Contra Costa County supes install new leadership

County Administrator and Clerk of the Board, David J. Twa, swears in new Board of Supervisors leadership, Candace Andersen as Chair and Diane Burgis as Vice Chair (Photo credit: Contra Costa County)

Candace Andersen was sworn-in the 2020 Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors’ new chair, and Diane Burgis as its vice chair, at the Board’s annual reorganization ceremony Tuesday.

Andersen, who represents District 2 on the Board of Supervisors (see district map below), replaces the 2019 chair, John Gioia, who represents District 1 and has served as chair five times. Andersen was first elected as supervisor in 2012, and previously served as Board Chair in 2016.

Firrst elected to the Board in 2012, Andersen is completing her second term, while Vice Chair Burgis, who represents District 3, has served on the Board of Supervisors since 2017.

They will lead the five-member elected body that sets the direction of County government and oversees its $4.43 billion budget.

At today’s swearing-in ceremony, Andersen highlighted as important 2020 events the accurate count in the U.S. Census, the expected June opening of the new 71,000 square foot County Administration Building, and the expected March completion of the new Emergency Operations Center/Public Safety Building. She added that public safety would be a big focus, including reentry assistance for incarcerated individuals, and treatment and housing for mentally ill individuals within the justice system.

The County will also be looking to update its tree ordinance, to improve upon its accessory dwelling unit (ADU) ordinance to encourage ADU creation, and to finish up its Airbnb short-term rental ordinance.

Andersen also cited the importance of improving transportation, mentioning Measure J, a half-cent sales tax appearing on the March ballot that, if passed by voters, would raise an estimated $103 million for Contra Costa County transportation solutions annually for 35 years. In 2020, the Board is also set to select a new county clerk and recorder after Joe Canciamilla resigned last fall in the wake of allegations of campaign finance violations.

Andersen thanked Gioia for his leadership. Gioia, who was first elected to the Board in 1998, commended County staff for their dedication, citing as an example their work to assist residents during the wildfires and power outages. He also commended Board colleagues for engaging in civil discourse despite the sour nature of national political dialogue.

“I think we’ve have great collegiality in doing our work, even when we’ve had differences,” Gioia said. “And I think that’s very important in our democracy, especially with what we are seeing around the country.”