District 3 is geographically the largest in San Mateo County and the most diverse. It covers the coast from Pacifica south and also includes the rural communities of Portola Valley, Woodside and Atherton, along with parts of Belmont and Redwood City and the city of San Carlos. It also includes huge swaths of unincorporated land, where the only elected official representing residents there is the District 3 supervisor. This is a very big job.
It takes a hands-on approach and experience as an elected official on the coast is a huge benefit. Virginia Chang Kiraly has had that experience on the coast for the past seven years as a member of the San Mateo County Harbor District Board of Commissioners. That board oversees Pillar Point Harbor north of Half Moon Bay and Oyster Point Harbor in South San Francisco. On the coast, the issues there are tantamount to those of a small coastal city in that it deals with land use, permits, budgets, workers and business owners. Providing support for fishermen is also key to the job, and understanding the myriad issues facing that industry is so important in representing the coast along with managing tourism. Since 2015, Chang Kiraly has been a bold and effective leader on the Board of Commissioners, and has been able to right the ship. The board, once known more for its negative headlines than its work, has stabilized and provided a steady support to those affected by its decisions.
Chang Kiraly has also been a member of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District Board of Directors since 2011, where she has helped oversee a government agency with stations from East Palo Alto to West Menlo Park.
Chang Kiraly’s diversity of experience in elected office from all sides of District 3 will benefit both the district and the board overall. She also brings a financial background, which can only help as the county contends with its multibillion budget that touches so many aspects of our lives here. She has proven to be fiscally responsible, responsive and brave in taking on the toughest issues.
The other candidates for the position are also solid. Steven Booker, a coastside resident, would bring a practicality and a worker perspective with his union background. Menlo Park Councilmember Ray Mueller understands the job well and has proven to be a quick study who can make complex issues understandable. San Carlos Councilmember Laura Parmer-Lohan does her homework and can see all sides of an issue.
However, Chang Kiraly has an 18 years experience, albeit some concurrent, representing voters in local elected office. She may not have experience overseeing a city, but she is entirely capable and understands the issues facing the coast, and the rest of the district, quite well. She would also provide a unique perspective and pull for additional fiscal oversight to the Board of Supervisors while also exploring partnerships to maximize resources.
Virginia Chang Kiraly is smart, bold and isn’t afraid to think outside the box and take on tough challenges. She is your best choice to represent District 3 on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.