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Tuesday June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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Sacramento CountyCandidate for Supervisor, Supervisorial District 4

Photo of Gary N. Blenner

Gary N. Blenner

10,304 votes (18.02%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Fix the roads, bridges, overpasses and levees as a means of stimulating the local economy
  • Restore budget cuts, solve the homeless issue, and put taxpayers first before wealthy special interests
  • Ensure safe neighborhoods and quality community services by reforming local government



Profession:Teacher- Rio Americano High School
Teacher (Social Science), San Juan Unified School District (1994–current)
Social Science Department Chairperson, Rio Americano High School (1998–2013)
Board Member, American Civil Liberties Union (Sacramento Chapter) — Appointed position (2011–2012)
Trustee (Board Member), Center Unified School District — Elected position (2006–2010)


National University Master of Arts, Teaching (2006)
University of California, Davis Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, History (1988)

Community Activities

Union Representative, San Juan Teachers Association (1997–current)
President, Town & Country Democratic Club (2014–current)

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Official Ballot Statement


My official ballot statement that will appear at the end of the sample ballot


Where has all the money gone? It seems like every year our property taxes go up, and yet the services we get from the county keep getting less. The County has no problem spending our hard earned tax dollars on free giveaways to greedy land speculators while basic human services go unfunded. It’s about time the County pays attention to middle class and working people before it spends more on those who already have plenty. Sacramento needs to move in a new direction. As Supervisor, I will put the basic needs of people before profits.  Let’s finally fix the decaying roads, bridges, overpasses and levee system as a means of stimulating the local economy, and increase the county minimum wage to $15. Let’s create a program that will build homes for the homeless community. Let’s restore social services and protect our county workers and their pension system with the creation of a community bank. Let’s reform government and make our elected officials more accountable to the people. Finally, let’s implement “smart growth” environmentally friendly projects that will protect our property values and make the developers pay their fair share in taxes. Together, we can move forward towards a brighter future.    


Official Platform


My official platform for change in more detail


Economic Expansion



While the Sacramento region has made major strides in recovering from the Great Recession, not everyone in our county has benefited from its recovery. Most of the wealth locally has either gone to the top 1% and/or to greedy land speculators who have created havoc on the County for their own personal gain. It is time for the Board of Supervisors to reverse that trend and start putting people before profits.




As Supervisor I will fight for:




·         A $15 an hour minimum wage by January 1, 2019 (with automatic raises tied to the CPI thereafter). This will benefit our lowest income workers, and business.


·         A re-zoning/variance tax on greedy land speculators, who need to pay their fair share.


·         A vacancy tax on properties zoned commercial. Let’s create the financial incentive to lower rents for small business, reduce unnecessary paperwork, and get the economy moving again for everyone!


·         A stimulus package to fix the roads, sidewalks, overpasses and levy system and employ people with decent paying union and living wage jobs.


·         A County owned and maintained fiber optic network that can be leased out to others as a means of attracting small businesses and high tech firms to the area.


·         Lifting the ban on medicinal marijuana dispensaries to benefit people's health.


·         An end to any more “big box”, non-unionized stores, who are subsidized by taxpayers.


·         A smarter justice system – our county courts, the county jail and our Sheriff's Dept. -  that protects us, but also doesn't waste money criminalizing free speech of demonstrators, or setting up the County to pay large claims because of excessive force mistakes.


·         A wiser, money-saving way to deal with those in our community, including military veterans, who are homeless. For the millions we spend in services and criminalizing the homeless we can solve most of their housing problems.






Smart Growth Strategies


Anybody who has lived in Sacramento County long enough can tell you that our growth patterns defy any reasonable logic. All of the major population centers east of the City of Sacramento exist within a 15 min drive to a freeway entrance/exit. All of those commuters on the road create pollution, traffic congestion and an undue burden on County services. In addition, if it were up to the greedy land speculators, every single piece of available open land would be developed for their own personal profit. Pretty soon, Sacramento will start to look like Los Angeles: one huge overcrowded urban sprawl. That trend has to end.




As Supervisor I will:


·         Support policies that will preserve open space.


·         Maintain and (where possible) expand our current bike trails and park system.


·         Insist that any new housing or commercial development be based on a “community neighborhood” model that will reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and become a boom for small businesses.


·         Support light rail expansion and greatly improve bus services.


·         Strongly oppose eminent domain for private development.




Expanding Social Services


I find it interesting how the County government claims they have no money for basic services on behalf of the people, but yet they can find funding for a downtown arena or cash giveaways to greedy land speculators (like the Gibson Ranch deal, for example.) That mentality needs to drastically change.




As Supervisor I will:




·         Fight to restore all cuts made to County services since 2006.


·         Maintain our commitment to our County employees through full employment and preserving their pension system.


·         Fight to fully fund libraries, mass transit, health programs and assistance to the needy, elderly and veterans.




Homes For The Homeless


The homeless issue in Sacramento County has gotten worse over the last 10-15 years. While some candidates in the race pay lip service to the issue (or worse….treat the homeless like some sort of alien parasite) we need to address the issue with compassion and understanding. Nobody ever starts off in life wanting to be homeless. Many who find themselves in that situation have been victims of the Great Recession, and just need a fresh start. Some are veterans who fought for this country, but now the country has turned their backs on them. Others are in need of mental health or alcohol/drug addiction services. For others, it is a combination thereof.




As Supervisor I will:


·         Fight to build homes for the homeless. Believe it or not, it would be cheaper to just build studio style homes that actually solves the problem rather than what the County currently spends on the homeless with inexcusable non-results. (Just look at what Salt Lake City has done to help resolve the issue.) Once the immediate housing needs of the homeless has been provided for, and the situation has stabilized, we can get help to those who need it the most.


·         Expand mental health services to prevent those in need from returning to the streets.


·         Expand drug and alcohol treatment programs.


·         Expand job training programs.


·         Put an immediate moratorium on county laws that criminalize homelessness.



Fiscal Responsibility


Some of you might be thinking “Gary, this all sounds great. But how are we going to pay for everything you want to do? I don’t want my taxes to go up any further.” Fair question. Let me start off by saying that (barring some unforeseen emergency….like a catastrophic flood) I am 100% opposed to raising residential property taxes or sales taxes. The middle class and working class of Sacramento County are taxed enough already! However, I do not buy for one minute the notion the County has no money. It’s the “establishment/developer” mentality that has governed our Board of Supervisors that has to change. Simply put, we need to start thinking outside the box when it comes to money. The main basis for increased revenue will come from the following sources:




·         A County owned community bank. Through treasury laws and Federal Reserve guidelines, the County would then be able to generate its own revenue through such an institution (other municipalities have done this on the East Coast with great success.)


·         A tax on the 1%/greedy land speculator class through a re-zoning/variance tax and a commercial property vacancy tax


·         Forcing the 1%/greedy land speculators to pay their fair share in new development projects. I will fight to require that the public’s cost in any new development project be fully reimbursed to the county down to the exact penny! Stop the wasteful tax “giveaways”!




Government Reform


The Board of Supervisors needs to be more accountable to the people they represent. They meet during hours when most people are at work, preventing the very public input that may be of use in the policy-decision making process. Not only that, but the very values of our community are not adequately represented. As Sacramentans we should “sink or swim together” as one, with a countywide plan to move forward, not to be divided into gerrymandered district that serve the interests of the greedy land speculators.


As Supervisor I will:




·         Propose to increase the size of the Board of Supervisors to 11 members, (as they currently have now in San Francisco) keeping the five district representatives as they are now, but adding six “at large” members to represent the community as a whole. (3 to be elected in each election cycle).


·         Propose to rotate some Saturday morning board meetings and committee hearings twice a month.


·         Propose to move all board sessions and committee hearings to the late afternoon/early evening. No weekday meeting should ever begin before 4pm.


·         Cut Supervisors pay in half.


·         Propose a 12 year (three term) term limit.


·         Fight to create an ethics commission to examine the county administration in all areas of public service.


Videos (4)

— May 28, 2016 Gary Blenner For Supervisor 2016
— May 28, 2016 Gary Blenner For Supervisor 2016

Stop wasting taxpayer dollars and put government on the side of the people....not special interests

— May 28, 2016 Gary Blenner For Supervisor 2016

I'll help protect property values and put government on the side of the people....not special interests

— May 28, 2016 Gary Blenner For Supervisor 2016

I'll send up to the wealthy special interests and government more accountable to you.

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