Cleveland readies for work ahead
It's been almost two months since Stan Cleveland was elected to the Sutter County Board of Supervisors, but he said he's been preparing for the job for an entire year.
But he admits the extra time has not necessarily made the transition to his first elected office easier.
The 50-year-old carpenter, who defeated three-term incumbent Dennis Nelson for the District 2 seat, is both excited about the role and has questioned what he's gotten himself into ever since the campaign started, he said.
"Many of the issues were, I knew, larger than what I understood at the time," Even during the campaign I was thinking, ‘How big was this going to be?'"
Cleveland has been making personal adjustments to his life to take on what he called a "24-7" supervisor job.
"I realized right at the very beginning of the election it was going to be that way," he said. "So I have already throughout the year been tailoring my life to accommodate that."
He has been focusing on keeping his work closer to Sutter County and has been talking to companies that would allow him to work while accommodating his need to occasionally take days off work for supervisor issues.
Since the election, Cleveland said he has been in contact with the other supervisors to varying degrees, but has most frequently talked with Supervisors Larry Montna and Larry Munger.
One word Cleveland mentions frequently about being a supervisor is change - for the county, for the board and even for himself.
"Being willing to sacrifice self. You know, motivations to do the right thing for the whole community rather than in it for yourself. It helps to make the adjustment if a person pays attention to that," he said.
Cleveland said he has had contact with members of the Sutter County Taxpayers Association and Citizens For Change, two groups well-known for regular and sometimes volatile disagreements with the board.
Cleveland said while many of his ideas are similar to the two groups, they have their differences as well and he "doesn't take the word of anybody" when it comes to issues.
"I disagree and have voiced so to them in some areas of dealing with growth and types of growth, personnel that are in government currently and in the past," Cleveland said. "But when you find somebody that basically falls within the parameters of your beliefs and what you think should be done, the natural thing is to support that person and that happened."
Change is going to happen in Sutter County because of issues such as flood control, development, transportation and infrastructure items, he said.
"I don't believe it's ever been so many items so related to each other, how they need to be intertwined almost like a tapestry because one affects the other so much," Cleveland said.
Sutter County voters wanted a change in direction in the attitude of the board as well, the supervisor-elect said.
"They wanted to be talked to rather than be talked down to," he said.
Cleveland plans to listen more than he talks, but does expect to have his say as well.
"If I have something to say," Cleveland said, "I'll say it."
Appeal-Democrat reporter Robert LaHue can be reached at 749-4713. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.