I am a local Contra Costan who is currently serving as your county assessor. I love living and working in Martinez.
A little more about me. I was born in Contra Costa and raised in East County. My high school was Pacifica High in West Pittsburg (Go Spartans!) and I graduated in 1968. Back then the area was called West Pittsburg, but now it is called Bay Point. It was a small high school but we played hard in local sports and competed well against larger central county schools. It closed in 1976 and is now Riverview Middle School on Pacifica Ave. Having a high school of our own, rather than sending kids to Concord or Pittsburg, was a real anchor for the community.
After high school I attended DVC for a year, then went to mortuary school in San Francisco. Working in mortuary and funeral services is a very specific calling. It is not for everyone, but for those that answer the call it can be fulfilling. It taught me a deep respect for life, caring for the living, and humbleness in the face of the awesome hereafter. Working as an embalmer introduced me to the CC Coroner’s office, and I worked there for several years. It might be how I keep my sense of humor when things are gloomy. I continued my education at USF studying public administration at night, while I worked for the county. This began my career in public service.
I settled and raised my family in Martinez, the County Seat of Contra Costa. the adopted home town of environmentalist John Muir and the birthplace of baseball hero Joe DiMaggio. I still live there today.
Bitten is a strong word for it, so maybe I was nipped by the political bug in the mid-80s in Martinez. I wanted to be involved in my community, give back, and continue to serve. I ran for City Clerk and won. As clerk I was not voting on issues like the city council, but I was part of the process and aware of the machinations of local government. As city clerk I donated my monthly salary to provide scholarships to local students. Education helped my rise up and build a foundation, and I wanted to give back to the community rather than take from it.