Congressman Eric Swalwell ended any speculation that he would run for the Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer by emailing supporters Wednesday that he's climbed on the Kamala Harris train.
He wrote, "However, I love my job in the House. In that spirit, I'm excited to announce I will be seeking re-election to represent California's 15th Congressional District? In the coming years, I will continue to look to serve and help more people in effective ways. But for 2016, I am all in for my friend, Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate." He also cited appointment to the House Intelligence Committee.
The city managers of Pleasanton and Livermore announced their new fire chief last week, Ruben Torres, who has been the acting chief for more than a year in San Jose. Torres is a 29-year veteran of the San Jose Dept. and will retire from that role before joining the Livermore-Pleasanton force on Feb. 17. He started young in San Jose and is just 49 years of age.
Why he took this job instead of retiring to do something else may be explained by his familyhe has three school-aged children, the youngest is 5. He will relocate to either Livermore or Pleasanton and, with a salary of $195,000, likely will be able to find suitable housing with quality schools nearby for his kids. He took about a $30,000 pay cut to take the top Livermore-Pleasanton job, but will find ideal family-friendly communities to raise his family. He will oversee a staff of 120 in his new role and presumably face a different set of challenges than in San Jose.
He will be one of several new people in key roles in the city. Finance Chief Emily Wagner announced her retirement and will be succeeded next month by Pittsburg finance director Tina Olson. Previously Olson worked for the Port of San Francisco in a senior role.
City Manager Nelson Fialho also will be looking for two new assistant city managers as both Steven Bocian and Julie Yuan-Miu have announced they will retire this year.
The Bay Area Olympic organizers Helen Mendel and Anne Cribbs were among those shocked that the United States Olympic Committee decided that Boston should carry the mantle for America in the bid for the 2024 Olympics. They have been at it since the early 2000s when they mounted a well-conceived bid for the 2012 games that eventually went to London. The U.S. Olympic Committee gave New York City the opportunity to submit a bida post-911 decision that had little connection to the viability of the bid.
Helen, who lived in Pleasanton for a number of years before re-locating to the peninsula, described their reaction as "very disappointed and incredulous."
That said, it was interesting to read the commentary after the committee's decision that opined that the Bay Area was better off having lost at this point. Given the huge economic under-performance of the America's Cup last year, it is quite reasonable that people are leery of hosting huge events. There was some dissent in San Francisco and this week similar concerns were raised in Boston.