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Three seek District 4 seat as supervisor

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POSTED May 11, 2014 9:51 p.m.

Each of the three cities in the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors District 4 that stretches from the Sacramento County line to the Stanislaus River has strong ties to at least one candidate running in the June 3 election.

From Ripon is Mayor Chuck Winn, retired CHP commander.  Manuel Lopez hails from Escalon, resides in Ripon, and is the recently retired San Joaquin County administrator.  Businessman Russ Munson resides in Lodi – a general partner for the Wine & Roses hotel and restaurant employing more than 200 staffers.

Munson has served as a board member and chairman of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce and is a current board member of the Visit Lodi and the Lodi Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Winn he taught college courses in criminal justice after his retirement from the highway patrol. He recently served as the director of a criminal justice program at a small private college in Stockton.  In addition to his service on the Ripon City Council, he has been a member of the San Joaquin Council of Governments followed by a 2008 appointment as one of three representatives to the San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council which covers eight counties from Kern to the south and including San Joaquin County.

In 1984 Winn was in charge of CHP air operations at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He also serving as commander of the Modesto headquarters of the highway patrol from 1991 to 2005 for Stanislaus County.  He also served as the president of the North American Police Labor Relations Association in 1990.

Winn looks toward public safety as the number one issue during the next four years followed by agriculture and farm production.

 “All of our activities are negatively impacted if we do not feel secure in our communities,” he said.  “San Joaquin County is facing enormous challenges imposed by the state through realignment in Assembly Bill 109.  Sheriff Moore and his department are making every effort to adhere to the state’s requirements without jeopardizing public safety.”

Winn said it is his goal to take full advantage of two major resources in the county, the deep water port and the Stockton Airport in an effort to improve the economy.

Lopez has been the county administrator with the longest tenure in the history of San Joaquin.  He recalls having to lay off 170 workers when the economy went bad saying, you “can’t just send them a letter,” they have to be talked to personally. 

He also noted that Sheriff Steve Moore had saved enough money juggling his administration around to be able to hire two additional deputies.

 “What I don’t want to give to the state is the county’s agricultural base.  Ag has to keep this county going,” Lopez insisted. “And then there is the twin tunnels water plan.  I realize this is a legacy for the governor.  The Delta is a lot more than that acreage.  The tunnels will ruin the Delta overnight and create a marsh. It’s going to be a wasteland.”

He said he hopes to be a major voice on the board to see that doesn’t happen adding that Southern California has to “get serious” about desalinization.

A former Naval aviator having served on two aircraft carriers, Munson returned to civilian life in 1976 taking sales management positions supplying integrated editorial, circulation and classified computers systems for two newspapers as they transitioned from traditional typesetting to computerized systems. 

It was eight years later that he left the computer industry to manage various real estate properties as a partner in the Anderson-Munson Company.  He then joined the Verner Group as an investor-partner with responsibility for acquisitions, purchases and sales throughout the Central Valley.

Munson said he is committed to cutting bureaucratic red tape and unnecessary regulations in an effort to attract new businesses in the county. 

“Over regulation and debilitating fees have hampered economic growth,” he said, “making it difficult for our existing businesses to operate and for job creators to relocate to the region.”

For too many years others have tried to divert our water resources to Southern California, he said, and we must protect one of San Joaquin County’s most precious resources. Munson said he is also committed to adopting common sense policies such as increasing sheriff’s patrols in rural areas by redirecting existing staffing and resources to fund the important service rather than raising taxes to foot the bill.

A native of Lodi, he enjoys golfing, skiing and keeping up with his grandchildren as well as with his birds, two Macaws and an African Grey.

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