Good morning. I hope 2013 is off to a good start for you.
And now, let's talk about 2014 because some local office-holders and -seekers are already looking that far ahead.
Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools Tom Changnon apparently will have a challenger when he seeks a third term in 2014. Jeff Tilton, a former SCOE administrator, announced his candidacy for the position this week.
Tilton is currently an administrator in the New Jerusalem Elementary district near Tracy. He began his teaching career in Manteca in 1987 and has worked in both traditional and charter schools, along with seven years with a nonprofit testing and research organization based in Portland, Ore.
He was the principal of Valley Business High School, SCOE's initial charter school created under former Superintendent Martin Petersen, and then oversaw the county office's three charter schools.
Changnon also is a big supporter of charter schools, which could gut the debate on that subject unless another candidate who isn't so pro-charter emerges.
The 2014 election also will feature other key county jobs sheriff, district attorney, clerk-recorder, etc. As we've reported earlier, Sheriff Adam Christianson plans to run again and he likely will be challenged by someone from within his department.
As nearly as I can tell, politicians and the people around them are like baseball fans in that they're always eyeing the next season and who might be traded or retire, leaving openings and therefore opportunities.
So taking a page from that playbook, I'll throw out that the most interesting local race of 2014 could be that for Stanislaus County supervisor in District 4. Dick Monteith holds the job now. If Monteith, who will be 81 next month, decides to retire, there will be no shortage of people interested in the position. How about Modesto Councilman Dave Lopez? Or another council member? And maybe there will be Republican legislators who become so frustrated in Sacramento that a seat on the county board will look appealing. After all, being a county supervisor pays pretty well about $75,000, plus benefits and it doesn't require travel. And of course the county board actually gets things done, usually without ugly rancor.
Considering whether to run for office this fall, or in 2014 or even beyond? Then consider attending a free workshop for prospective candidates March 13 at the Modesto Chamber of Commerce office. Other details will be coming soon. I'm on the planning committee and we're trying to line up a panel of relatively new and veteran officeholders to describe the rewards and drawbacks of serving in public office. There are satisfactions to elected service, though I think that they're not always obvious as we watch the fur flying in campaigns and the insults lobbed at people once they are in office.
Assembly committee assignments were announced this week by Speaker John Pérez. Here's what our representatives will be doing this year:
In her second term, Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, has been named vice chairwoman of two Assembly committees, Agriculture and Education. She also will serve on the Insurance, Higher Education, and Accountability and Administrative Review committees. Her new 12th Assembly District includes the eastern halves of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.
Freshman Adam C. Gray, D-Merced, will chair the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and will serve on Aging and Long-Term Care; Water, Parks and Wildlife; and Governmental Organization. He represents the 21st District, which includes all of Merced County and the western half of Stanislaus County.
In his first term, Frank Bigelow, R-Madera, will co-chair the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and serve on Appropriations; Governmental Organization; Natural Resources; and Rules. His 5th Assembly District includes all or parts of Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Mono and Madera counties.
All bills must be approved by the appropriate committee before they advance to the full Assembly and then, if they pass, move over to the Senate. Many bills never make it out of committee.
Sly is editor of the Opinions pages. Contact her at (209) 578-2317 or email@example.com or on Twitter @judysly.