County Pulse

County Pulse: Chiesa is appointed to No. 2 post with California State Association of Counties

kcarlson@modbee.comDecember 6, 2013 

    alternate textKen Carlson
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: County government, health and medicine, air quality, the environment and public pension systems
    Bio: Ken Carlson has worked 13 years for The Bee, covering local government agencies in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. His in-depth reporting has focused on access to health care and public employee pensions.
    Recent stories written by Ken

Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa was elected first vice president of the California State Association of Counties, a group that has a significant influence on public policy in California.

Chiesa, who is chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, was installed with other officers at the association’s annual meeting in San Jose two weeks ago. He has served on the group’s executive committee in the past year.

The local official will work on policy matters affecting county government agencies across the state. The association serves as the voice for the 58 counties in California. It strives to play a role in guiding public policy concerning law enforcement, health care, water, land use and the environment.

Chiesa is the representative for Stanislaus County’s District 2, which includes the Turlock and Hughson area and territory stretching west to the San Joaquin River.

Association Executive Director Matt Cate said Chiesa “has a common-sense approach to government and willingness to work with people on solutions that make sense. I am looking forward to working with him as we deal with vital issues in the state Capitol.”

Beltrami restored fiscal stability

Modesto native Albert Beltrami left an indelible mark on Mendocino County before retiring and returning to his hometown to shepherd Stanislaus County government through a tough time from 1991 to 1993. When he died Nov. 23 at age 79, one admirer wrote that he had a magical ability to make local government work better.

Beltrami was the administrative officer for Mendocino County from 1964 to 1989. Stanislaus County supervisors asked the retiree to take the reins of a county government beset with financial woes and problems left by a previous administrator. When his interim stint was done, Beltrami was credited with restoring fiscal stability and creating team spirit among county employees.

Supervisors chose his chief assistant, Reagan Wilson, as the new county executive officer. Beltrami, known for a low-key, amiable style, returned to Mendocino, serving as an interim administrator for that county and others.

“He never took himself too seriously,” former Supervisor Ray Simon said in a previous Bee article. “He was never dictatorial, and he always sought advice. Not too many chief executives do that, and it was a real plus for him.”

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at or (209) 578-2321.

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