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Grove Talks About Government Experience

New council candidate, a veteran deputy district attorney, has worked with budgets and bureaucracies.

Updated July 20, added photo of Barry Grove

Patch had a followup interview Thursday with a new challenger for Walnut Creek City Council,

Grove, 49, a lawyer, has worked for the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office for 20 years, including the last six years as president of the Deputy District Attorneys Association.

"I've worked quite a bit with budgets," he said. "I've worked quite a bit with government bureaucracies. I've been frustrated with government bureaucracy and the lack of common sense in government. I think the defining issue for our generation is economic and fiscal conservatism. And I'm strong on public safety."

Grove said he and his wife Denise have lived in Walnut Creek for more than 15 years. "It's a desirable place — people want to live here," he said. "And we want people to see it and want to visit here."

The Groves have a son, Jesse, who is attending law school on the East Coast.

Three seats

Incumbents Bob Simmons, the mayor, and Kish Rajan, the mayor pro tem, have announced they are running for re-election. Incumbent Council member Gary Skrel has said he is undecided.

The period for taking nomination papers out began this week. It runs through Aug. 10 unless an incumbent council member does not file by then, in which case the nomination period extends to Aug. 15.

ebwas1too July 20, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Well said, michael...any fiscal problems in the creek are not due to police contracts, but rather to extravagant spending in other areas and to the economy in general. That being said, WC would be well-served by careful fiscal management, which includes compensating and keeping the best officers here. Don't think that other departments aren't hiring and looking to cherry-pick WCPD cops; they are known to be well-trained and self-motivated. WC enjoys a great reputation, thanks in no small part to the efforts and service of WCPD over the years. Let's not forget that...
Jim July 20, 2012 at 04:00 PM
You have to ignore the "single issue" anonymous commenters (pro/anti police, pro library etc). Walnut Creek clearly doesn't have a "pension" problem like Stockton, Vallejo etc. if you read the Blue Ribbon Task Force report we DO clearly have a spending problem. Still not nearly as bad as some cities. I look forward to hearing more from Mr. Grove. The one or two paragraphs above resonate with most residents I know but let's wait and see.
One more time with feeling July 20, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Jim, I agree with the "spending problem". Recall that a former mayor instructed the Blue Ribbon Task Force to NOT cut services. Their only "out" was to devise ways to increase funding to pay for more stuff. Tax increases & pay-to-play fee increases. For those of you who have read my earlier posts, I am not anti/pro anything but anti-overspending. The city got stuck with $1.5 million+ in additional annual operational expense (3x more than the library it replaced) at the Contra Costa County downtown Walnut Creek branch. The ~$40 million project received $5 million from the Library Foundation. The concept of the Library Foundation setting up an endowment fund for operating costs http://www.walnut-creek.org/about/qualitylife/libraries/dlp/funding.asp was lost. Now, the Library Foundation Director (and the former mayor who rammed the overpriced library through nearly bankrupting our city) say the City needs to step up immediately. If you prefer not to click to the City's web site, the paragraph reads: "Private Fundraising: The Walnut Creek Library Foundation has pledged to raise $5 million from the private sector to support the construction and establish an endowment fund for operating costs." I voted FOR the Library based on this commitment. I wish I could take my vote back.
michael frederick July 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Jim, Your first sentence is what it's about for me: WC. As someone who grew up in such a place, there is value to living in a place one is proud of. That starts with leadership that are role models -- as opposed to amateurs exploiting a fwy intersection to buy special interest endorsements to practice public deceit... I'm not from this city and have no appreciation -- let's raze and redevelop it so we can apply the proceeds to Art and open-space isn't the BEST perspective, it is the WORST. It gets marketed as the ONLY -- as with the West Downtown Committee -- because it is the WORST. When marketing the WORST perspective, it's vital to make sure it is the ONLY one heard -- that's what WALPAC, Council commission and committee appointments, the TOTAL lack of newspaper coverage, orchestrated personal attacks, etc. are all about. Grove: "I think the defining issue for our generation is economic and fiscal conservatism." Actually, it's POLITICAL ETHICS. It's about electing WC leadership to represent WC -- not just those who defer to ABAG, build the snot out of the place, and apply the proceeds to personal agendas at WC expense. OMTWF, school unification is tied to unification of the city. It's about YV and SR valleys sharing civic pride in something transcending personal interest -- Walnut Creek. I grew up in WC, incidentally, with role models like Schroder, Leach, Nejedly, Rahn, Bradley, ... I'm fiercely proud of. My kids grew up under something less.
obiwan July 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM
The Chamber of Commerce and the Council they have put in office only care about one thing - more captive customers. To that end they will push for higher and denser development until the town has no soul left and our City streets are perpetually gridlocked. I would like to hear Mr. Grove's vision for what Walnut Creek will look like 5, 10, or 15 years into the future. Our economic situation is a consequence of the Chamber agenda. Urbanization of our downtown core (more customers for the Chamber's businesses) is accelerating even though the City's own Economic Development Manager admits that these high density developments don't generate enough revenue to pay for the services they consume. We need more police because the Council keeps approving new alcohol-serving establishments downtown, and won't put irresponsible downtown bar owners out of business. Instead of bemoaning our economic state, why don't we stop approving projects that will only make the situation worse? Instead of focusing on how many police we need, how about focusing on changing the Council policies that create the NEED for more police?

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