Incumbent Stanislaus County District 5 Supervisor Jim DeMartini will not seek re-election to the Board of Supervisors next year, he told Mattos Newspapers.
DeMartini confirmed that he is planning a move to Nevada following completion of his fourth term on the county’s governing board.
“It is not that I don’t enjoy the job, but I am moving out of California,” he stated. “I sold all my farm ground, bought commercial property and will be moving to Reno.”
DeMartini said dissatisfaction with California’s politics, taxes and regulatory climate prompted the decision.
“I just wanted to do something different,” he commented.
DeMartini said he has enjoyed his role as a county supervisor, but said the time for change has come.
“Sixteen years is a long time on a political job. It was not supposed to be a lifelong job,” he remarked. “I only thought I would run for two terms but am now on my fourth.
“I’ve enjoyed the whole thing,” DeMartini added. “I like budgeting and policy issues and land use. I worked on a variety of issues.”
DeMartini said the county has experienced successes and failures during his tenure.
He was on the board during the economic collapse of a decade ago, a bleak time for public agencies.
“We had to lay off staff and cut programs. It was a real economic collapse. We just made the cuts that we had to make,” he reflected.
Now, DeMartini said, the county is solid financially and has been improving its facilities, particularly those serving public safety.
His achievements have included founding the West Side Health Care Task Force, which has helped bring medical resources to the West Side and promote healthier lifestyles, and involvement in strengthening the county’s retirement system.
Not all county endeavors have turned out as he would have liked, DeMartini acknowledged.
To this day, a dozen years later, he laments the selection of Gerry Kamilos over competing development firm Hillwood to lead the conversion of the Crows Landing airfield into a job-generating industrial center.
The controversial West Park project championed by Kamilos never panned out.
“It was so disappointing to me,” DeMartini said. “We had a great opportunity and blew it. We still haven’t got the project off the ground.”
But all in all, he said, his years on the board have been productive and rewarding.
“I will finish out my term and enjoy doing it,” he told Mattos Newspapers. “I will miss it, but it is time for me to do a little less.”