Copper man playing part of watchdog

December 26, 2002 11:00 pm

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

For a man whose passion is politics, Dave Lander sure doesn't talk like a politician.

He'll be the first to tell you that.

In fact, when Lander, 55, finished last in the running for District 5 Supervisor in March, he thought he would never take another run at politics again.

"I'm really saddened for people who don't get involved in what's going on around them," Lander told The Union Democrat the morning after the election.

However, within a couple of weeks, Lander took his own advice.

Rather than fade away, like some former political candidates, he got louder.

Since the March election, the Copperopolis resident has attended at least as many Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meetings as soon-to-be District 5 Supervisor Victoria Erickson or as Dennis McCord, who lost a runoff vote against Erickson last month.

It's a good bet Lander will make at least one stop at the podium during any given supervisors' or planning commission meeting.

Most often he sits near the back of the supervisors' chambers, sometimes in a chair against the wall or stands with his arms folded. He paces the edges of the room, sometimes crouching to whisper in someone's ear.

And Lander is ot afraid to speak his mind. Every now and then, when he hears something he doesn't like, he cracks a joke or an insult — sometimes just loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

Lander doesn't talk like a politician, but he walks the walk.

He researches issues and addresses the board on a number of them, including shoreline development at Tulloch Reservoir, large projects such as Oak Canyon Ranch and the recently approved Copperopolis Benefit Basin fees.

Each week he reads county meeting agendas on the Internet. He researches issues online, digs up information at the Calaveras County Government Center in San Andreas or talks with other Copperopolis residents.