East County supervisor to wield board’s gavel in ‘pivotal year’
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY—Contrary to upheaval in the U.S. Capitol that shattered what should have been a peaceful transition of power, Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis was uneventfully and quietly sworn in as the new board chair in a Jan. 5 ceremony.
The District 3 supervisor, whose East County constituency takes in Morgan Territory/Marsh Creek, humbly expressed her appreciation for her peers in voting her to the post for 2021. In her second term on the five-member board, Burgis was vice chair last year.
In noting that this post “elevates East County” in the public eye, Burgis emphasized serving the good of the whole county is priority one.
The Board of Supervisors sets the direction of county government and oversees a $3.98 billion budget to serve this large and diverse East Bay county.
“This is a pivotal year in the county and world history,” Burgis said, as the board hopes to move past the effects of the pandemic on the local economy.
Getting COVID-19 under control
Among her objectives as chair are working with her colleagues to support the county health officer to get the coronavirus under control, moving the county toward economic recovery for all residents and businesses, enhancing mental health crisis response, reforming the juvenile justice system, addressing racial justice and inequality, protecting the Delta and proactively fighting climate change and providing sustainable fire protection services to all areas of the county.
Wildfire prevention and disaster preparedness are particular issues she is focusing on for the year ahead. In a related development, she anticipates the coming year will see a formal consolidation of the Contra Costa and East Contra Costa fire protection districts.
“I’m excited about the year ahead and ready to get to work,” said Burgis, who takes over the leadership role from Supervisor Candace Andersen of District 2.
“I appreciate Supervisor Andersen’s unwavering commitment to keeping our residents safe and keeping the county moving forward while addressing the impacts of COVID-19,” Burgis added.
District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, in his sixth term, will be vice chair in 2021. His district includes the county’s northern waterfront.