Roseville supe Duran finding personal fiscal restraint hits home with voters

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Rookie Placer County Supervisor Jack Duran said he’s finding the symbols of his own personal fiscal restraint program are resonating with constituents. Duran, who was sworn in three months ago as the District 1 supervisor for the Roseville area, said that his decision to not drive a county vehicle or take a county credit card really hit home when he told one meeting about putting into action what had been a campaign pledge. The Roseville attorney defeated Rocky Rockholm, who had landed in hot water with voters after taking a $10,000 county-funded flight to a Tahoe meeting and drove a Suburban 4-by-4 paid for by the county. “The crowd was interested in taxes and politicians and was talking about people taking cars and flights,” Duran said. “I told them I didn’t take a car, I didn’t take a credit card – and you would’ve thought I was at a high school football game from the energy and comments I received.” Duran, who said he rolls up to meetings in a 1995 Cadillac, has gone against the grain on the use of county vehicles – the other four supervisors drive them – and has stirred up some controversy in recent weeks by asking for a moratorium on the $100,000 in annual county funds – called revenue sharing – that supervisors dispense to local non-profits. Duran said he’d like staff and supervisors to study a structure that ensures more transparency, consistency and public input on how funds are allocated. “Transparency” is a key word in Duran’s political vocabulary and he said he wants to spread that message to both constituents and people he works with. “It means that when people send you an e-mail, you return the e-mail,” Duran said. “It means when they call you for a meeting, no matter how colorful that person is portrayed to be, you meet them.” Transparency also means getting as much information as you can before you make a decision, the former Roseville High School District Board of Trustees president said. “It could be as simple as asking why we’re adding an additional $20,000 to a design contract to ensure it doesn’t happen again, if we can control that,” Duran said. “It means when you’re at a board meeting and you ask questions, you ask them even though you may already know the answers but because there is somebody in the audience or who’s watching the meeting days down the road who can better understand what we’re trying to do.” Duran said that on issues like the recently approved Wal-Mart project in North Auburn, which was OK’d by supervisors in September before he took office, “you’ve got to ask the right questions. “Those are the type of things elected officials look at and I can bring a different perspective on doing business,” Duran said. “It’s one that’s more inquisitive, more apt to look at things in a different way.”