Jason Cowan
The Union Democrat

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to appoint Michael Oliveira. District 3, and Jack Garamendi, District 2, as chair and vice chair, respectively.

Oliveira was elected as the only remaining supervisor from last year’s board. Garamendi will represent a district as vice chair that has held the title of “vice chair” for the past two years.

The appointment became controversial among the public last year when supervisors decided to elect then supervisors Cliff Edson, District 1, and Chris Wright, District 2, as chair and vice chair for a second consecutive year.

Oliveira said last year the decision went against historical procedure.

“We elected to keep the chair and vice chair as it was in the previous year due to the fire and the involvement of parties in the county with the state and federal agencies,” Oliveira said last year.

Oliveira’s appointment was not unanimous. Clyde Clapp, District 5, voted against.

Gary Tofanelli, District 1, said the board, with four new members, is a unique situation. Oliveira was the only one remaining from the board with experience. He’s in the middle of his first term.

“I’ll support Mike in this chair simply because he’s been on the board for the last two years,” Tofanelli said.

During public comment George Fry urged the supervisors to appoint the District 2 supervisor as chair of the board. He said the jurisdiction was given an injustice last year when it was not represented.

“It was such a faux paux. I’m totally disgusted,” Fry said. “If the board decides not to do that, they should consider Garamendi to be vice chair so District 2 can have their constituency recognized for next year.

Garamendi was selected unanimously to serve as vice chair.

Contact Calaveras County reporter Jason Cowan at jcowan@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4531. Follow him on Twitter at @jcowan1031.

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