The June primary winnowed things down to the two best candidates to replace the inimitable Jack Sweeney as District 3 Supervisor. Though both give us a measure of comfort should either one win, we give the edge to Brian Veerkamp as the best person to step into the job relatively seamlessly.
Experience is the key characteristic that highlights our endorsement of Brian Veerkamp for District 3 Supervisor.
Veerkamp has served on a school board.
“The No. 1 issue is building a governance team. We were very successful at that at Camino School,” Veerkamp told the Mountain Democrat editorial board.
Camino went from declining enrollment to increasing its average daily attendance from 400 to 500 by starting a charter school and serving homeschoolers. Thinking outside the box is what led to that enrollment increase, and Veerkamp as a board member deserves a measure of credit.
He is involved in the community, joining the El Dorado Hills Rotary Club when he was fire chief in that community. Since retiring he has joined the Placerville Kiwanis. By the way, he may be retired, but he has the strength and stamina of someone 20 years younger, this year winning the men’s division of the Kiwanis’ wheelbarrow races this summer.
Already collecting retirement pay, Veerkamp will not take any pay or medical benefits, if elected, having announced that before the Legislature, after secret negotiations, passed a pension reform bill that precludes public system retirees from taking a paid public position.
Veerkamp’s experience as an administrator, preparing budgets and overseeing one of the larger fire departments in the county also provides a useful background for a county supervisor. In that position he learned how to evaluate consultants, ensure the best written proposals and keep from being taken advantage of by them. That’s experience worth having.
“I don’t know everything, but I know to ask questions,” Veerkamp said, later adding, “personally, I think our board (of supervisors) shoots from the hip.”
Issues he aims to work on include bringing down building permit fees and impact charges, getting board policies written down and sharpening the focus on economic development.
And we like his overall philosophy: “Triage — do the best for the most. We don’t need to reinvent government. Slow down, pull back, get a handle on what we need. We need to get things done.”
As a longtime resident involved in the community, Veerkamp knows enough people to know how to get things done, a key element of a successful political leader.
If anyone can step into the shoes of outgoing Supervisor Jack Sweeney it is Brian Veerkamp. We endorse Brian Veerkamp for election to the District 3 Supervisor seat Nov. 6.