Daily Post: Virginia Chang Kiraly for Supervisor

This article was originally posted in the Palo Alto Daily Post.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is one of those panels people don’t think much about until there’s a scandal. Like a few years ago, when a sales tax increase called Measure K, which was supposed to go partially to housing, instead paid for new county office buildings. Then, earlier this year, there was the scandal over the $10 million in personal protective equipment, or PPE, that was left outside in the rain at the county Event Center.

The coverup was worse than the crime. The county tried to mislead people about the dollar amount of the PPE damaged and failed to identify who was responsible for this fiasco. Now, we have the county working largely behind closed doors to cook up a new parcel tax with the help of a $835,000 political consultant.

The five-member county Board of Supervisors needs a shakeup. But in this election, the voters can only put one person on the board. Of the four candidates running to replace the retiring Don Horsley on the board, Virginia Chang Kiraly is the right person at the right time.

She has strong credentials when it comes to good government, which was evident from her service on the Menlo Park Fire Protection District board. She was then asked to serve on the San Mateo County Harbor District board, which was a dumpster fire of ethics violations and corruption. Remember all that craziness? You don’t read much about the Harbor District in the papers anymore because Chang Kiraly succeeded in cleaning up that organization, and she’ll do the same in the county government.

As for that tax the county is cooking up, Chang Kiraly was absolutely clear when we first asked her about it in March. She was against it, particularly at a time when inflation is at a 40-year high and gas prices are pushing $6 a gallon.

Her main rival, Menlo Park Councilman Ray Mueller, wasn’t sure what position he’d take, saying he’d want to hear from voters. His response came off as wishy-washy.

And that’s a shame because we’ve admired Mueller’s service on council over the years. He’s a problem-solver who often is the voice of sanity on the council.

The other two candidates, union official Steven Booker and San Carlos Councilwoman Laura Parmer-Lohan, aren’t on the same tier as Chang Kiraly and Mueller when it comes to experience in elected office.

The ideal outcome in the primary would be for Chang Kiraly and Mueller to emerge as the top two vote-getters and move on to compete in the November general election, where they would have more opportunities to inform the voters on their positions.

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