>Sonora / Tuolumne News, Sports, & Weather, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, Jamestown | Union Democrat

News Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Lawmakers settling in to new offices

Lawmakers settling in to new offices

Recently elected and assigned federal and state representatives for Tuolumne and Calaveras counties are covering a lot of ground in reaching out to new constituents.

Congressman Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, State Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, each have a district and accompanying responsibilities stretching from the foothills east of Sacramento as far south as the rural eastern reaches of Fresno County.


Having an expansive geography is not new to McClintock, a longtime state legislator first elected to the U.S. Congress in 2008, but much of the territory in the 4th District is. The district formerly reached north to the Oregon border from the foothills of Placer and El Dorado counties but, as redrawn in 2011, it exchanged those northern lands for much of the Central Sierra south of those suburban population centers, including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

McClintock’s district office director, Rocky Deal, said the congressman’s staff spread out to make contacts across the new territory shortly after McClintock was sworn in Jan. 3 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Between the Nov. 6 election and that date, McClintock still formally represented the old district, and Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, and Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, remained the Mother Lode representatives. Congressional rules prevented McClintock from spending any district funds in the new parts of the district until the 113th Congress had been seated, Deal said.

McClintock will maintain in his district office in Granite Bay. He will continue to have one to two “town hall”-style meetings at various locales in the district each month as well as one to two days of mobile office hours at a central location in each county every month, Deal said.

“Wherever the local electeds tell us is the best place to reach out to constituents,” he said, which in many cases is a county Board of Supervisors chambers.

McClintock also hosts tele-town halls, Deal said, about every other month, where a random sampling of district voters will receive a call about 6 p.m. welcoming them to engage in an hour-long session including opportunities to pose questions directly to the congressman.

He also attempts to accommodate as many speaking engagement requests for local organizations such as chambers of commerce and veterans groups as possible, Deal said, citing a Jan. 24 Mariposa Chamber of Commerce function as an example.

A McClintock town hall had been scheduled for Jan. 30 in Angels Camp that may be rescheduled in Sonora for late this month or February. The McClintock staff canceled the Angels date so as not to conflict with the annual Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce dinner across town.

“We want to get a maximum number of people who are interested to attend,” Deal said.

Berryhill represented Tuolumne and Calaveras counties in the Assembly for six years before his 2010 election to the 14th District seat that covers Tuolumne. When redistricting left Calaveras without a senator, the Senate Rules Committee assigned its constituent duties to Berryhill earlier this month. He has indicated he will run for re-election in 2014 in a new 8th District that includes both counties.

With district offices already in Modesto and Fresno, Berryhill wasted little time in establishing another in Jackson to reach out to newly assigned foothill constituents.

The office is a joint venture with Bigelow, staffed by Dana Jorgensen, who is familiar to many in the region as a former staffer for senators Rico Oller, Dave Cox and Ted Gaines.

“We feel very fortunate to have Dana on staff. He has a long and varied resume of representing elected officials in this area of the state,” Berryhill said in a prepared statement. “His experience is parallel to none and I look forward to working with him to best represent the citizens of these communities.”

Bigelow is a freshman assemblyman and he has been in contact with McClintock and Berryhill in regards to the challenges and opportunities related to covering so much ground, said Kirk Kimmelshue, his chief of staff.

“Assemblyman Bigelow, Senator Berryhill and Congressman McClintock have a very cohesive relationship,” Kimmelshue said. “We all have very large districts and share strategies for serving the respective communities.”

Kimmelshue said Bigelow will soon add a Madera office to the one in Jackson and mobile office schedules are in the works. The assemblyman has also set up a Twitter account @FrankBigelowCA.

Follow UnionDemocrat.com

Get Today's Top Headlines to your inbox

The Union Democrat print edition

The Union Democrat 11/28/15

View Paper

The Union Democrat is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Tuesday through Saturday. E-Edition or Print Plus subscribers have full access.


If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access. Circulation: 209-533-3614

View all The Union Democrat print publications

Weekender by The Union Democrat

Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties

Weekender 11/26/15

View Guide

Available online every Friday or get it early in Thursday's print edition.

View past copies of the weekender

Local / Sports / Business / Stocks / News of Record / State / Nation/World / Obituaries / Submit News
Editorials / Letters
Union Democrat Photos / Community Photos /
Search Classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Homes / Rentals / Place an Ad
Online Extras
Weather / Local Business Links / Community Links / Photo Reprints
Union Democrat
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map

© Copyright 2001 - 2015 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use