McPherson touts experience, connections in 5th District campaign
by Joe Shreve
Apr 05, 2012 | 3725 views | 17 17 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bruce McPherson
Bruce McPherson
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As the June primary election approaches, Bruce McPherson is stepping up his campaign efforts as the race for Mark Stone’s soon-to-be vacated 5th District seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors enters its final two months.

Since the beginning of the year, McPherson said, he has canvassed neighborhoods in the 5th District, visiting constituents at their homes.

“I’ve walked up and down the district — I want to hear their concerns,” he said. “The people have been very friendly, and I’ve only been nipped by one dog.”

McPherson is a resident of the Pasatiempo area and a fourth-generation resident of the county.

He was already well-known for the time he spent in the California Legislature, his time as California’s secretary of state and his 26-year tenure as editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel before deciding to enter the supervisorial contest last fall.

Describing himself as an experienced leader, McPherson said that he would use the lessons learned and connections made during his time in Sacramento to help the county and district become more self-sufficient in an era when state financial support is unreliable, at best.

“Experience counts, and personal contacts matter,” he said. “I’m a person who knows the district and knows how to make the system work better.”

“We have to concentrate on what we have and what we do well here”

McPherson said one of the keys to progress, both in the county and in the district, is to promote and expand the roles of the area’s attributes — tourism, the environment, agriculture and technology.

“We have to make it more popular with the visiting public,” he said. “We have the most tremendous natural beauty right here.”

Part of that, he said, includes following the example set by Scotts Valley in luring green businesses to the district.

“I think that Scotts Valley has bought into the green economy,” he said, referring to Zero Motorcycles, as well as the electric car charging stations springing up across the city. “Those are good, green industries — I think we can make more of a pitch to technology companies.”

“We’ve run away from our road problems for too long”

One of the biggest concerns McPherson said he has heard is the crumbling condition of many roads within the district — particularly residential roads, the maintenance of which is routinely bypassed due to budget constraints on the county’s public works department.

“We haven’t, as a county, paid attention to our road system,” he said. “The longer we wait, the worse it’s going to get.”

McPherson said it would be unrealistic to hope for additional state support to expand road maintenance and that residents would need to find alternative means of raising maintenance funds locally.

“If we want (additional maintenance) in a timely fashion, we’re going to have to see a fee imposed of some type,” he said. “I’m a realist — I like to face a problem, and face it realistically.”

That means, he said, generating additional revenue for maintenance through some sort of user fee, likely either in the form of a car registration fee increase or a sales tax increase.

“They feel like they’re getting the runaround”

The county’s planning process is one area in particular that McPherson said he would like to focus on should he be elected, saying that many people he’s talked to are upset by the labyrinthine building permit process.

“They are really frustrated about the county’s planning process,” he said. “They feel like they’re getting the runaround.”

McPherson said he heard many stories of people going through months of paperwork and thousands of dollars trying to obtain a permit to build on their property in an effort to comply with the county’s general plan, only to be told about new requirements and new fees.

“It’s a matter of fair play,” he said. “People don’t mind the rules, they just want to be told what they can do.”

Many residents, McPherson said, either simply give up on the process or sidestep it altogether and build without the county’s blessing, just because it’s less of a headache.

“We have a lot of nonconforming uses from law-abiding citizens,” he said. “It’s not the result of people wanting to break the law, it’s just they’re tired of getting the runaround.”

McPherson said the process needs to be simplified and that applicants should be told up-front if they can do their planned project and, if so, what their project would cost.

“They just want to be able to find out ‘This is what you have to do, this is what it’ll cost,’” he said.

“It feels good to concentrate on my home county”

McPherson has been encouraged by the amount of support he’s received, both from organizational endorsements and individuals.

“The support system I’ve gotten has been humbling and very much appreciated,” he said. “The environmental and public safety support system has been very encouraging.”

He said he believes voters will recognize him as a nonpartisan consensus builder who will encourage the unique, and often fiercely independent, communities of the 5th District to work together.

“I’d like to see the whole valley work in unison a little more,” he said. “It needs to be more of ‘What can we do together?’”

McPherson said he was excited about the prospect of making positive contributions close to home.

“There’s a lot of good things here — we can make them better,” he said. “We just need some leadership in getting it there.

“It feels good to concentrate on my home county.”

Comments
(17)
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OMG.....
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May 11, 2012
We are residents of Santa Cruz County who have decided to take urgent action because if Bruce McPherson is elected to our Board of Supervisors it will shift the center of political gravity in our community decisively to the right. Please reply to this email to JOIN US.

McPherson does not represent the people of the 5th district, or even live within its historical boundaries. He does not represent the 99%. Instead he represents the 1% who profit from Republican policies, lives in a mansion in exclusive Pasatiempo Estates, and has a long history of strategic leadership AGAINST our Santa Cruz values under cover of a dangerously friendly "moderate Republican" smile...

As California Secretary of State,

* he certified the easily hacked Diebold voting machines, and

* he disqualified 40% of newly registered voters in Los Angeles (mostly Latino) as part of national pattern of Republican voter suppression.

As a state legislator,

* he refused to help his Felton constituents (FLOW) win back control of their water supply from German multinational company,

* he voted AGAINST state laws expanding domestic partner rights, outlawing bullying in schools, and other GLBT rights,

* he received a 50% rating from Planned Parenthood - identified as "leans anti-choice”, and

* he voted against state laws banning sweatshop conditions in state contractors’ workplaces.

As editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Bruce McPherson campaigned...

* against preserving Wilder Ranch,

* in favor of developing Lighthouse Field, and

* in favor of building a nuclear power plant in Davenport

He's a Republican, in other words, for a reason. Do you think he’ll represent YOUR values and interests?

Because Democrats are less likely to vote in the primary election, the coming election offers Republican Bruce McPherson his best chance of winning a seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. That's why we're getting organized to remind our Democratic neighbors in the 5th district to VOTE!

We will be proud and happy to work with you on another meaningful, exciting campaign.

for democracy not corporatocracy-

mojca
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May 30, 2012
Mr. H. is not at all truthful...is that who you want as supervisor?
No Surprise
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May 07, 2012
No surprise he got the Sentinel endorsement. Who did you think they would back given the fact that his family used to own the Sentinel? McPherson was born into wealth and now lives in a gated community away from the rest of the community. I can't see how this guy has much in common with SLV and our issues.
Ma Bhu
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May 07, 2012
McPherson has a long history with the San Lorenzo Valley. But, more to the point, there really was no other endorsable option, right?
Juan Jackson
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May 07, 2012
Bruce McPherson gets the Santa Cruz Sentinel endorsement. Makes sense.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_20561788/we-see-it-mcpherson-brings-contacts-experience-former
Elector
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April 13, 2012
Enviros backing McPherson

5th District County supervisorial candidate Bruce McPherson announced a slate of high-profile environmental endorsements this week.

They include surf pioneer Jack O'Neill; UC Santa Cruz marine biologist Gary Griggs; Shepherd's Seeds; Renee's Garden founder Renee Shepherd; and Denzil Verardo, a former chief deputy director of California State Parks and a founding member of the Mountain Parks Association.
Steven S
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April 10, 2012
Thanks to both Bridget and Capshaw for posting Bruce McPherson's and Eric Hammer's campaign statements.

When I look at those statements I see many people I admire and respect on Bruce McPherson's statement. On Hammer's. . . not so much.

Bruce McPherson's campaign team is 5th District Santa Cruz County. Hammer's is from outside the county.

So, yeah, thanks for the information.
Bridget Hale
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April 09, 2012
Does it worry anyone else who lives in the 5th District that of the 150 people who contributed $32,050 to McPherson's campaign in the last 3 months, only 23 had addresses within the 5th District? That those 23 donations comprised $3,500 of the $32,050?

http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/ele/cd/mcpherson31712.pdf

I am also curious about McPherson referring to himself as "Retired Secretary of State". He was appointed by Schwarzenegger in 2005 to replace Kevin Shelley (who resigned). McPherson's most notable action as Secretary of State was to certify DRE voting machines that lacked verifiable, auditable paper trails.

McPherson was "retired" by the voters in 2007, when he had to run for appointed position and lost to current Secretary of State, Deborah Bowen.
capshaw
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April 10, 2012
No, because the other candidates are not even remotely qualified for the job.

Also, look at Hammer's donors and campaign statement. Now THAT'S scary.

Campaign management team from Salinas, Monterey?

OUTSIDE of Santa Cruz County?

http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/ele/cd/hammer31712.pdf

Bridget, you know they say about people in glass houses throwing stones.

Bridget Whale
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April 10, 2012
Bridget is one of Hammer's cronies...take a look at her post regarding the debacle of Boulder Creek Rec Center. Hammer is the type of person who will continue doing projects behind the scenes and never admit he was wrong. He will follow Uncle Stony and give preference to non-profits to funnel money instead of cutting. A couple other notes that the Hammer campaign is a group of whiners. All the talk of signs going up before the official date (SLV news cronies)...the signs were on private property and citizens can put up what they want when they want. I have more of an issue with businesses promoting and putting up a candidate sign no matter who it is. That is just bad business and I know many that will not shop at a place that promotes a candidate(j-sue cronies). Also take a look at Hammer's endorsments, just as many outside of district as you whine about so get over it. Retired from a job is still retiring..does not matter if he was not re-elected, he certainly was elected several other times through the years. So in short no it does not matter where his money came from as long as it was legit. Sorry you feel as Hammer quoted "He's stepping on the toes of civic leaders coming up." Sorry Hammer is no leader and if he is elected you will see real quick how he forgets who you are.
Noah Burkhardt
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April 09, 2012
I'll vote for a candidate who won't bring us idiocy like this housing project

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_20352309/felton-affordable-housing-projects-demise-cost-taxpayers-at

http://www.pressbanner.com/view/full_story/17887192/article-Felton-affordable-housing-project-officially-dead
Dan Samoa
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April 06, 2012
Bruce McPherson is a great guy. Smart, funny, authentic. Interesting to note that he doesn't bash the other candidates. Stands on his own. That's the kind of supervisor I will vote for.
IM Beavis
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April 05, 2012
If Bill Smallman didn't come off like such a sweet, well meaning, but super naive guy, I would be laughing my sides off with the whole "BS vs BM" narrative referring to two prospective politicians.

BS

or

BM

sums it up so well.
Bill Smallman
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April 06, 2012
It gets better...

BS or BM, EH?
Viola Ramirez
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April 06, 2012
Well, if Bill Smallman comes off like a sweet, well meaning, but super naive guy. It could also be said that Eric Hammer comes off as a not so sweet, well meaning, but super naive guy.
Bill Smallman
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April 05, 2012
BM vs BS:

BM Describing himself as an experienced leader, McPherson said that he would use the lessons learned and connections made during his time in Sacramento to help the county and district become more self-sufficient in an era when state financial support is unreliable, at best.

“Experience counts, and personal contacts matter,” he said. “I’m a person who knows the district and knows how to make the system work better.”

BS: Why run for Supervisor, when you should disclose your list of contacts? Do we need to pay someone to make frequent trips to Sacramento, searching for money that is unreliable at best. And, experience? State legislature is so much like being a County Supervisor. You must of done some real good work there seeing how the State is in such good shape!

BM: “I think that Scotts Valley has bought into the green economy,” he said, referring to Zero Motorcycles, as well as the electric car charging stations springing up across the city. “Those are good, green industries — I think we can make more of a pitch to technology companies.

BS: I will create a Board of Economic Development with the specific tasks of attracting companies to relocate, none of the Supervisor's will realistically be able to do this. And, no fear, I will look to eliminate or combine other Boards or Commissions which are under performing and reduce the total cost.

BM: “If we want (additional maintenance) in a timely fashion, we’re going to have to see a fee imposed of some type,” he said. “I’m a realist — I like to face a problem, and face it realistically.”

BS: INCREASE TAX! Is this the music you want to hear? Why not cut spending, and budget more $ for this? This should throw a big red flag to all you fiscal conservatives out there. And, go read the Scotts Valley Times where Hammer and McPherson tout infrastructure repairs required for the tourism industry, while most of the roads required for this are CalTrans maintained. Yes, residential roads need to be chip sealed, not only because they are a headache to drive on but the cost will exponentiate if we don't.

BM:McPherson said the process needs to be simplified and that applicants should be told up-front if they can do their planned project and, if so, what their project would cost.

BS: Its a little more complicated than that to fix the problem. Having no construction or design experience you do not know it. I am outlining what needs to be done on my website, having gone through the permit process for large projects both in design and construction in 5-6 different counties for the past 23 years.

Sing it
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April 05, 2012
Music to our ears...."Mark Stone’s soon-to-be vacated 5th District seat"


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