Thursday, January 11, 2007

Officials Take Oaths of Office

Officials Take Oaths of Office
By Ben Antonius

FAIRFIELD - Eight months after they were elected, one new supervisor and seven returning officials took their oaths of office during a Tuesday morning ceremony.

The formalities drew a standing-room-only crowd of family members, political supporters and co-workers, although the only actual personnel change was Supervisor Jim Spering replacing former Supervisor Duane Kromm.

Spering, the former mayor of Suisun City, represents a significant political shift from the more-liberal Kromm, who decided not to pursue a third term. In June, Spering defeated former Fairfield Mayor Karin MacMillan, a political ally of Kromm's.

Spering, who took the oath of office with his granddaughter at his side, offered some words of support for the controlled-growth principles Kromm has long championed. But he also noted "public safety was the No. 1 issue in every precinct" during his campaign.

"I bring a lot different perspective to the board than Mr. Kromm," Spering said. "But I have a lot of respect for him."

Before stepping down after eight years, Kromm said he knew Spering "will serve with a good heart" and asked his colleagues to support a near-universal health care policy proposed Monday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Solano County has been working for several years on its own plan to cover most residents.

"I think it is always good for every government to think both big and to think long-term," he said.

Supervisors also selected a new chairman and vice chairman, as they do every January. Supervisor Mike Reagan, the vice chairman in 2006, was elected chairman and Supervisor John Silva was elected vice chairman.

In a prepared statement he read after being elected chairman, Reagan reiterated his oft-stated belief that creating local jobs is the most effective way of solving problems.

The county can attract employers by addressing crime, improving flood protection, keeping the General Plan revision process on schedule and easing the regulatory process for businesses, he said.

"We know that our challenges were long in the making and will require long-term solutions," he said. "And we ought to know that either we invest today or we will surely pay excessively tomorrow."

Most officials kept their remarks brief after being sworn in.

Supervisor John Vasquez choked up while thanking his family for their support and joked that he was unopposed in his re-election campaign "because nobody wanted the job."

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or

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