Dear Hardy Brown
I open this letter thanking you for your most kind and encouraging support of my efforts to become Chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2011 (posted Dec. 1, 2010).
I was raised to believe that hard work and public service are simple elements of a decent life – one that I have been blessed to live. All of us search for ways to give our time and answer the call to serve and help others, no matter how great or how small. I admit, becoming an elected official was not part of my original plan; however, I embraced this new direction after realizing that I might better serve the people of San Bernardino County as part of a bigger plan.
As I took the oath of office in 1998 to become Councilwoman in the City of Fontana, I pledged then, as I do now, to maintain the highest ethical standards – to work with honesty and integrity – in order to best represent the people who have placed their vote of confidence in me. As Supervisor, I believe that the same expectation of representation extends to all who live in the county, not just those who reside in my district. This 13-year journey has taken me from the City of Fontana’s Planning Commission, to its City Council, and now to the County Board of Supervisors – a position in which I have had the honor to serve for the past six years. As we look to the new year, the Board of Supervisors will once again select a Chair to lead the county for the next two years. As a matter of equity to the Districts, county policy states that “…selection of nominees for the position of Chairman shall be on the basis of seniority of members who have not served as Chairman…” (No. 01-07) As the current Vice Chair, and most tenured member of the Board, I stand ready to be the next Chair.
The Chairmanship is a profoundly unique position that carries with it a great deal of responsibility, as well as challenges. The Chair must find ways to balance the needs of the entire county – which is no small feat considering our vast geographical breadth and diversity. Yet, I see these challenges as opportunities to build consensus and unify our communities under a shared vision.
Through a collective effort, my colleagues and I will put the people’s interests first as we resolve matters, while exemplifying a dignified political strength and unity. This effort will get us through today’s difficult times, as well as prepare us for tomorrow’s promising future.
My tenure as a public servant has garnered within me the true meaning of public service. It is with this knowledge and experience that I denounce those whose only intent is to tear down and impair a government that is working to promote and strengthen the economic viability of its people. Together, we can prevail against the obstacles and rightfully uphold the ideal of what is good and decent.
With God’s grace, and my colleagues’ support for my Chairmanship, I pledge to work with the Board to preserve the process by which we at the county deliver our mandates.
A new chapter has begun in San Bernardino County. I look forward to the promise of working with Supervisors Mitzelfelt, Rutherford, Derry, and Ovitt as we lead this county towards new horizons.
Josie Gonzales, Vice Chair San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, 5th District