PRESS-ENTERPRISE EDITORIAL BOARD
Published: Sept. 30, 2016 Updated: 5:13 p.m.
Voters in the Third Supervisorial District in Riverside County are in the enviable position of having two highly qualified candidates for supervisor.
Since March 2015, the district, which includes Hemet, Murrieta, San Jacinto and Temecula, has been served by Chuck Washington, appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to fill the vacancy left by Jeff Stone’s move to the state Senate.
Washington, former mayor of Murrieta and Temecula, has brought to the office a fresh perspective informed by deep experience in local government. An advocate of finding greater efficiencies in county government, public-private partnerships where possible and expanding policing services in the unincorporated areas, he has been a welcomed addition to the Board of Supervisors.
Challenging Washington in the general election is Shellie Milne, a councilwoman in Hemet. She has spent much of her time combating public employee union influence in her city. “I’ve been tried by fire,” Milne told us before the primary election.
Riverside County is currently facing a structural budget deficit, much of it created by the past generosity of the Board of Supervisors to public safety unions, but also a culture of waiting for things to get bad before taking any meaningful action.
Though we greatly respect both candidates, Milne impresses us more with her proposals to streamline county government and steer the county in the necessary direction. Calling for performance audits of county departments, removing barriers to economic development in the county and clearly articulating the need for responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, even when it comes to public safety departments, Milne is a principled conservative with the experience to stand up for taxpayers.
We are also intrigued by Milne’s proposal to create a Property Rights Advisory Committee, consisting of volunteers from the district, to review and make recommendations regarding land use policies in the county.
Her experience on the Hemet City Council speaks to this. Milne has consistently stood up for the best interests of taxpayers, even when it may be politically unpopular. Given the dire predicament the county finds itself in, we think her perspective would contribute to pushing the county in the direction it needs to go.
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