Editorials

Gary Sandy is the best choice for Yolo supervisor

Jackie Scott pulls buds from a marijuana plant inside her barn in the Capay Valley. The northwest corner of Yolo County is the hot spot for legal marijuana farming in the region. Yolo voters will decide June 5 on a cannabis cultivation tax.
Jackie Scott pulls buds from a marijuana plant inside her barn in the Capay Valley. The northwest corner of Yolo County is the hot spot for legal marijuana farming in the region. Yolo voters will decide June 5 on a cannabis cultivation tax. rpench@sacbee.com

When Matt Rexroad surprisingly dropped his bid for a fourth term, he jumbled the race to represent District 3 on the Yolo County Board of Supervisors.

Whether or not he’s the handpicked successor, Gary Sandy is the better choice over Meg Stallard, the other contender for the district, centered in Woodland.

She jumped into the race after getting into the middle of a community row over the historic but financially troubled Gibson House. Rexroad and other supervisors voted in December to turn over control of the museum to YoloArts – a decision loudly protested by Stallard and her daughter, who is on the Gibson House board.

But Yolo County has much bigger concerns to tackle.

There are not huge differences on most issues between Sandy and Stallard. They both back the tax on marijuana cultivation that is also on the June 5 ballot. They both say homelessness is a growing crisis that needs more attention. And they’re both wary of the Brown administration’s proposal for tunnels through the Delta.

They differ, however, on supervisors’ decision this month to continue housing undocumented youths sent by the federal government, but a smaller number. Sandy says he agrees with the vote, but wants more information on the program. Stallard says she supports the recommendation of the chief probation officer to end the controversial contract.

Also, there’s something of a political feud between Rexroad and Stallard, but voters should put that aside.

The crucial distinction for voters is that Sandy has more public policy knowledge and experience to take on the county’s challenges. He has worked with local governments as project manager in the UC Davis chancellor’s office since 2014 and as the university’s director of local government relations for 10 years before that.

Both Sandy and Stallard have previously served in elected office. Sandy was city council member and mayor of Woodland from 1989 to 1996 and has been on the Yuba Community College board since 2010. Stallard was on the Woodland school board from 1991 to 2003 and on the Yolo County board of education in 2015-16. (Her husband, a former county supervisor, is currently on the Woodland City Council, which could create some awkward situations, if not outright conflicts).

Stallard points out that all five supervisors are men – Don Saylor is unopposed for another term representing District 2 – and that a female voice and perspective would be beneficial. That’s true, but it doesn’t overrule who is the best suited to serve.

Sandy may not be the “transformational figure” he promises to be, but he will be a conscientious and thoughtful leader for Yolo County. Voters should give him that chance.

Yes on cannabis tax

Yolo County has long had a love-hate relationship with cannabis. But voters should still approve Measure K, which would put an initial 4 percent tax on the gross receipts of medical pot grown in the unincorporated county and another 5 percent tax on locally made cannabis products.

Right now, the county doesn’t have a revenue stream for eradicating illegal grows because the fees that it collects from about 70 licensed growers cannot be used for that. The new tax, with anticipated annual revenue of $100,000, would primarily be used for enforcement, but also for youth drug prevention efforts, infrastructure and other purposes.

It’s a sensible tax designed to meet a real need.

To see the Sacramento Bee editorial board’s endorsements for Sacramento City Council, go to sacbee.com/endorsements at 3 p.m. Thursday.

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