“I had pretty much decided that I was not going to run for re-election to the Board of Supervisors. My family and business commitments were calling.”
“The thing is that I have a very different view of the county fiscal situation than all four of my fellow Supervisors… I am given the opportunity to state my view regarding how we should handle the budget — and I do my best to do that.”
Reflecting on his first term, he told the Vanguard:
“My biggest disappointment to date has to do with the budget this year. The Board of Supervisors has not stepped up to make the reductions that were needed at the end of 2008. We will pay for that during the next fiscal year.”
He believes that he has accomplished a number of key goals during his term. Among them include bringing Clark Pacific to Woodland, establishing and maintaining a good relationship with the Woodland City Council and other boards, pushing for Gibson House Museum improvements, pledging ongoing support of Wayfarer Center, promoting more open government, starting to address the flooding issues in Woodland, and sponsoring the backpacks for kids programs.
It is the latter work that I think in many ways typifies Mr. Rexroad’s first term, working hard on behalf of a number of charitable efforts throughout the county.
There is much still that he wants to accomplish.
“We have some big issues facing Woodland like the Yolo County General Plan, Courthouse construction, Woodland-Davis bike path, Gibson Mansion sustainability, Woodland annexation issues, re-entry facility, surface water supply for Woodland/Davis, Wayfarer Center issues, and Backpacks for Kids. On these issues and a couple others I can help Woodland tremendously.”
A big issue that both he and Davis have joined up on is the Woodland-Davis bike path. It was just last year when a cyclist was killed biking on a county road early in the morning on the way to work. It has been a long process, but one that will eventually make a difference to a number of local residents who regularly bike between the two cities, and for those who would do so more frequently if the route was safer.
Mr. Rexroad writes:
“I am going to seek another term and plan to vigorously defend my record and activities as a member of the Board of Supervisors. I will work hard and am committed to being re-elected. I will walk precincts, raise the money, and do the work necessary to give me a good chance. If the people of Woodland choose to send me into the game for another four years then I am up for it.”
At the time, I criticized the Enterprise’s endorsement as another along the same lines of pro-development conservative candidates.
The Enterprise had written:
“We’re disappointed in the partisan politics that have been injected into this race. Sure, Rexroad is a Republican but he enjoys broad support from both Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. We respect him for his intellect, his abilities and his leadership.”
I went on to argue that there is no such thing as a non-partisan race and cited the Republican strategy of using local government as a means by which to develop a farm system. And while I still believe in the generic what I wrote that day, I underestimated the person that Matt Rexroad is.
The first time I met Matt Rexroad, a few weeks later at Crepeville, I told him he would probably learn to hate me. It now seems that this did not occur.
I probably disagree with Matt Rexroad on more things than I agree with him on. In fact, I suspect it is not all that close.
From my standpoint, I disagree with him most on his stance on the Madison Prison largely against the wishes of that community. But perhaps for different reasons than one might ordinarily think. You see one of the things that I have respected the most about Mr. Rexroad is that his view is that local communities should get to decide for themselves on issues of growth and development.
And so as Davis’ own Supervisors back in the summer of 2007 were pushing for county-initiated peripheral growth, Matt Rexroad stood in opposition to it, recognizing that the people of Davis did not want that growth. Just as he did not want Davis Supervisors to tell Woodland how and when to grow, so to did he not want to tell Davis as a Woodland supervisor how to grow.
While Matt Rexroad believes he has been on the short end of a number of 4-1 votes, and he likely has, the board of Supervisors is no monolith. There are times it comes down to the Democrats and the Republicans, were Mr. Rexroad and Duane Chamberlain end up on the short-end of the stick. I certainly disagreed with Mr. Rexroad on social issues like medical marijuana and the needle exchange.
On the other hand, unlike a lot of Republicans, Mr. Rexroad does see the need for preserving the kind of county services that are vital to support local people in need. He has generally supported the preservation of farmland even as he pushes for growth in other areas. And despite his reputation in places like Davis, many of his Republican colleagues would consider him more of moderate and a maverick.
With Mr. Rexroad, I have drawn common cause on issues such as open government. When pushing for things like the better preservation and openness of public records, I went to Mr. Rexroad first even before my own Supervisor.
And while it is easy for Mr. Rexroad to be placed into the pro-growth category, that position is not so simple with him. Some criticize his advocacy of the urban limit line in Woodland as placing that line out too far, and yet he made the motion to take the special planning areas off the table for Davis. From the perspective of Davis, it was the relatively conservative Supervisors who led the way in opposition to that push during the county general plan talk, not the liberal supervisors representing Davis.
From Davis’ perspective that was the most important issue that we faced during this period from 2007 to 2009 that Matt Rexroad has served on the board of Supervisors and he was on our side.
When Mr. Rexroad unveils his list of supporters in the coming weeks, it will include people on both the left in Yolo County political life and people on the right. And by people on the left, I am not just simply talking about the developer Democrats who have no problem supporting someone like a Jeff Reisig. I mean real, true, progressive Democrats. I will leave it to Mr. Rexroad to release the list in his due course.
I fully expect Mr. Rexroad to be attacked by many on this page, as does he. The question at this point is whether he will draw a credible opposition. Speculation right now focuses on former candidate Brenda Cedarblade and Woodland Councilmember and Deputy Sheriff Jeff Monroe.
Meanwhile Davis awaits an announcement by their own Supervisor Helen Thomson as to whether she intends to seek a third term or whether she will retire after her term expires and open things up for among others perhaps Don Saylor to run for the Supervisor seat. If that happens, then we are in for a wild ride.
—David M. Greenwald reporting