Sunday, January 29, 2012

Taking the Fifth - George Wylie Campaign Liftoff in Felton

George Wylie declared his campaign for county supervisor “ready for take off” Saturday afternoon among friends and supporters at the Oak Tree Ristorante in Felton. The retired Navy and commercial airline pilot shared bits of his life story: born in the Santa Cruz Mountain town of Alma, (now at the bottom of the Lexington reservoir); his families move to Seattle where he was raised; his undergraduate years at the University of Washington where he protested the Vietnam war; how when he was drafted during his sophomore year he joined the Navy, was allowed to finish college, received a commission and was sent to flight school which led to a 20 year military career “defending our country and protecting the freedom to protest.”

Fellow SLVUSD Trustee and UCSC professor Kip Tellez introduced Wylie as a “reluctant” candidate claiming he had to be convinced to run by supporters.

“Isn’t that exactly the kind of politician we want?” Tellez asked the assembled in what appeared to be a jab at Bruce McPherson, the former newspaper man who has made runs for the State Assembly, State Senate, Lt Governor and Secretary of State before setting his sights on the County Board of Supervisors.

Wylie acknowledged that initially he felt the prospect of a campaign “terrifying” but that he was convinced to run because he believes he can provide the kind of leadership necessary for the job. He emphasised his experience, not only in the military as a squadron commander, but as a commercial pilot. He drew an analogy with getting a load of passengers from one point to another, saying that he believes the job requires listening to what the community wants and then doing the work required to get there.

He spoke of his role on the school board, seeking consensus from voters on what they wanted for the school in the wake of the library fire and then working to pass the bond measure that resulted in new classrooms, the recently opened library and the about to be refurbished performing art center. He spoke proudly of test scores, new facilities and other advantages he says students in the district have compared to others.

He cited his familiarity with budgets, federal, state and local, saying that he would work to ensure that the unincorporated areas were treated fairly. He stated that roads in the county were among the worst in the state and he believes they should be a priority. He said we need to guard against the potential for “urban sprawl” and expressed fear that without a progressive majority on the board the managed growth policies of the last thirty years might be abandoned.

Wylie has a website, Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and is the second candidate - out of six announced - to hold a public campaign event. Fellow Brookdale resident Eric Hammer, kicked off his campaign in Boulder Creek in December and has been walking precincts, meeting voters in coffee shops and holding receptions; Bruce McPherson has also been walking precincts in the Valley and has plans for a “meet and greet” event at Scopazzi’s on February 12th. Other candidates include Sue Weber from Ben Lomond, John Abel from Boulder Creek and Bill Smallman from Lompico.


1 comment:

kathy said...

Saturdays event was a huge success, filling the Oak Tree Ristorante with enthusiastic supporters. For photos of the event, go to www.georgewylie2012.com .

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