Robert Foucrault has served as San Mateo County’s coroner since 2001 and has received an electoral challenge at every opportunity.
So this term should be no different. This year he is being challenged by Rick Dalton, whose primary focus seems to be ensuring there is a challenge. Dalton also wants to ensure the office is run well and with the proper efficiency. However, for the past four years, Foucrault has been doing a commendable job of doing just that.
The last four years have been busy for the Coroner’s Office. With several high-attention situations grabbing headlines both here and abroad. The Asiana Airlines crash and San Mateo-Hayward Bridge limousine fire in 2013 and the San Bruno pipeline explosion and fire in 2010 were all high-stress situations with which the office handled with professionalism. The Asiana Airlines crash had Foucrault at odds with San Francisco city officials who took issue with his office’s determination that a teenager was alive on the tarmac at the crash scene when she was run over by emergency personnel and killed. Foucrault stood his ground and stood by his office’s report despite political posturing by officials who did not want the negative attention the report brought.
Foucrault has also hit his stride with the office’s operations and is constantly looking at new ways to save money and improve efficiencies. He would also like to bring the office to Redwood City so those who rely on public transportation will be able to access the office more easily rather than make the trip to the current Tower Road location.
The county’s coroner is not a medical examiner and is largely an administrative position. There has been some discussion of having it be removed as an elected position, but voters rejected the idea more than a decade ago.
The office is well-run and able to quickly adapt to changes and emergency situations. While Foucrault has made some mistakes in the past, he has been quick to remedy them. And no controversy or mistakes have been raised in the past four years.
Simply put, Foucrault is hitting his stride in the office and is proving to be an accessible, forward-thinking, fiscally conservative and responsible leader for the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office. He deserves to be returned to office.