I recently attended several forums for the District 3 Supervisor candidates where I witnessed Anaiah Kirk attempt to respond to questions of doubt about his ability to adequately serve on the board if elected while also retaining his full-time position for the State of California as a Supervising Correctional Counselor at Sierra Conservation Center, where he is compensated over $156,000.00.
Both times, Mr. Kirk chose to compare himself to me and my situation to use as an example to try to squelch the concerns of potential voters.
Our situations are very different! I would like to inform both Mr. Kirk and District 3 constituents of what he is not considering, along with what it takes to do this job and how I was able to manage my situation.
I was elected eight years ago when I was 27 years old. I was not married and did not have any children. I’m a business owner who enjoys the flexibility of controlling my schedule along with what time, when, where or how much I want to work.
I take a risk of potentially losing money or not being paid, but must be successful so that I can pay my employees who depend on their jobs to support their families. I’m now married and have chosen not to run for a third term for the board because it was impossible to manage being a supervisor, running a business and having quality of life and time with family and friends.
I was extremely dedicated to the county and my business but at the cost of myself. I am happy to have re-prioritized my life to focus on my family, friends, employees and business wholeheartedly.
Anaiah has a wife and two young children. He is a state government employee who works a required 40 hours a week in a prison. He is paid by the taxpayers and is guaranteed a salary, medical insurance, a retirement and paid leave times. He gets paid whether he does a good job or not.
As a supervisor, I attend meetings that last 8-10 hours, serve on many committees both locally and regionally, attend multiple County Association Conferences annually and lobby legislators in Sacramento and Washington D.C.
Furthermore, I host office hours, field constituent calls/emails, study issues, write newsletter articles, attend fundraisers and community events. I also participate in retreats with the board and county staff, and build relationships with people within the county and partner agencies.
In addition, I answer questions in the grocery stores, answer questions when out with my wife at restaurants, wake up to phone calls in the middle of the night about storms and fires, worry about people losing their jobs and their insurance. I’ve learned that you can’t do all the things you think you can and that often your choice is between two bad options.
Anaiah Kirk is grossly underestimating this commitment. He says he is running for his children’s future, but I am warning him that retaining his prison job and adding on this additional County Supervisor responsibility will put a huge burden on his family and will leave no time for them. You must consider that life requires time for things like chores, sleep and all the other little things as well. Working eight hours at his prison job and eight hours as a supervisor leaves only eight hours in a day. If he is elected, he will be compensated another $50,000 a year plus benefits above his current pay. That’s over $200,000 a year total of taxpayer money. That’s just wrong.
This is not what the constituents of District 3 deserve and not what is good for Anaiah Kirk’s family.
Evan Royce is the supervisor for District 3.