The County Voice

Annual Meeting: Willie Waxes Poetic

The 117th CSAC Annual Meeting kicked off in grand style this afternoon with an engaging, insightful and humorous address by former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

Using the style he is known for, Willie waxed poetic on his political life in Sacramento and San Francisco. He also touched on a variety of issues, including the damage done by term limits, (“…they bounced out a lot of talented people, dedicated people…”); how he much he enjoyed the old “line drawin’, (“…it starts with the Speaker, you work to get 40 friends and 3-4 for doublecross…”); how our state leaders must lead on the issue of the pension crisis, (“… We need to have people in Sacramento elevate the level of dialogue.”); and how he supports the new primary system… (“… It may offer dramatic changes on who represents us in the halls of the Legislature.”)

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Madera County Supervisor Ronn Dominici helped introduce Willie Brown with a story of how, as a patrolman, he chauffeured the then Assemblyman around the San JoaquinValley in the early 1970s. From Willie he learned a lesson he uses to this day on he value of attention and detail when it comes to working with constituents.

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In a touching moment, the CSAC membership gave Peter Detwiler – the recipient of the 2011 CSAC Distinguished Service Award – a standing ovation, honoring him for his decades of public service. Peter retired after the legislative session this year. For nearly 30 years, Peter worked for the Senate Local Government Committee – now called the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

He has long been know and respected as the legislative expert on many local government of the issues. His experience, intelligence and attention to detail gave him a store of historical minutiae second to none, and his integrity gained him a reputation beyond reproach. He will be missed

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