Saturday, 25 May 2024

District 1 Supervisor candidates share goals, experience

This is the first of a two-part look at the candidates for District 1 Supervisor.

SOUTH LAKE COUNTY Even though it's about seven months until the final cutoff date to file to run for District 1 Supervisor, the opening up of Ed Robey's seat has already attracted an impressive field of potential candidates.

The candidates so far include those with extensive public and community service experience, knowledge of local governments and familiarity with campaigns.

The four candidates who have confirmed with Lake County News their plans to run are Voris Brumfield, former District 1 Supervisor and currently the county's code enforcement manager; Don Dornbush, who ran against Robey in 2004; Susanne La Faver, who has been active in the community, including working on South Lake Fire's Measure B parcel tax and is the holder of an master's degree in public administration; and Robert “Bobby” MacIntyre, a South Lake County Fire Protection District board member and firefighter for the City of Santa Rosa.

Other names that have come up as possible candidates are attorney Robert Riggs of the law firm Katzoff and Riggs; Jim Comstock, president of the Middletown Unified School District board and owner of a local insurance company; Scott Fergusson, owner of Middletown's Fergusson Cutlery.

Riggs told Lake County News that although it's been suggested to him that he should run, he has made no commitment to do so. Multiple calls to both Comstock and Fergusson were not returned.

Lake County Registrar of Voters Diane Fridley said the first step for the candidates will be to file a form 501. “They have to file that before they accept contributions or spend any money for candidacy.”

Once that's complete, there isn't much else they can do until Dec. 28, when the period for filing petitions in lieu of filing fees opens, said Fridley.

Candidates also can pay a filing fee and collect signatures, said Fridley.

The fee is 1 percent of the salary of the office being sought. The supervisors currently earn $4,807.46 per month, according to county Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Cox. That works out to $57,689.52 annually, so the fee would be about $576.

The official nomination period for office seekers is Feb. 11 through March 7, 2008, said Fridley. If the incumbent doesn't file, and in this case Robey has said he will not, the nomination period will be extended to March 12.

Of the field of candidates thus far, three live in Hidden Valley Lake, which has been a decisive voter base in past elections and is likely to be a major factor in the 2008 supervisorial race as well.

All but one – Dornbush – said they decided to run after hearing Robey was retiring. Dornbush, who gave Robey a challenging 2004 campaign, said he had intended to run again regardless.

Meet the candidates

Voris Brumfield, 59, Middletown: Code Enforcement Manager, former supervisor

Brumfield, who came to Lake County in 1975, is no stranger to local politics. She served on the Middletown School Board from 1979 - 1984, and was a founder of the Anderson Springs Community Services District. She represented District 1 Supervisor from 1984 through 1992. She left the board, she said, for two and a half years to care for her ailing mother in Texas.

Brumfield holds a bachelor's degree in theater from the University of Denver, and has taught theater and dance at Yuba College's main campus and its satellite campus in Clearlake, and has been active with in local repertory theater and with the Lake County Arts Council. She assisted in writing the script for Middletown's Renaissance Pageant, wrote and presented a one-woman show based on the life of Alberta Williams King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s mother.

She has been active in community service programs and fund raising for non-profits, along with recent completion of the Lake county Sheriff's Office Citizens Academy.

When she recently became aware that Robey wasn't seeking reelection, Brumfield said she decided to run.

The reason: "I feel it's important that District 1 be represented by someone who has a clear voice and care for the community," she said, "as well as a willingness to listen and work effectively with others".

Major issues she sees for the south county are protection of our natural resources, growth and evolution of the area's communities. South County, she said, has evolved into a bedroom community for Sonoma County.

Seeing that the south county has sufficient services – including water – is another concern, she said.

A key to the south county's future, she explained, will be a final area plan, a new General Plan and an update zoning ordinance to address growth and services.

For just over a year Brumfield has been the county's Code Enforcement Division manager. That job, she said, has shown her the entire county in a new way, and highlighted which communities need extra help. She said she'll take that knowledge with her back to the board.

Her other work experience with the county includes time in the Public Services, Social Services and Marketing departments. She also has a total of seven years' experience as administrator for two nonprofit organization.

Brumfield hasn't filed her Form 501 yet, she said. She said she plans to focus on her job with Code Enforcement – a job she would have to leave due to a conflict if she were elected – before she begins to organize her campaign in earnest after Labor Day.

Susanne La Faver, 58, Hidden Valley Lake: teacher, business consultant


La Faver told Lake County News that she has already taken out the paperwork necessary to begin the process of running for supervisor. Fridley confirmed the La Faver submitted her Form 501 on Aug. 9.

She's also doing a lot of “homework” which includes reading through county documents, such as a copy of the county budget, to familiarize herself with how the county works, and attending a lot of meetings.

La Faver and her husband, Lyle, came to Lake County six years ago because they wanted to live in a place where they could contribute, she said.

“I really love it here,” she added.

In 2002 she worked on the campaign for the Measure B for parcel tax to fund South Lake Fire Protection District. Recently, Lyle was appointed to the Local Area Formation Commission, in addition to his service on the Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District's water board.

She currently serves on the South Lake Fire Safe Council, the Lake County Volunteer Disaster Awareness and Response Team and the Hidden Valley Lake Safety and Security Committee.

Susanne La Faver holds a master's degree in public administration, with emphasis in administrative organization and management, from Golden Gate University, and a bachelor's degree in journalism, with distinction, with emphasis in public relations from San Diego State University.

She has taught management classes at Yuba College and consulted with small businesses around Lake County through the business development programs offered by Community Development Services. She's now teaching in Golden Gate University's online graduate business program.

She said she spent almost 25 years in the corporate world,with work that involved regulatory, legislative and community issues.

La Faver handled water, air quality and hazardous material issues for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.; groundwater and land use issues for Tri Valley Growers; established an issues management program for Kaiser Permanente and arranged a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to announce emergency room legislation; and helped build business relationships with suppliers in Asia and Latin America for Levi Strauss & Co.

La Faver said her degree and experience helps her understand how government works and how public agencies function.

“I want to continue managing growth in a positive way, protecting our natural resources, especially water, and maintain a fiscally sound local government,” La Faver said.

La Faver's parents live in Sacramento, and her son and daughter-in-law reside in San Francisco.

Tomorrow, meet Don Dornbush and Bobby MacIntyre and learn about their reasons for running for District 1 Supervisor.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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