Update on the death of John A. Nejedly

The Times will have a full-length front-page story Wednesday on the life of the former state senator and political giant John A. Nejedly.

But in any full day’s reporting, there are often many worthy quotes that don’t make it into the story due to space. I would like to share some of those quotes below:

“In my estimation, John was the most wonderful asset this country has ever had. His long program in Sacramento was absolutely bipartisan. He supported legislation based on his personal judgement of its quality and accuracy.”

Hulet Hornbeck, retired land acquisition manager for East Bay Regional Park District

“John modernized the county’s District Attorney operation. When he was elected, it had part-time prosecutors. He persuaded the Board of Supervisors to make it fulltime and create a professional office. It was extremely important … But he was tough. Some of the prosecutors hated to talk with him about their cases because John had a photographic memory and he would often know their case better than they did!”

Former Contra Costa County District Attorney Gary Yancy, who says he used Nejedly’s old office furniture for years

“John Nejedly was monumental in California conservation, Contra Costa’s most powerful environmentalist since John Muir, and a Republican in the true sense of Teddy Roosevelt — someone who conserved natural resources for the public’s benefit.”

Seth Adams, Save Mount Diablo

“John Nejedly was without question one of the most decent and kind public servants of the last 50 years. He personified a period in time when politicians worked in a collegial manner even when they disagreed. Our community will certainly miss him.”

Tom Del Beccaro, president of the Contra Costa County Republican Party

“John will be best remembered for his dedication to the work that he undertook. And he’s done so many things. I think what he would want to be remembered for is his dedication to good government and to what governent can do for the good of the people.”

Bob Schroder, former Contra Costa County Supervisor

“John was a wonderful man with young people and he always tried to push young people to get involved in the environment, outdoors and nature, and to get involved with government and community service. He was a big influence in my life and a lot of others … I wish we had a lot more politicians today who had the sense of community and giving back, and not just advocating for a convenient political agenda. John really believed in what he was advocating.”

Bob Doyle, deputy general manager of the East Bay Regional Park District. (He was 19 years old when he met Nejedly the first time.)

“There was no one who knew more about water than John Nejedly. He had a very balanced viewpoint. He was both pro-growth and pro-environment because he believed we could have a prosperous economy and protect our environment.”

Former congressional Rep. Bill Baker, R-Danville.

“John was a wonderful man and I have fond memories of our talks about the old days. But he used to call me up and tell me what I ought to do, too!”

Contra Costa District Attorney Bob Kochly

“John had a vision for the future of Contra Costa County … he was brilliant at being able to see what the entire community needed.”

Bev Lane, East Bay Regonal Park District Board of Directors

I never thought of John as a Republican or a Democrat, or a liberal or conservative, like we label people today. He was a statesman.”

Joe Campbell, Contra Costa Water District president

‚ÄúSenator Nejedly was a tireless advocate to improve water quality and the preservation of open space for future generations. As a veteran of World War II, a State Senator, and in many other ways he proved his commitment to our country and our community. He will be sorely missed.”

Assemblyman Guy Houston, R-San Ramon

“He would tell jokes. But they were bad jokes. I don’t think he ever told a good joke, although he had books of jokes!”

Longtime friend and open space advocate Jo Ann Hannah