Napa Valley Register should endorse Belia Ramos for supervisor

Napa Valley Register should endorse Belia Ramos for supervisor

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The recent article about the race for Napa County Supervisor in District 5 ("Ramos, Aboudamous vie to serve south Napa County," Feb. 9) again raises the question: isn’t it time for the Register’s Editorial Board to support Belia Ramos, the hardworking and accomplished incumbent, for a second term?

As the article makes clear, Belia is well-informed, with demonstrated accomplishments and a grasp of the position she seeks. In contrast, her competition, American Canyon City councilmember Miriam Aboudamous, candidly admits she’ll "need to learn all of that on the county level.”

In 2002, becoming Dean of McGeorge School of Law, I briefly met Belia Ramos in the summer after her first year of law school. Unhappily for me, Belia transferred to UC Hastings for her last two years of law school and so I missed the chance to get to know this remarkable young leader.

Fortunately, over the last few months, this has changed. My husband and I have had the opportunity to meet Belia in a variety of settings. First we had a one-on-one conversation as she rang doorbells. Then on three different occasions we observed her as she addressed local groups. Her command of the facts across a wide range of topics, her ability to listen and to offer ideas and suggestions to address county-wide issues, greatly impressed us. Her competence and 24/7 dedication were obvious.

Given what we have learned about Belia, it’s no surprise that so many local leaders, including Rep. Mike Thompson, are enthusiastically supporting Belia for a second term as the county-wide supervisor for District Five.

It was thus a disappointment to see the Jan. 25 Napa Register editorial’s failure to endorse Belia ("The choices for Napa County supervisor," Jan. 26). And even more so, because the Editorial failed to offer any fact-based reasons for its decision, which flies in the face of its ‘tradition to give the benefit of the doubt to …incumbents.’

In contrast, front page reporting on Jan. 30 ("Napa County supervisor hopefuls tackle cannabis and other issues") described Belia as "able to tick off [answers] to a slew of questions" while her competition, American Canyon City Council member Mariam Aboudamous, "directed those interested …to look it up on her web site."

Belia was described as "more easily [able] to retrieve information about countywide issues and processes—a situation Aboudamous conceded," later admitting that she would have a "learning curve." Once again Belia’s command of the facts and accomplishments are evident.

Such an apparent gap in experience and understanding about county issues would seem to be grounds enough for the Register Editorial Board to support Belia Ramos’s candidacy.

But last week, another more troubling reason for doing so presented itself. Anyone aware of the Editorial Board’s neutral position will recognize the false impression created by a widely circulated flyer on behalf of Miriam Aboudamous. It creates the impression that she enjoys the support of the Register Editorial Board.

In our view, what Napa needs and deserves are hard working and courageous leaders like Belia Ramos, not afraid to speak their minds and reach fact-based decisions. We do not need candidates prepared to rely on representations that risk shading the truth. The Register Editorial Board should reconsider its neutral stance.

Elizabeth and Bob Parker

Napa

Editor's note: The Register declined to endorse either candidate in the Fifth District. That editorial, explaining the descion, can be found here.

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