January 11, 2011
  • 1/11/2011 -- Carole Groom chosen as president of San Mateo County supervisors

    By Bonnie Eslinger

    The Daily News


    Newly appointed San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Carole Groom said

    Tuesday she believes the county will "get through these tough times and we'll be a better

    county because of it."


    Groom was selected by her colleagues for the top post at a special evening meeting that

    also included the swearing-in of Supervisor Don Horsley and the county's new Assessor-

    County Clerk-Recorder, former supervisor Mark Church.


    Groom, who was elected in November to the supervisorial seat she first filled by

    appointment in 2008, choked up slightly after being elevated from vice president to

    president. She called the selection a "great honor."


    The county faces numerous challenges in the coming year, Groom said in her first speech

    as president.


    "Everybody is struggling at this time. Nobody has been immune from this economic

    downturn," she said. "In our role, as provider of safety net services, it's becoming more

    and more difficult."


    The budget plan announced by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday may add to the county's

    troubles, she warned.


    Since 2009, the county has made more than $36 million in cuts and "staffing levels are at

    the lowest in years," according to Groom. She added the county is still seeking "serious

    changes in salaries and benefits" from employees during contract negotiations.


    Looking ahead, Groom said the county must complete plans to guide coastal growth and

    overall economic development.


    She noted San Mateo


    County has many assets and resources that others in the state don't have, including its

    residents and work force.

    "They continue to make San Mateo County the best place to live and the very best place

    to work," Groom said. "We're a can-do county."


    Like Groom, Horsley took a moment after he was sworn in to talk about issues he wants

    to focus on, including creating a regional fire agency for south county cities, downsizing

    the jail population and solving the county's budget deficit.


    Church also paused after taking his oath of office to recognize the influence of his father,

    also a former Millbrae mayor and council member who served from 1967 to 1987 as the

    county's clerk-recorder and chief elections officer.


    "As a young boy, my father Marvin Church taught me the importance of community and

    public service, and I am honored to have followed in his footsteps," Church said.


    Groom's selection as board president came with little discussion and no controversy. She

    was the only one nominated and was unanimously selected. Supervisor Adrienne Tissier

    was appointed vice president with equal ease.


    After the meeting, County Counsel Michael Murphy said it was board "tradition" for the

    vice president to become president.


    "It's not a drag-out fight like San Francisco," he said.