Thursday, January 26, 2012

This is the Place for Me

When Supervisor Kondylis told me last summer that she was thinking about retiring and that she wanted me to consider running for her seat, I was excited. It was a new opportunity to take everything I'd learned over the last six years and put that to use at the County level while still working for Vallejo. I was honored in Supervisor Kondylis' faith in me.

So I spent a lot of time thinking about it, talking to my friends and family and my supporters. I was somewhat surprised to hear some of my staunchest supporters ask me not to run for Supervisor -- they really wanted me to stay on the City Council for as long as I could. It was an odd sort of flattery, I have to say!

I realized that my decision wasn't about my skills or qualifications, or even my personal desires for my career. In the end, my decision really came down to two things: re-writing a story, and my sense of responsibility.

In the dark of the night when sleep can be so elusive when faced with important decisions, I asked myself what was best for Vallejo. As a senior councilmember with six years of intense learning and experience under my belt, would my leaving the City Council before my term is up hurt the forward momentum we as a community have so painstakingly made?

We are on the brink of a hard-earned recovery, we have a City Council that is working well together, and we have a strong new city manager coming on board soon -- there is a bright light at the end of what has been a long and difficult tunnel. But our recovery is sill tenuous and will require experienced leadership and guidance. I worked too hard to help get us to this point to leave right before we turn that corner. Our story is still unfinished, and I want to stay and help finish re-writing it.

And during those sleepless nights, I also felt a nagging sense of guilt about leaving my term early. Two years ago, I asked the voters of Vallejo to re-elect me. I made a commitment, promised to work hard and focus on addressing Vallejo's serious challenges. The voters put their faith and trust in me for a second time – even in the middle of our bankruptcy turmoil – and I want to respect that trust and honor my commitment by completing my full term.

So once I made my decision not to run for Supervisor, it all became very clear. It was the right choice. In my heart, I want to stay and keep working. I didn't run for public office to start a new career, I ran because I believe in citizen representation and I thought I could help our city. And the best place for the city and me right now is right where I am.