Posted by Jake
a resident of Alamo
on May 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Both candidates are qualified, I was leaning toward Van De Brook till she interjected "social" issues into the race; is that one of the critical issues facing this district? I don't think so. The County is going broke, the employee pensions are out of control, the communities are not very happy with the County bureaucracy and attitude; so who cares if someone is "progressive" or not? Why bring this up?

Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm

A comment related to Tom's post above, that Anderson wants to raise sales taxes. I saw nothing in the article to suggest that Anderson wants to raise sales RATES. The context of her comment was that having additional businesses operating in the county would lead to increased sales tax revenue, and that the debate on the urban limit lines should include discussion of the pros (and cons) of having a broader sales tax base. One might even argue that having more businesses paying sales taxes might at some point make it feasible to reduce the sales tax rate (although politicians are more inclined to spend every penny that comes in....).

(That said, the above doesn't really apply to the specific issue of the urban limit line in the Tassajara Valley, since that would be mostly aimed at adding residences, and not businesses. I have to admit that I don't know if cemeteries generate sales tax revenue, as I don't know if the sale of cemetery plots would have sales tax associated with it...)

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Actually Jake, social issues are over half of each and every decision that the Board of Supervisors make. Attend or watch a meeting, read an agenda, you will see how it all fits together as part of the decision making process.

Secondly, you could not be more wrong with your statement “the county is going broke”. Contra Costa county has made an unprecedented recovery on an accumulated 30 year debt which at one point was estimated at over 2 Billion dollars. Today (at last report) the debt is under 1 Billion. In just the last 5 years the Supervisors have not only turned that around, but they have dug us out of a monumental deficit. So the direction not only has changed but is recovering faster than anyone thought possible. If that was not remarkable enough, it is all being done during one of the poorest economic cycles we have seen in decades. Either you are not paying attention, or you are just here to support a particular individual.

However the real issue pertinent to this race is that Tomi Van De Brooke has the county experience that Candace lacks. Candace has been exposed somewhat to countywide boards where she has warmed a few seats but Tomi has actually done the job, working directly as a chief of staff. There is a huge difference. Sorry to burst your bubble with a shot of reality.

Posted by tom
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Go read it again she says "we need to raise sales tax as well"

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I don't know what source Informed Resident used for the the dramatic decrease in the county deficit, but he should look at Lisa Vorderbrueggen's column IN the CCT. In it she reports on County Administrator David Twa's rather gloomy scenario of the county budget. Among other items, he reports that "Over the next three years, our increased pension obligations will total $51 million, or a 21 percent increase."

He added that, "The county's overall retirement bill will jump $35 million to $264 million next fiscal year, and grow by $8 million each of the following two years, according to estimates."

If this is sound fiscal management by the Board of Supervisors, then I want no part of it.

Check Lisa's article here:
Web Link

Posted by Jake
a resident of Alamo
on May 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I want to congratulate the "Informed Resident" for having such a positive attitude. He/She is from "Another Community"; in this community things don't look as good as portrayed.

"Social issues are over half of each and every decision the Supervisors make"; could this be a clue as to how we got into $2Billion debt?

Assumption that either I am not paying attention or am here to support a particular individual is somewhat of an odd statement from an "informed" individual! Both candidates were acknowledged and Tomi was given the nod prior to the interjection of "progressive" claim. An informed person would astutely recognize that while I questioned the appropriateness of the issue, there was no endorsement of anyone.

I believe I am reasonably informed and involved; I may have a different interpretation of data than you.

Posted by FanDanville
a resident of Danville
on May 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm


I still think Anderson sounds OK.
You need to take Anderson's quote in the CONTEXT of her whole surrounding discussion.
I vaguely remember reading the quote and initially thinking that Anderson's statement was poorly worded and subject to misunderstanding.
What she was trying to say was that she wanted to raise sales tax REVENUES, not raise sales tax rates. She really should have completed the phrase, but she just left out the final clarifying word (REVENUES) in her rush to say the sentence.
C. R. Mudgeon is explaining it correctly!
The CONTEXT of her statement was that the county could certainly use more money to pay its necessary bills and needed expenditures. That "having additional businesses operating in the county would lead to increased sales tax revenue" and "having a broader sales tax base" would help resolve the problem. And, therefore, that her method would be to work to help build and assist the tax base in order to increase revenue to pay for county needs--i.e., support existing businesses so that they survive to pay taxes.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm

@ Wise Owl and Jake,

Really, you want to play the selective text/headline or 2 second “news flash” game? Wouldn’t you each rather read the entire document in context, or take your information directly from the source rather than try to piece together your own version? I guess if you are frustrated it is easy to blame and piece together what you can. For the rest of us it's a wiser path to read the entire source document or comprehend that this particular article was written regarding the slow turnaround of pension reform. Anyone could pull out particular passages to reflect their position-it's done all the time. For instance here is one taken from the very same article; “Overall, the county's $1.22 billion general purpose budget is structurally balanced for the first time in at least five years, Twa said.” Sound like doom and gloom?
The irony remains that certain people only want negative news. Those types must have skipped right over Lisa’s article just a few short months ago, which pointed to the County’s 5 year rebound from over 2 billion in debt (to under one billion) or the county documents that demonstrated the same amazing debt reduction. I posted links several times right here on this very site-but if you choose to ignore them, that is really your loss.

Wise owl, if you are such a “wise owl” then even you know that it takes 10 to 20 years for any cost savings from pension reform to be realized. Or are you not so wise after all? In a county that has taken 30 years to accumulate debt, what were you expecting?
Maybe you are more of a short sighted, angry bird. Too bad really, because when you encourage those that are working hard on your behalf you may actually see even more results. Or is beating them down working for you?

And Jake, in case you don’t quite have it figured out yet, we are all from the same county-regardless of what “community” we live in. Your debt is my debt-that makes it our debt. Based on your comments; It appears like you have confused optimism for realism. Whether or not you realize it or not, we are seeing a turn around that is nothing short of amazing-especially in this economy. We both have access to the same data so how can you not “interpret” a 30 year, 2 billion dollar debt being slashed in ½ in 5 years as anything short of incredible? I'll bet many people wish they could pay off their 30 year mortgage that quickly...

While I did see you acknowledge both of the candidates, your post came off as a bit disingenuous. You never really gave Tomi the nod, yours was nothing more than a text book set up to move support to Candace. Sorry Jake, this ain’t Chinatown and this isn’t my first rodeo.

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

Ya caught me!

It's true!

I don't want Tomi on the board of supes because she supports PLAs (Project Labor Agreements) which are a sweetheart deal for unions and which increase the cost of school construction project 15 to 20 percent. Talk about raising taxes? How does 20 percent sound? If we get one more tax-and-spend liberal on the board, we can kiss this county good-bye.

I support voting for proven and fiscally disciplined people on the board. I support voting for Candace Anderson.

Posted by jjjj
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2012 at 7:57 am

to bad the wise owl.. is still the old fool trying to fool everyone

Posted by Jake
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

"Informed Resident": Can you put forth an argument without accusing those who disagree with you of having hidden agenda,not paying attention,disingenuous, etc? Perhaps your messages would be concise. I take you at your word, how about you do the same for me and not try to read "in between the lines". If we are to overcome the challenges we face, mutual respect would be a good start.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm


Yes I can, but bear in mind I call ‘em as I see ‘em. There are more than a few people that post here that are known commodities, simply playing games. To not acknowledge that as a fact would be ridiculous. Unfortunately you got caught in the crossfire, and if that is the case, I apologize. If you want to begin taking each other for their words-then believe me when I say, there are many here with a hidden agenda-it is far beyond a simple accusation.

For the record I have posted numerous “arguments” and documents-just not on this particular thread. At some point posting it over and over becomes redundant. I didn’t mean to lump you in with those who claim something is factual or reliable just because they read it in the CCTimes. It is a case of the "blind leading the blind", and is one of the last reasons that publication is staying afloat (for now).
So with that being said, I will take you at your word until proven otherwise. Now can we get back to the topic?

As a fellow community member who knows both candidates and their abilities, I would recommend you vote for Tomi. She is heads and shoulders above Candace, in knowledge and experience. And while either candidate will exceed Uilkema’s abilities, Tomi would work better with the board with her skill set and therefore accomplish much more. It is that simple.

Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Dear Gina and Jessica,

In your sponsored commentary in this exchange, personal observations are provided to select one district 2 candidate over another and as better than the current supervisor. It would be important to ask for such personal observations to be supported by what values, resume and successes warrant that selection.

Our individual experiences with Tomi and Candace could be very helpful to other voters and help guide such voters personal search into such events, actions, and positions taken by each candidate that would provide specifics about their role as supervisor.

This is an important week due to the mail-in ballots scheduled to arrive and probable majority of votes in the election being mail-in. If we wish greater turn-out, as I hope you do, I would suggest that your sponsorship and guidance of selected commentators could include a more significant background for their voting choices. More importantly, your invitation to more commentators with diverse positions and candidate selections could balance voters' considerations.

Is that possible?

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm


Right on cue! Do you know what a opinion forum is?

Scratch that. You obviously don't.

Nevermind...go back to your quest in search of an answer that you will never get.

Posted by Wise Owl
a resident of Alamo
on May 8, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Yes, Tomi's skill set would more closely match the current board and allow her to accomplish more. However, I don't want her or the current board to continue to go in their merry way to insolvency. I don't want any more such "accomplishments" by this group.

"...head and shoulders above Candace..." Decidedly not. Go check Candace's website out to see her accomplishments. She has served on the following boards, commissions and committees:

Central Contra Costa County Transit Authority (County Connection)
Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority
Contra Costa County Transportation Authority (Alternate)
Danville Area Chamber of Commerce
Discover Danville Association
Dougherty Valley Oversight Committee
Liaison to Arts Commission; Heritage Resource Commission; Design Review Board; Parks Commission, Planning Commission;
Oak Hill Park Building Planning Committee
San Ramon Valley Emergency Preparedness Citizen Corps Council
Southwest Area Transportation Committee
Street Smarts Advisory Committee
Town Finance Committee
Town-School District Liaison Committee
Traffix School Bus Program Director (Alternate)
Tri-Valley Affordable Housing Committee
Tri-Valley Transportation Council
Veteran’s Memorial Building Design Committee

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Wise Owl,

I have reviewed her website and talked to her colleagues. I suggest you look closer (and maybe talk to other elected officials) because simply “filling a seat” or listing them, does not yield accomplishments or experience. Candace is less than impressive with her actions in her role(s) and insiders say she doesn’t play well with others. We have had our fill of Donna Gerbers and Millie Greenbergs. I know Danville can do better, but for now let’s just say she wouldn’t be a great addition to the Board of Supervisors and lacks the real hands on county experience that Tomi has.

As I pointed out, and is a matter of public record the current BOS is resolving the financial issues that past boards have left in their wake. If you don’t agree, that is your prerogative-but you should examine the facts. (Hint; they are not found within the pages of the CCTimes.)
If you still believe that the current board hasn’t made monumental progress, then Candace would be a good candidate for you to support.

Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Dear Gina, Jessica and Mary, Editors, Express Forums

It is interesting that town square forum would be isolated in its definition as an opinion forum, with the right of attack brutality, when you describe the reality as "Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion."

Do you want to explain your sponsorship of Informed Resident and the Bluejays as jjj, jjr, and jjjj?

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 12:00 am


How many times are you going to post the same thing? You do your best to subtly bully others, but the second anyone pushes back with a reality check or challenges you go off crying foul. If you are going to continue your antagonistic approach towards our elected leaders then you better grow some thicker skin. It is called free speech, ever heard of it? Or are rights only allowed in your world when they meet your definitions? For clarity, YOU are not always truthful in your postings, so should I be crying foul and asking for removal? Don’t forget Hal, my perception and opinion is just as relevant as yours.

By the way, your “Dear Jane” list is growing…

Now can we please get back to the topic of the post???

Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 6:42 am

Dear Gina,

Thank you for your sponsored response. It is appreciated and very useful.

Best wishes

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 9:17 am

Best wishes to you too Hal, I hope you get the help you need.

Posted by San Ramon Oberver
a resident of San Ramon
on May 9, 2012 at 9:38 am

San Ramon Oberver is a registered user.

Voters might want to look at Contra Costa County Grand Jury Report 1204, Education Board Compensation - Leading by Example, Web Link . See page 3 for the examples.


PS Sorry about the error in my User Name here. I'm Roz Rogoff, the San Ramon Observer in the San Ramon Express.

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

Wow, another report by the GJ!!!! Oh darn, that is one of the recent ones which demonstrated how useless they have become. (Reports they have issued over the last few years have been so tabloid in nature that they have been rejected by the agencies they tried to blast).

When you come to realize just who the GJ is, and what they do, how they serve, what motivates them to do so, then and only then will you understand the limited nature of their “reports” ….and why they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Fancy name, but only as effective as the people who serve.

While the purpose behind the GJ should be a good one, the reality is they are just another inexperienced, watchdog group of busybodies, who produce reports that are largely ignored.

Posted by [removed]
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

Dear Gina,

As you sponsor commentary defaming Contra Costa County Grand Juries, you might want to offer your readers resources so they can decide the value of such grand juries' investigations and reports. Certainly a home page article on CCC Grand Juries, their scope of consideration and their role with our courts would be important information. Also, using the state grand jurors' association, Web Link would provide the scope of resources to support and train grand jury members in expert review of governments.

It is newsworthy!

Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

Really Hal, again? I post the truth, fact, reality and real world situations and you want to define them as defamation? Really?

I'm sorry to inform you that you are entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts.

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