Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1
When Mike Wasserman came to Metro’s offices for an interview back before the June primary, our editorial committee was unanimously impressed. Although we endorsed Teresa Alvarado in that race, we liked what we heard from Wasserman and feel strongly that he will make a good supervisor.
Apparently Wasserman has had the same effect on many local leaders in San Jose and Silicon Valley. He has received endorsements from all over the county and all over the political map. Notably, the self-described “liberal Republican” has gotten the nod from a number of prominent valley Democrats, including Democratic stalwart Larry Stone.
It’s no mystery why Wasserman is winning such broad support. A business owner and professional financial planner, his campaign is tightly focused on solving the county’s money problems, which are of crisis proportions. Rattling off economic jargon—about increasing efficiencies, nurturing job growth, leveraging under-performing assets and creating private-public partnerships—he gives the impression that he’s well equipped for the job.
A lifetime Los Gatan, he began his career of public service coaching kids’ sports teams. His resume is packed with decades of service to community organizations. After serving on the Los Gatos City Council, he won his first bid for the mayor’s office in a landslide. He was reelected in 2006 with a stunning 72 percent of the vote.
Wasserman’s opponent, former San Jose City Councilmember Forrest Williams, also has a long record of public service. But he is nowhere near as prepared to handle the County’s daunting problems. Williams’ tenure on the San Jose City Council was distinguished mostly by his long-winded and often pointless speeches from the dais, and his adherence to special interest agendas.
Mike Wasserman is the more likely of the two candidates to spend public money wisely and look for innovative ways to deliver county services more effectively.
Revised Oct. 4, 2010.