Smallman battles uphill in race for 5th District
by Joe Shreve
Mar 29, 2012 | 3020 views | 11 11 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nine weeks before the June 5 election, the herd of candidates for Mark Stone’s 5th District seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors has thinned to three hopefuls.

Former California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, Boulder Creek contractor and community activist Eric Hammer and Lompico resident and civil engineer Bill Smallman are actively seeking support in the race.

As the McPherson and Hammer campaigns gathered momentum over the past several weeks, Susan Weber, John Abel and George Wylie all withdrew, leaving only Smallman to keep it a three-person race.

Smallman said he would continue his bid, despite facing what he admitted was an uphill battle against Hammer and McPherson — and against the endorsements and name recognition both men enjoy.

“It’s kind of discouraging,” Smallman said. “I want to get elected because of my qualifications and my message, rather than name recognition.”

Smallman, who is running on a campaign platform that promotes a balance of environmentalism and economic growth, said it had been a challenge to find ways to get his message out to voters.

“This is the first time I’ve ever run for something this big,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of people working for me.”

Smallman, a Lompico Water District board member, recently posted a YouTube video in which he elaborated some of the specific goals he hoped to accomplish if elected.

He said he also planned to canvass neighborhoods, put up campaign signs and host meet-and-greet gatherings in Felton, Ben Lomond and Scotts Valley.

“I’m trying to convey exactly what I would do if I got elected,” Smallman said.

To start, he said he would work to develop established businesses in the county, as well as encourage entrepreneurs and start-ups.

As supervisor, he hopes to inaugurate what he calls a Board of Economic Development, a county-run entity that would serve as something of a countywide chamber of commerce to encourage and entice business and promote networking and education.

His board, he said, would be similar to a system in use in Sonoma County, with one or two representatives from each of the five districts. It would replace the existing Workforce Investment Board, costing the county nothing extra, he said.

“I started out getting into politics as an environmentalist,” Smallman said. “We need to make sure there’s still some economic opportunity -— it’s a fine line to walk.”

Smallman said that his 20 years working as a civil engineer, coupled with his tenure on the Lompico water board, made him a logical choice for the 5th District, particularly concerning roads and infrastructure.

He explained that he would prefer the county’s public works department to focus on road maintenance — such as patching cracks to prevent erosion — before completing expensive projects, such as the ongoing widening of Graham Hill Road in Felton.

“The one big concern is the roads,” he said. “We’re digging ourselves a money pit if we don’t.”

Smallman said he would also work to streamline the building permit process, something he said would be beneficial to residents and businesses alike.

“I feel like I’m the best candidate for infrastructure,” he said. “I think it would be helpful to have someone on the board with my kind of experience.”

At a glance

Bill Smallman, candidate for 5th District, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors: www.billsmallman.com



Comments
(11)
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what a waste
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May 11, 2012
Small Man needed to drop out of this race. we don't understand what point there is for him to run when it's clear he can't even come close to winning. He also detracts from the only contender with McPherson,. We need someone who understands our valley's needs. give it up, Bill.
Ella Fritz
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May 11, 2012
Why is it that your campaign is the only one playing dirty? I don't see Smallman or McPherson slinging mud. Speaks volumes.
Berta Smith
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March 30, 2012
How does the Workforce Investment Board fail in its mission?
Bill Smallman
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March 30, 2012
All the Counties have Workforce Investment Boards,WIB, and its main task is to get people into jobs. Economic Development is obviously a key component of this. I don't believe I can remove or replace this Board, as it is required by a State law. However, I can create a new Board of Economic Development, and many other counties have both. WIB fails in economic development because a large percentage of it members do not have experience in this regard. There is often a disconnect with political leaders equating housing developments with the economy. If you build housing with no jobs, essentially you are building a slum. And, this idea of having a Board review the way the County does its business is my idea, and I believe it will help make the County more efficient and transparent. These Boards are not costly, and perhaps there are some of the other Boards which are not providing much could be eliminated to make room for this one without increasing cost.
Berta Smith
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March 30, 2012
Thank you. Good points.
Dirk B
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March 29, 2012
Why would you replicate a Chamber of Commerce scenario at the county level when there are 6 very active Chambers in place.

Do you realize that all 6 Chambers communicate on a regular basis? That they are all working toward the same goal. Have you spoken with any of them?

I'd rather see you support what exists rather than drum up a county version which would be guaranteed to be ineffective.
Dirk B
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March 29, 2012
Ineffective or downright counter-productive.
Bill Smallman
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March 30, 2012
It is far different than a Chamber of Commerce. Supporting business creation and expansion is a small part of what I envision. The County already has a Board who has as its task of economic development, but only two members are people with business experience. I would like to replace this Board with one that is entirely business talented members. Among other tasks include supporting vocational training in schools, inviting outside companies, feature guest speakers, sponsor network events, and most importantly review as if it were a business. They would review any anti economic development policies, make departments more efficient, and become more service orientated for such things as getting Building permits. Again, this is replacing an existing Board at less cost. If you think the WIB is more effective at this, let me know.
Dubble talk
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March 30, 2012
What a waste Bill wants another board to talk about nothing we already have to many people talking and doing nothing

Come on is pure liberal dubble talk
Bronwyn Gastineau
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March 29, 2012
Hang in there Bill. There's more support out there for you than you realize. Some Democrats just might not be able to come out and say it right now.
Bill Smallman
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March 29, 2012
Thanks Bronwyn, for a really nice post, Bill.


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