Episode 048: Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis

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On this episode, I chat with Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor Diane Burgis who is recovering from open-heart surgery and is set to return to Board of Supervisor Meetings in April. On February 25, she had her aortic valve replaced. She talked about her road to recovery and what she has been up to while stuck at home.

We get into holding three elected positions over 6-years and how it has provided her perspective, Roddy Ranch becoming a park, why non-profit round-tables are a priority to her. We also discuss the importance of finding fulfilling work to do. Why she never takes credit for her successes but rather shares the credit with others. We then move into illegal dumping, impact of China on recycling, importance of the Census Count, homeless & blight while working on mental health. We also talk about drone technology and the testing being done by 3DR and the FAA at the Byron Airport. Finally, close with an update on the delta.

Episode Overview:

  • 00:30 – Diane Burgis talks about her open-heart surgery and recovery
  • 02:00 – What was going through Burgis head when she had the news, she needed the surgery. Encourages everyone to listen to their body.
  • 04:05 – was it scary to tell the world you told the world you were having open heart surgery?
  • 05:10 – Burgis admits after surgery she has been on the phone, having conference calls and working.
  • 05:50 – We go over Burgis bio and how she adapted to three elected positions in 6-years. She talked about how each office from a city, to special district to county giving her a special perspective.
  • 09:25 – Update on Roddy Ranch becoming an open park for East Bay Regional Park District
  • 10:27 – Burgis explains she was asked by Mary Piepho to run for her seat due to her retiring.
  • 11:53 – Non-profit roundtables from Oakley and brought them to the county level.
  • 14:20 – Burgis on building relationships and finding a way to say “yes”.
  • 16:08 – Burgis on the importance of finding fulfilling work and finding something fulfilling
  • 17:29 – On taking credit for things, Burgis doesn’t always seek the credit, rather has the philosophy of spreading the wealth and sharing victories.
  • 19:44 – On Illegal dumping and impact of recycling due to China.
  • 22:36 – Burgis on the upcoming Census Count and its importance considering a previous undercount where California lost money.
  • 26:02 – the homeless and what is being done to address it along with the mental health aspect.
  • 32:05 – Burgis on what we are looking at with mental health and bringing more services to East Contra Costa County.
  • 33:36 – What is something “cool” that Burgis is working on that maybe people don’t really know about it. She talks about the Family Justice Center coming to Antioch.
  • 36:00 – We get into what other things Burgis is working on such as economic development to create jobs in East County, the need for housing vs. jobs she is excited for the autonomous and connected vehicle technology
  • 39:24 – We get into the Buchanan Airport and Byron Airport as well as how JetSuiteX is doing. We then talk about the Byron Airport and the drone testing and opportunity they’re by working with the FAA and 3DR. We discuss the types of jobs it could bring to the county.
  • 45:07 – Agriculture and what people can expect in Contra Costa County to help our farmers.
  • 49:22 – Burgis provides and update on the delta and California Water Fix.
  • 53:15 – Burgis announces she will begin attending County Board of Supervisor Meetings in April as she continues to recover.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Mike really?

    You do really nice neat interviews. Keep everyone comfortable. Did you ever think about asking questions like: How do we we fix ECCFPD and help Antioch who is struggling with optimal fire protection. Why don’t ECCFPD CONSOLIDATE and help the whole system? Help East county and Con Fire with Antioch.

    It can be done. Here is you answers. The best part is it can go to the voters and the politicians, Burgis included can take credit for it. Win/ win.

    EMERGENCY RESPONSE FOR ALL INITIATIVE

    Here is the answer:
    Timing. The fire district has not put forth a funding proposal since 2015, four years ago. (The 2016 UUT were put on the ballot by the cities.) If/When a parcel tax is put on the ballot it will require 67% approval to become law. It is highly unlikely that this threshold will be met, given the ten reasons I have previously articulate. When the “Emergency Response for All” initiatives plan gets widespread community awareness, that may indeed be viewed as an eleventh reason the parcel tax fails. An educated voter is not a confused, unless the vote doesn’t go the way you want, I guess.
    Where did the idea originate? The idea originated at a meeting last October, organized by a then-member of the ECCFPD Board of Directors. In attendance were two members of CoCoTax leadership, the county Controller-Auditor, two members of ECV leadership, and the then-ECCFPD Board member. Several other people have come to the same conclusion about the idea being a stroke of “genius,” including one of the state’s leading initiative attorneys who is helping with this effort.
    Third Point, (Timing again). Included in the each version of the “Emergency Response for All Initiative” will be a provision to suspend implementation, should sales and property taxes fail to grow at acceptable levels. Should there be a major recession, Brentwood has a 30% Operating Reserve Fund, ECCFPD has a 20% Reserve Fund, and Oakley has a Reserve Fund as well, although I don’t know what it is. Should the economy take a dive each entity should be able to manage their way through it. Brentwood, for instance, did not touch their 30% Operating Reserve during the Great Recession of 2008.
    Timeline of funds to ECCFPD. Total Designated Expenditure (Brentwood and Oakley, not the County) The Brentwood and Oakley Emergency Response for All Acts would provide funding for “fire protection services, rescue services, emergency medical services, hazardous material emergency response services, ambulance services, and other services relating to the protection of lives and property.” (Health and Safety Code Section 13801)
    Year Amount
    1 $995,415
    2 $1,990,830
    3 $2,986,245
    4 $3,981,660
    5 $4,977,075
    6 $5,972,490
    7 $6,967,905
    8 $7,282,605
    9 $7,597,305
    10* $7,912,005
    * – and every year thereafter.

    Working together. ECV is very willing to work with ECCFPD to pursue reasonable sources of additional funding. ECCFPD has never once asked ECV to do anything, or to contribute community insight, primarily because our opinion is that given history and the facts, it is highly unlikely that any new tax will be supported by the voters to the degree required to pass. The only way forward, to increase operating funding of ECCFPD, is through a no-new-tax policy decision by the voters.

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