Assembly Candidates Need Gravitas

Two of the Sacramento politicians who are running for the same state Assembly seat, can’t see fit to even cast votes as members of the Sacramento Regional Transit board of directors.

Sacramento City Council member Lauren Hammond and Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson, recused themselves last night on a very important RT vote, causing a controversial golden handshake deal for 93 employees to pass.

Sacramento Regional Transit is wrought with problems: a long-term funding crisis, a historically large deficit, rate hikes, service cuts, union control, as well as a bad reputation for employee issues. At a time when Regional Transit should be making drastic labor cuts, the board instead voted for golden handshakes, and Hammond and Dickinson inasmuch voted to approve these with their recusals.

With the recusals, Hammond and Dickinson have demonstrated that they are not ready for prime time in the state capitol. Citing labor organization endorsements as potential conflicts of interest, Hammond and Dickinson showed who is propping them up, and who they really plan to represent if elected.

Board members are selected for those posts to take action on behalf of the transit agency. When any board member finds him or herself unable to do so, or is uncomfortable, or nervous, or finds the vote distasteful, or controversial, and can’t summon the courage to make the vote, he or she is not qualified for the job, and certainly not qualified for elected political office with even more responsibility.

The vote to support the golden handshakes is bad enough, and unfortunately is typical of this board (made up entirely of local city council and county supervisors). Councilwoman Hammond and Supervisor Dickinson made very clear when they recused themselves, that neither of them has the gravitas for their board jobs, or for the jobs they are seeking under the dome.

Katy Grimes

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