City Beat

Former school board member to face former fire chief in City Council race

Two well-known candidates have emerged for the City Council seat representing the Pocket/Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods.

Former city school board member and Oakland Raider Rick Jennings announced in a press release today that he would seek the seat being vacated by Councilman Darrell Fong, who is leaving the post to run for state Assembly after one term.

Jennings will face former city Fire Chief Julius Cherry, who told me today he is also running for the seat.

In his press release, Jennings said he would "draw from over two decades of experience in the community, the private sector and as a school board member to make Sacramento a better place."

He has served as the CEO of the Center for Fathers and Families since 1997; the non-profit "serves over 1,700 young people and adults with after school programs and parenting classes," Jennings' press release said.

Cherry worked in the fire department for 30 years, the last three as chief. Since retiring from the city in 2007 he has practiced law and run the Cherry Consulting Group, which consults local governments on fire service issues.

He said his background puts him "in a position to make good public policy decisions."

"I'm doing this out of a sense of personal obligation," he said. "I believe this community has been very good to my family and I."