By David M. Greenwald
Davis, CA – With Don Saylor announcing that he will not seek a fourth term in 2022, the Supervisor position is now open, and depending on what happens with redistricting, the seat remains predominantly situated in Davis.
Emerging as candidates this week with duel-announcements were Davis Vice Mayor Lucas Frerichs and attorney Larenda Daleini, a former Deputy Attorney General who ran for an open judgeship in Yolo County back in 2014.
“Coming out of the COVID pandemic, we saw the necessity for a fu8nctioning government,” Frerichs told the Vanguard in a phone interview. “It’s more important than ever that our county has leaders who understand how things work, how to collaborate and bring people together in order to get things done.”
He added, “I think it’s especially important that our county supervisors engage with regional partners to strengthen our economy, protect our planet, keep our people safe, health, thriving.”
“That’s the real reason why I decided to put my hat in the ring for supervisor,” Frerichs said.
Frerichs gets a free run of sorts. His seat for city council was just up back in 2020 when he defeated Larry Guenther by a 2 to 1 margin for a third term, representing the 3rd District for the first time with the introduction of district elections.
Frerichs is Vice Mayor and next June will become Mayor for the first time. His council seat is not up again until 2024.
Meanwhile Larenda Dalaini has lived in Davis for 17 years, worked for the Attorney General’s office before going into private practice as a defense attorney the last two years. Her husband recently retired as the Deputy Chief of Davis after spending a number of years in the West Sacramento Police Department after starting at Davis PD.
“I have been in Davis for about 17 years now, and I just see the stark difference between when I moved there and how things are changing,” she told the Vanguard by phone.
“I just think it’s the relationships with law enforcement, the substance abuse issues that I see with all ages – it’s not just with individuals that I represent. It’s with children as well.”
She cited other “social issues” like homelessness and mental health issues.
“It’s all of those types of social issues that I think are frankly, overburdening our community. And I think that all of that ends up kind of with law enforcement,” she said.
Both candidates are heavily concerned with social servies and human services – the bulk of issues that the county deals with.
Lucas Frerichs said, “the county really advocates on behalf of those who need an advocate most.”
He pointed to the Crisis Now Partnership, and the collaboration between Yolo County and the cities to provide increased mental health services.
“I think a lot of people really suffered during the pandemic – women, children, families, seniors,” he said. “I think there’s a real need to sort of work on making our communities more resilient in the face of a situation like that.”
For Dalaini, she said, “I think that we need a strategic plan in our community to deal with the various issues that we are seeing. We really need to focus on these are programs that we need, there are the things that can get into prevention to make sure that our kids are not falling into the traps that they currently are.”
She said, “So I’d like to see a strategic plan put into place with all of the major stakeholders.”
There could be additional candidates in the race as well. One potential candidate is long time Davis resident Heidy Kellison.
She told the Vanguard, “I will wait to see the probable lines of the district, which are currently being drawn, before making a decision.”
Kellison explained, “As I’ve said all along, ensuring the district is served by someone who prioritizes children and their families, in all aspects of decision-making, is my primary goal. It doesn’t have to be me, but I remain open to the potential and look forward to hearing the objectives of the announced candidates.”
Another potential candidate Jesse Loren is reportedly waiting to see what the district looks like. She currently serves on the Winters City Council and depending on the configuration could be in this district.
Currently the five members of the board of supervisors are all men. Lucas Frerichs at this point is the only man in the race and he is facing at least one, possibly multiple women.
To that point, Frerichs said, “one of the items I’m going to be raising during the campaign is the need for the county to create an office of equity.”
While the issue of gender equity is there and as well as diversity, Frerichs pointed out that, he believes he has a strong track record as an advocate and ally for women in our community.
“That’s how I’ve approached work on the city council,” he said. “I don’t expect any sort of deviation from that strong commitment to these issues than I’ve hard for the last 10 years.”
Meanwhile Larenda Deleini feels that there needs to be more focus on social issues and public safety than have been raised to date.
She noted that things like infrastructure and buildings are things that are “wondferful” and “we need them, but those aren’t the things that trouble me on a daily basis.”
She said, “What troubles me is that I can’t drop my daughter off in downtown Davis, because I worry about her safety.”
Lucas Frerichs pointed out, “There are definitely differences between the role of city council and county supervisors.”
But he added, he started his service to the community on the social services commission. “My background is in affordable housing,” he said.
He also pointed out, “Increasingly cities as you know are taking on the issues of social services. That’s obviously most recently evidenced by the city’s decision and ultimate approval of setting up a department of social services and housing.”
County Supervisor is the ballot for June 2022. If no one gets to 50 percent, there would be a two person runoff in November – but if one candidates reaches 50 percent, they are elected but won’t take office until January 2023.