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Senate exit interview
November 16, 2012, 05:00 AM By Jon Mays Daily Journal staff

How is this for an exit interview? State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, termed out of office and just elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, will be holding a telephone town hall and "exit interview” this Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon, in which members of the public can ask questions and hear his candid reflections as he leaves office after serving in the state Legislature for 12 years. He will be leaving his Senate office at the end of the month.

Simitian’s vote on the high-speed rail project this summer was the epitome of candid. In that vote, he castigated the High-Speed Rail Authority and the way it approached its business for the past several years. After contending with the authority for several years, some have said it was just a natural explosion of frustration with the dysfunctional agency. In the end, however, his vote was not needed since the measure to include money for rail improvements in Southern California and electrification of Caltrain passed both the Assembly and Senate and was later signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Don’t know if his "exit interview” will have the electricity of the 17-minute soliloquy Simitian provided on the Senate floor, but he has always provided honest answers to constituent questions. If you want to listen in, call (866) 476-7782. The town hall is hosted by Carl Guardino, the president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and host of the "CEO Show” on KLIV Radio.


Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, is the new chair of the Assembly’s Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee. The committee has jurisdiction over occupational licensing for both medical and nonmedical; creation and elimination of regulatory agencies, boards and commissions, governmental organization, efficiency and cost control; among other duties. It might sound dull, but with the advent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the federal level, the committee will be critical in determining how it will be enacted at the state level.

The former chair of the committee was Mary Hayashi, who recently lost a bid for the seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors vacated by Nadia Lockyer, the estranged wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer. Hayashi was never able to overcome the negative press from her no contest plea to misdemeanor shoplifting from San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus.


On the heels of the city of Belmont’s rejection of Crystal Springs Uplands School’s expansion from its Hillsborough high school, San Mateo Vice Mayor David Lim has informally offered the school support in thinking of a location in his city.

"I always thought schools are a good thing in a community,” Lim said.

Officials from the school, who had sought a middle school on Davis Drive in Belmont, said they are "looking at every option and will leave no stone unturned.”


San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine, fresh off a victory from his push for Measure B, which will shift the way supervisors are elected in this county from countywide to by district and ostensibly create more competitive elections, revealed his wife did not support the measure he fought years to pass. The opposition was not a sign of a house divided, he said she would rather not contend with any more contested elections.


Pine, who is now fully immersed in his second year on the board, is working with Controller Bob Adler on establishing a whistleblower hotline for members of the county’s governmental agencies who may see fraud or fiscal mismanagement in their midst. With several cases of embezzlement at a variety of public agencies recently, this is a solid idea whose time has come.

Jon Mays is the editor in chief of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at

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